5 things we have learnt in 2020 (and will bring with us into 2021)

2020 has been, without any doubt, a year full of surprises, that led us to think about our way of working and, generally speaking, of living: waiting for going back to the (new) normal this year, let’s try to summarize 5 things we have learnt in the last months and we have to bring with us into 2021, starting with smart working and eLearning. 



Data regarding the spread of smart working in 2020, even if still in progress, show clearly how the phenomenon has increased dramatically. According to ISTAT (the Italian national institute of statistics), employees working remotely in Italian companies had already grown from 1,2% in February to 8,8% in April, even if with many differences among the various types of organizations: 90% of employees in big companies, 73% in medium ones, 37% in small ones and 18% in micro ones. 

The healthcare emergency has of course sped up the process, growing the number of organizations that adopted smart working from 15% of 2019 to 77% in the last year. However, this is also the reason why this way of working has often been adopted without the needed infrastructures and the training, weakening its effectiveness and, as a consequence, its approval rating

The first thing that 2020 has taught us, and that we should bring with us into 2021, is that smart working cannot be improvised and, if you decide to adopt ii long term, it can be worth it to entrust professionals to ease the transition for employees. 



Despite the confusion created during last year, at this point it seems to be clear to everyone the difference between smart working and remote working. Quoting an old article on this blog, remote working is a simple change of place compared to the traditional office work, while smart working is based on working goals, without taking into account preset time and place. 

It is of course a wider change in the way we think and manage work, which also implies a transformation in the way we see relations, both between supervisors and employees and between peers. Trust and responsibility become key-skills to make any collaboration effective, together with communication and time management. Once again, then, it is clear that we need new competences, to develop within organizations or to require from the new professionals, to make the “smart” project successful. 



On the same note, the past year has helped to enlighten all the benefits of smart working both for companies and employees.  

From the enterprises point of view, smart working proved to be valuable to optimize economic resources and time: reducing commuting and moving meetings and activities online, in fact, allowed to make work more efficient, cutting downtime and costs related to employees’ transport, room and board. This was true for big companies, which were often forced to move people from one headquarter to another, even internationally, but also SME and smaller companies, which travelled to see clients or attend training and marketing events. 

Talking about employees, smart working seems to allow work to be more adaptive, better dovetailing with daily life tasks, even keeping the same efficiency levels. One can work with a goal to reach, cutting once again downtime and making working hours more valuable

Last but not least, smart working has shown its environmental benefits: a more ecological choice, which can reduce the polluting impact of companies and make their work more eco-friendly



Closely connected to smart working, corporate training seems to be another area that has been strongly affected by the recent changes. The growth of Zoom’s daily users from 10 to 200 millions in April and the 100% increase in online courses searches on Google in the same period are two examples that show how, without any doubt, 2020 has been the year of eLearning

To be true, digital training has often been adopted in emergency mode, using temporary webinars that were not part of a long-term training project. This phenomenon on one side led to an exponential growth of online platforms, on the other has contributed to spread dissatisfaction, often related to prejudices and lack of experience, both among teachers and learners. 

Something that we need to bring with us from 2020 into 2021, then, is that digital training requires – just like smart working – specific dynamics and competences, which need to be acquired and developed to take the most of it. In any case, we cannot think we will go back to totally face-to-face training: it is way more likely, and maybe desirable, that training in the future will be blended, with digital and in-classroom used together in the most right moments and with the most suitable objectives. 



The past year has ended with a hope for everyone: normal. But what does “normal” mean nowadays? As we have already said, it will hardly mean going back to February 2020: some changes, despite being forced, have shown that another way of working is not only possible, but maybe more efficient than what we used to do. 

Therefore, the last and more important of 2020’s lessons is that in the near future we will go out of this emergency state, but the new normal will be nowhere near close to what we have left behind. 


We as Quiddis Team have tried to exploit these past months to think about a new way to do training: a user-friendly LMS platform, with an integrated webinar system for synchronous and asynchronous learning, accessible through mobile app and with interactive and engaging content, designed basing on blended learning principles. We still have lots of projects for 2021, and we cannot wait to tell you all about them! 

Do you want to discover all Quiddis services? Visit the dedicated page!  


Hubway, Smart working: numeri e dati nel 2020 (Istat e Microsoft)
Data Skills, Smart working before and after the health crisis of Covid-19
Forbes, The Rise Of E-Learning In 2020



Did you like the article? Share it!