Increase Expertise, Cognitive Skills and Employability through Learning at Work
While you may have entered the business world feeling like you were on top of your game, involved with the latest trends and a part of all the most important conversations, the world is developing rapidly and it’s not always easy to stay ahead.
We are all so busy focusing on what needs doing in the here and now, it can often be difficult to stop and take a look at what is happening in the wider world.
Dedicating 20 or 30 minutes a day to ‘learning’ may seem like an impossibility. There’s always the worry that people may view you as time wasting or you may feel guilty for turning off your phone. But the benefits are sure to outweigh the negatives.
Making time for learning whilst in business will not only keep you ahead of the trend but studies have shown that keeping the brain active in this way improves basic cognitive skills such as memory recall, problem solving and concentration.
Learning Made Easy in Flexible Workspaces
There is one huge benefit of working within a shared workspace when it comes to learning in business. Having shared breakout spaces, lounges and kitchen areas at your disposal means people from many backgrounds and in differing careers are all around you. Simply starting a casual conversation whilst making a cup of tea can often lead to an insight into something you’ve not explored before.
However, using your shared workspace to enhance learning isn’t restricted to chance conversations. Why not curate your own events where learning and sharing is the focus. And, if you feel guilty about taking time out of your working day, a lunch and learn is the perfect solution.
Stepping away from the desk and switching your mind’s focus for an hour is the best way to ensure you are stimulated and productive when you return to work. Meeting with others over lunch is also a brilliant way to share ideas, pick up new skills and discover new areas of interest.
It is also a great idea to share what you have learnt at such events with your team back in the office. Not only are you enlightening others, teaching or immediately relaying material is one of the best ways of retaining information. As shared in an article by workspace provider Fora Space, people retain approximately 90% of what they learn when they teach someone else or use the information immediately.
Supportive Workspace Providers
Fora Space are also an excellent example of a provider who value the effects of learning whilst in business. Their workspaces help to support clients wanting to develop new skills. Sound masking technology for example reduces how far noise travels around an open plan workspace so there is always a quiet and peaceful spot to focus on something new.
Additionally, all Fora Space clients receive memberships for Tortoise, giving them access to Tortoise’s roster of Thinkins, the Tortoise daily newsfeed and the Tortoise quarterly, making expanding your knowledge easier than ever.
Another provider who are taking steps to help their clients ‘brain train’ is The Office Group (TOG). The brain needs exercise in much the same way that your muscles do and organised exercise classes are an ideal way to keep the mind sharp.
Manor is a boutique gym run in four TOG locations. Professional athletes take a straightforward, hardworking approach to keeping the whole body tip top, and TOG members receive a 25% discount.
Exercise the Brain
Keeping physically active in this way has numerous positive effects on cognitive abilities. Improving memory recall is just one example – with more regular exercise, remembering certain pieces of information becomes easier and faster. And, no matter what stage of business you’re at, exercising your cognitive skills will only help you to strive higher.
A study discussed in The Guardian found that, “Staff who undertake learning activities are more able to adapt to the changing requirements of an organisation and gain a competitive edge in the job market.
Candidates who demonstrate that they’re conscientious about their personal development are likely to be seen as highly motivated and engaged. Their openness to learning also suggests they’re flexible, adaptable and will bring a continuous improvement ethos to the workplace – all of which is appealing to an employer.”
Learn your Way
Aside from exercise and workspace events, there are many ways that you can continue to learn whilst in business. Look out for online courses, discussion groups, training seminars or online networks that tickle your fancy. Try choosing a topic completely novel to you. Not only will it challenge the mind but open you up to new experiences, information and ways of thinking too.
Alternatively, good old fashioned books are a great option while podcasts, articles, blogs and social media all offer numerous learning opportunities. Sites like LinkedIn are a brilliant way to find professionals inside and out of your industry who have valuable insights to share. Signing up for news alerts through Google Alerts or setting up an RSS feed like Feedly.com is also an effective way to keep on top of your game.
Overall, the benefits to learning whilst in business are endless. It helps you to stay sharp and alert. It slows down the effects of ageing and maintains mental health while simply allowing you to stay current and learn new skills. So go on, challenge yourself!