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Future of Work

59% of US Workforce Reports Fewer Workplace Learning Opportunities Since Pandemic Began

worker studies at a laptop

Quick take: A new survey by Salesforce shows opportunities for learning and development have decreased as employees struggle to fit learning into their work day, despite the tangible business benefits that training provides. 


The working landscape has changed dramatically during the pandemic, a fact that also applies to workplace learning.

Salesforce has tracked sentiment on this front since October. At the time, squarely in the middle of the pandemic, a Salesforce survey of US knowledge workers showed that 60% of employees believed companies were not making workforce training a top priority.

Fast forward to the present, as the recovery begins. Businesses are adopting flex or entirely remote working policies while employees continue to seek ways to develop their careers and skill sets. 

Has learning become a priority again? Salesforce reached back out to 600 US knowledge workers* to find out.

The way we work demands a new way to learn

With many teams working remotely, opportunities to participate in traditional in-person training are few or non-existent. Employees surveyed noted fewer opportunities overall to learn and develop their skills since the pandemic. 

Why are we seeing more roadblocks to learning in a virtual world? 60% of employees surveyed say it is hard to find time for learning and development opportunities during their workday. As boundaries diminish between work and personal life in a remote environment, workdays can become longer and there is less time during the day to focus on skilling up. 

With one-fourth of the surveyed employees expecting to work at home post-pandemic, businesses are now challenged to determine how to optimize learning for a remote workforce.

Learning on-the-job preferred among US employees

Most employees prefer to learn throughout their day and on the job versus traditional setups in which hours are dedicated to formal learning and development. Learning in the flow of work is more tempting than ever as employees struggle to set aside dedicated time. 

Investment in learning & development yields tangible business benefits

As we see a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, learning & development is quickly becoming a business imperative. Employees believe a greater investment in workplace learning & development would make them more productive, more engaged with their work, and more likely to stay at their company.

As businesses return to growth with a more dispersed workforce than ever, infusing learning and development into the workday is critical.

Learn more about skilling up in our work-from-anywhere world

  • Visit Trailhead.com
  • Read about how Salesforce is reinventing workplace learning for the all-digital world with Salesforce Learning Paths. 

Survey methodology

Salesforce conducted a double-blind online survey of knowledge workers* in the United States employed full-time. Data was collected between April 14 and April 17, 2021 and yielded 600 responses.

*Knowledge workers’ work is primarily mental labor (i.e, professional services, business management) over manual or task-based labor (i.e, construction, onsite manufacturing, warehouse operations, retail store service/operations, food service/operations).