Training from the mall this month?

mobile learning for employees‘Tis the season for PTO.

Workers will be working a lot less this month. From family obligations to holiday-related events to the holidays themselves, plenty of employees will be working remotely and taking time off in December. In fact, studies show that workers request time off in December more than any other month, including even July and August, prime vacation months.

It might be the holidays, but that doesn’t mean you should skimp on training. December may be an ideal training month for businesses with a slow workload during the holidays. In fact, even businesses that get frantically busy over the holiday can take advantage of holiday-mandated downtime — waiting for a kid’s turn on Santa’s lap, or sitting in the mall — to deliver training via mobile learning.

Your learners may be off work, but they’re likely on their phones

Mobile devices are an integral part of everyday life, and most — if not all— of your employees have one. And they’re probably checking it right now.

According to GSMA’s 2019 report on the state of the mobile economy, we’re nearly at a saturation point when it comes to mobile phones. That organization predicts that by 2025 there will be 5.8 billion mobile subscribers globally — 71% of the population.

You may not need research to know this, but most mobile users are always on their phones. Studies show that 84% of mobile professionals check their phone in bed. A large percentage are also on their phone during meals, in the bathroom — and even on dates.

According to the same report, 62% of mobile professionals say they feel anxious when they’re not connected to Wi-Fi. They frequently are connected to Wi-Fi, however: on average, mobile professionals are connecting to eight hotspots per week, and a significant proportion access them more, at least 20 times a week.

So, whether or not you provide learning, that’s where your learners are — even if they’re at the mall.

Will your learners take mobile learning on their time off?

Research suggests that if you build it, they will log in.

A LinkedIn report found that mobile workplace increased by 5% over the last year. Other reports found that many learners prefer it. According to research from Merrill Lynch, 45% of learners say they complete courses more quickly with mobile learning say they feel 70% more motivated to learn with mobile learning than with traditional elearning.

That motivation may increase in December, a month when your learners are likely to be traveling, going home for the holidays, taking long car rides to see relatives, or flying to a gathering.

Traveling means downtime: as a passenger in a car, waiting for a flight, or even trying to work remotely from a childhood bedroom. While many professionals do travel with laptops, phones — which are less cumbersome and don’t require Mom to find her Wi-Fi password — are an attractive option for remote work. This makes one of Merrill Lynch’s findings no surprise: 32% of learners complete mobile training while traveling.

They might be trying to work without a laptop from their childhood bedroom in their parents’ house, or in the car. Mobile learning means they can take training without having to worry about being near a laptop or desktop, and if your learning has been designed to be consumed quickly, it’s something they can get done in a short period of time.

Companies realize real benefits with mobile learning

December is a busy month, but despite all the shopping, events, and visits, your learners are likely responding to work emails on their phones, checking the company Slack, and working remotely.

By offering them mobile learning, you’re giving them a gift: an easy way to keep training in their downtime, so they can return to work in January refreshed, and with all the information they need to do their jobs well.