Canada Association of Tourism Employees

Sustainability Of Office Studying – eLearning Business

The future of work is human

Much of learning on the job develops specific substance skills and competencies, or hard skills. However, as technological advances, digitization and continuous change change and increase the demands on work, the key to future success is to strengthen the kind of skills that maximize the workforce’s ability to learn, create, and collectively to do.

Therefore, the continuous learning of skills such as empathy, self-confidence, communication and creativity has become more and more valuable and important for future success. These “soft skills” or “human skills” can be seen as meta-skills and as necessary prerequisites for the continuous development of specialist knowledge and substance competencies, which change rapidly with changes in industries and work.

Growing individual requirements and complex problems in working life are increasing concerns about the (in) sustainability of learning in the workplace. While continuous learning is a necessary and positive phenomenon, it also carries potential risks for the individual as the learning demands add to the workload of employees and test their coping skills.

In addition, there are concerns about the sustainability of workplace learning initiatives at the organizational level. It goes without saying that while individual learning is the focus, the success of learning in the workplace depends heavily on situational, cultural and structural factors in organizations. For example, the sustainability of learning in the workplace depends on a company’s ability to successfully apply important new knowledge and skills while protecting the continuity of tacit knowledge.

Can soft skills learning play a role in sustainable learning in the workplace?

The demands on working life are constantly growing and changing, and challenge individuals and organizations to stay “up to date”. Problems increase when learners do not have sufficient skills to guide themselves, act creatively, or work together effectively. It is therefore conceivable that soft skills offer a sustainable starting point for learning on the job and skills development.

The sustainability of learning in the workplace can be viewed in terms of wellbeing as physical and mental health. Continuity as efficient use of existing knowledge; and efficiency as the quick application of new knowledge.

What role do soft skills play in these three perspectives?

1. Wellbeing

Sustainability requires promoting human well-being in different operations of organizations, including learning. Soft skills learning solutions use technology, behavioral knowledge and learning design methods for efficient development, rapid application and widespread use of soft skills. Soft skills learning solutions can then, at best, develop the skills and dispositions that will help organizations and individuals remain functional and thrive in complex, uncertain, and changing circumstances, thereby supporting individual wellbeing.

2. Continuity

Continuity is the transferability and usability of previous and existing knowledge. It is strongly related to the use of long-term knowledge resources such as tacit knowledge.

Soft skills learning solutions that encourage collaborative learning practices ensure the continuity of long-term knowledge by helping each employee understand their strengths, recognize valuable existing knowledge, and learn new skills by learning to share work-related problems with others to solve.

Collaborative learning is also effective in creating a strong sense of community in the workplace. Learning together creates positive emotions that can spread to other teams and projects. Especially in virtual teams, in which all members work in different locations, working with others strengthens the feeling of connection.

3. Efficiency

Learning will not be sustainable if the time and resources invested in learning efforts do not contribute to the quality or productivity of the work itself. Sustainable learning initiatives make work more effective.

Ideally, learning takes place and is put into action during work – learning and use take place at the same time. An essential factor for soft skills here are the learner’s own learning abilities (ie the meta-level abilities of learning to learn). In addition, self-governing and collaborative skills are required to reflect the relevance and usability of the initiative for the entire team.

The three aspects – well-being, continuity and efficiency – are also linked. Sustainability as the use and reuse of existing knowledge, as well as the efficient application of new knowledge and skills, make learning a resource for learners, thereby reducing workload and promoting well-being.

Soft skills are a key component of sustainable learning as they underlie and support the continuity and efficiency requirements of sustainable learning initiatives and promote well-being by making learning situations highly useful and meaningful.


  • Lemmetty, S. (2020). “Self-learning is present every day – in fact, it is my job”. Self-directed learning in the workplace in technology-based work. PhD thesis. Jyväskylä: Jyväskylä University. Available at:
  • Lemmetty, S. & Collin, K. (2020). Throw away knowledge, useful skills, or a source of wellbeing? Outline the sustainability of learning situations in the workplace. International journal for lifelong education, online early:
  • Pfeffer, J. (2010). Building a Sustainable Organization: The Human Factor. The Academy of Management Perspectives, 24 (1), 34 – 45
  • Prugsamatz, R. (2010). Factors Affecting Sustainability of Learning by Organizations in Nonprofits. The learning organization 17 (3), 243-267.

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