Time Pressures at Work

6th January 2020

The World Health Organisation defines one cause of work-related stress as “having too much (or too little) to do.

Your employee learning and development programme must balance the needs of your organisation, your learners, and also their capacity to undertake training tasks.

One simple way to overcome this issue is to create smaller modules or learning experiences. Rather than asking colleagues to spend an hour on a course – or longer to attend a workshop – you can divide lessons into smaller, more digestible chunks.

“Both the business press and the organizational literature have identified a ‘time famine,’ in which people feel that there are never enough hours in the work day.” (Perlow, 1999).

This approach may also reduce the cognitive over-load that can occur when learners are asked to remember lots of facts at once. Instead, the key messages are split across time and space.

How can you help your time-poor employees to build the skills and knowledge they need to succeed?

You can support busy learners by making experiences…


Obviously, quick learning opportunities are easier to fit alongside other tasks. Your colleagues may be more likely to have ten minutes to spare in-between meetings, or while waiting for a call, than to have an entire hour free to focus on a course.


Making learning more accessible can increase the flexibility for employees to choose how and when they consume learning resources. Is your learning accessible outside of the office? And can employees complete tasks on a mobile device?


Our own elearning courses include a downloadable podcast version. This means that your employees have even more agency when it comes to accessing the learning. A podcast can be listened to on the commute to work, or at home.


Is your learning programme compatible with busy teams?

If your learning programme is overly demanding, either because of its complexity or length, you may find that fewer learners complete the modules. The worst-case scenario is that learners become more stressed because of the additional demand caused by the learning.

Your employee learning programme should support and encourage your colleagues, not contribute to their feelings of stress or frustration.

We’ve worked with many leading universities, as well as global corporations, to deliver bite-sized, cross-format learning that is accessible from any web-connected device. We understand the pressures of the modern workplace, and we know how to develop learning solutions that meet your goals and delight your learners.

If you would like to know more about Marshalls, and how we can help your organisation create and deliver e-learning, or blended learning solutions, please contact our friendly team here.

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