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Learning from Colleagues Even When You Can't See Them In Person

21 October 2021

Everything in life is an opportunity to learn something new. While school is traditionally thought of as a place where students study, there are opportunities to broaden one's knowledge anywhere.

Another famous example is in the workplace, where you can learn through your tasks and the people you work with. You could believe that you need to see people learn from them, but this is far from the case.

Even in a distant setting, people learn from one another all the time. So, even if it is not physically, there are various ways to learn from others at work. 

Of course, it is up to supervisors and managers to manage a remote team effectively so that knowledge can flow even when employees are not meeting each other as frequently as they would otherwise.

In a physical workspace, the learning process would be more straightforward. Isn't this the issue all the time? Without seeing your coworkers, you are expected to learn from them.

Fortunately, something that individuals may have considered a struggle for a long time sometimes turns out to be an opportunity. But why do humans have such a challenge?

The Learning Process Is the Obstacle

The Learning Process Is the Obstacle

For as long as you can remember, how have people learned from one another at work? It is what you would call a routine situation. 

While there have been online methods of completing classes and exercises, the face-to-face experience appears to have always been the most popular. Furthermore, much of learning extends beyond what is expressed or explicitly taught.

The type of interaction that can occur in a physical setting differs from that in a virtual environment. 

So, not only does it appear that the method has limitations, but people are being asked to relearn habits that they may have acquired to engage in a learning process that feels alien.

Suggestions for a More Effective Process of Learning from Others at Work

So, now that the setting has been set and you have identified the problem, it is time to consider how employees might learn from coworkers electronically while still ensuring that the lessons are as practical as they would be if they were delivered in person.

Open Your Mind and Address Your Comfort

Open Your Mind and Address Your Comfort

It is crucial to get these two indirect learning tips out of the way before getting into any direct learning suggestions. 

You cannot establish a remote team culture around a group of people that are resistive to learning and are simply uncomfortable. Both of these things are likely to be relatively ineffective, so it is best to deal with them as soon as possible.

It is also important to keep an open mind during the procedure. It may not be the type of platform or method you are used to, but that does not mean you should be put off by it. Resistance is only another roadblock in the way of your ability to absorb information.

Take Advantage of Collaborative Learning

In a conventional learning technique, one person does the teaching while others do the learning. Using a more collaborative approach, on the other hand, allows everyone to share information and experiences that other employees can benefit from. 

Of course, this approach is not appropriate in every situation, but you should use it whenever available.

Open Floor and Live Demonstrations

Open Floor and Live Demonstrations

While a more collaborative learning style was emphasized above, numerous situations require a more traditional approach. Thankfully, live instruction is still feasible with video conferencing technology, just as it was in a face-to-face setting.

You or your coworkers can use online teaching tools to organize teaching sessions. One person with the needed knowledge offers information or a demonstration to the rest of the group. 

People will have the opportunity to ask questions, make comments, and voice concerns to get the answers they need and get the most out of the course.

Be Willing to Make Conversations

An officially established learning session is not required for every learning from a peer’s event. 

Many people learn from others at work simply by conversing with them. The fact that you never know when someone will teach you anything is already a continuous learning journey.

As a result, think about spending more time with your coworkers. Once you have established a healthy working relationship, a fluid information flow should follow. Of course, you should not do this solely to maximize your learning capacity. Building relationships solely for your benefit rarely works out.

Make Sharing a Habit

Make Sharing a Habit

It is sometimes necessary to be the change you wish to see. So, if you want to learn something, you might have to start by setting a good example for others. 

Start sharing information with your employees that will benefit them and urge them to do the same. It has the potential to boost employee engagement and productivity. This is one of the best ways to practice learning from others at work while also providing them with benefits.


No matter where you are, the world is a prominent place, and anywhere will teach you a lesson or two in life. The workplace is filled with diverse people. You are sure to meet people who will impart wisdom to you. The lessons you learn from your colleagues are those that you carry and apply in your life.

For more related ergonomic and work-related topics of articles, stay tuned and read on

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