How many hours do you spend learning a week?

clock-163580_640You may have seen this article in the New York Times, Gearing Up for the Cloud, AT&T Tells Its Workers: Adapt, or Else in which the AT&T CEO is reported as saying

“There is a need to retool yourself, and you should not expect to stop …  People who do not spend five to 10 hours a week in online learning … will obsolete themselves with the technology.”

Provided this doesn’t just mean taking online courses I very much agree. I firmly believe keeping up to date with new knowledge and skills is essential – but that comes as much from connecting with people (through professional online networking) as it does from accessing content sources in a variety of formats (videos, blogs, podcasts, web articles, etc etc as well as courses).

And, of course, we all learn all the time –  often unconsciously –  from our daily work and interactions with colleagues as well as from our lives outside of work.

But how much time would you say you spend learning – in planned ways – every week – in any way or format, formal or informal? Here’s a mini-poll.

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Jane Hart

Founder at C4LPT
Jane Hart is an independent workplace learning advisor, writer and international speaker. She is the Founder of the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies. Her recent book Modern Workplace Learning: A Resource Book for L&D is now available, which she supports with a range of online workshops. Find out more about Jane at

3 thoughts on “How many hours do you spend learning a week?

  1. wendy tagg

    The real question is: When am I not learning? At the moment most of my learning is fairly informal but there is a very fuzzy line between planned and unplanned. Sometimes the need to learn something gets onto my schedule or todo list. More often I’ve “planned” by allowing a little space for encountering information or people who give me an opportunity to learn.

    1. Jane Hart Post author

      Yes, agree – but not everyone thinks like that – unfortunately – learning still thought of as a separate, planned activity – which is what the CEO in the article was referring to, I think. Hence the question. But thanks for your comments too 🙂

  2. Julie C.

    I agree that learning happens often, but I don’t think that we learn all the time. I have found that sometimes during work we do things that are very repetitive and each time we do it is the same and nothing else can be learned from it. However, I think that interactions with other people always brings more knowledge. When communicating with other people, we never really know what is going to b said next and have to learn how to handle new topic of conversation. Do you agree with this or do you think that after a while we learn how to respond to most topics of conversation and stop learning?

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