- Users watched over 7.7 million hours of courses on LinkedIn Learning in April, double the amount watched in March and three-times the amount watched in February, according to data from LinkedIn sent to HR Dive on May 6.
- Managers in particular are looking for learning opportunities; that cohort spent 105% more time watching courses in March and April compared to January and February. Workers from hard-hit industries also turned to courses to "bounce back," LinkedIn said. The recreation and travel industry saw the highest increase in learning overall at 132%, followed by real estate and consumer goods, both at 106%. Sales employees have also invested more time in learning compared to other functions at a 116% increase.
- More users are turning to classes on stress management, the data revealed; 10 times more people watched stress management classes in April than they did in February.
Demand for online courses has increased "exponentially" due to the pandemic, according to a recent survey by the Cornerstone Institute for People Development, thanks in large part to swaths of the workforce now working from home and looking for ways to stay productive.
But much of the increase in learning may also be attributed to rising fears of layoffs. Back in October 2019, more than half of respondents to another Cornerstone survey said they lacked the skills to avoid a layoff — and now layoffs are increasingly widespread due to restrictions put in place to reduce COVID-19’s spread. After months of record-low unemployment rates, the April 2020 report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that unemployment had hit 14.7% and that the country had lost 20.5 million jobs in April alone.
Some managers still at work, however, have had to contend with a steep learning curve as their companies move wholly remote. Experts previously suggested to HR Dive that managers outline clear expectations for remote meetings as well as deadlines, keep an open line of communication and remember that employees may be dealing with a number of other stressors at the same time, including a lack of child care.
Manager leadership may be especially important in managing potential burnout. The move to remote work has prompted some employees to work longer hours and spend more time in meetings, an April study from Clockwise said.