Osmosis: The Art of Subconscious Learning

Event Anywhere Team
Updated on

People were compelled to stay at home due to the pandemic. Office workers found themselves working from their dining tables and couches for long periods. Many employees and businesses struggled at first to keep up with the change and maintain momentum. However, leaders quickly realized that putting in place the essential infrastructure and technology is the “future of work.”

Some might argue that working from home is distracting but research indicates that this is not the case! Working digitally, according to 77% of employees, is more productive and helps them achieve a better work-life balance. Furthermore, businesses adore it! Around 25% of organizations that provide WFH reported having a lower turnover rate.

In this new era of “getting the answers online”, we are losing out on the important component of working in an organization: the people we interact with and the network we develop.

Yes, it’s important to understand how to fix the bug in the program; but it’s also critical to understand “what was the most effective approach to do that by your seniors”. It is also essential to find out what Alexa in marketing is working on when it comes to new advertising strategies!

“Observational learning is most human behavior,” according to psychologist Albert Bandura, who examined the social learning pattern. Employees will be able to learn through observing others in the work environment.

Microsoft has conducted over 50 studies to understand how the nature of work itself has changed since early 2020. The work trend index shows how people’s networks have shrunk as a result of working from home.

Osmosis can also mean broadening our network. The remote work culture overstimulated communication within the team or small groups, but it has also impacted the employee’s social interactions outside of their team. According to the same study, the number of people participating in team channel chat has declined by 5%, while the number of individuals commenting in small groups or one-on-one has climbed by 87%. 

Employees who worked from home were also unable to strike up a casual conversation with a coworker, which is critical for knowledge transfer and team building. It can also make employees feel isolated, which can lead to loneliness. In more than a decade of research, organizational psychologist Lynn Holdsworth discovered that “full-time telework increased loneliness by 67 percentage points over office work.”

In opposition to popular belief, learning by osmosis is more than just sleeping with a book beneath your pillow; it’s about learning through observation. Tacit knowledge is critical for development. Furthermore, osmosis learning is an important aspect of our workplace culture!

According to experts, technology advancements have the potential to transform the remote and hybrid work culture.

In recent years, this need has resulted in massive advancements in the virtual workplace. Virtual worlds are an excellent way to incorporate osmosis learning into the modern workplace. It also serves various objectives. The virtual environment can be used for recruiting, innovation, business modeling, and training.

Some companies are early adopters of the virtual work environment. Pwc, professional services network firm, used a virtual platform for their new hires and onboarding process. Their “virtual world park” allows the new hire to interact with a senior member who they can bump into in a virtual coffee bar. 

Like PWC, Artemis Connection, the Seattle-based consulting firm also began onboarding their new starters in an improved and fascinating way. Their curated conversation program helps boost the connection between their colleagues.  

Even for training, virtual worlds are already “enterprise-ready.” The University of Maryland had constructed an interesting 3-D environment for training first responders in situations such as rollovers, multicar pileups, and life-threatening injuries. The observation aids emergency responders in preparing for real-world simulations, which are more severe.

Companies are also using the virtual world for collaboration to improve outcomes and efficiency. For example, IBM and Linden Lab, the creator of the popular virtual world game Second Life, partnered to improve “Interoperability between the internet’s numerous virtual worlds.”


So, what does the future look like?

It’s a no-brainer that the way we work is changing. Technological innovation will continue to dominate the work environment. In the not-too-distant future, some employees will work from home for a few days a week, while others will work remotely. Osmosis learning is the key to building team spirit and improving observational learning between colleagues in such a work environment. 

Virtual Worlds’ new infrastructure will be linked to the formation of organizations. It will be an integral part of training, business modeling, job fairs, onboarding new hires, conferences, and even university educational innovation.

Being intentional about the future is the only way forward. Eventanywhere has aided a number of forward-thinking organizations in reaching this goal. We will walk you through every step of transforming your workplace. Request a demo call right now to learn more about what we have to offer.