‘Online Fatigue’ puts a damper on workforce upskilling efforts

Photo by RODNAE Productions

Work-from-home arrangements remain for many in Singapore, affecting how employers upskill their workforce amidst COVID-19. One of the top challenges faced by 53% of employees in Singapore when participating in training programmes is online fatigue, thereby putting a damper on company training efforts.

These are some of the key findings from NTUC LearningHub (NTUC LHUB)’s recent Workforce Learning in Workplace Transformation (WLWT) report. The report is based on a survey with 150 business leaders and 300 employees across industries in Singapore, and interviews with human resource experts.

In particular, employees between the ages of 30 to 39 are the most likely to experience online fatigue (63%). This is followed by those between the ages of 16 to 29 (59%), and 40 to 54 (48%). Employees above 55 years old are the least likely to experience online fatigue when it comes to training (41%).

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To tackle this, employers say that exploring new methods of conducting training can overcome challenges posed by remote working arrangements and to increase employee engagement. The top three methods voted by employers are to ‘change the training approach to adapt to remote learning’ (50%), ‘try out more innovative methods of training’ (47%) and ‘adapt new technology platforms’ (39%).

Many employers view that remote workplace arrangements are disruptive to implement effective employee training (39%), and COVID-19 restrictions continue to be a challenge to training (37%). Therefore, most (78%) reveal that their companies are planning to improve training programmes offered to better adapt to the transformed workplace.

The report also uncovered that two thirds of employees (68%) prefer to attend company provided instructor-led programmes, regardless of whether it is conducted face-to-face (37%) or virtually (31%). This is in comparison to only 6% that voted for pre-recorded online training programmes as a preferred mode of learning.

Commenting on the findings, NTUC LHUB’s Strategy Director, Soh Hooi Peng, says, “As COVID-19 hits its second-year mark, online fatigue is becoming a prominent problem that causes burnout in employees, thereby posing a challenge not only to their work but also their learning and development.

“To combat this, learning must evolve alongside the future of work. We must explore and constantly develop new modes of training delivery to develop and engage the workforce.”