Research reading list for L&D professionals – from hybrid work to skills and beyond

Dictionary definition of the word Research.


At Insights Media we spend a lot of time exploring research that’s related to corporate learning and workplace performance. We use this to undepin our client work, to power some of what we do at LearnPatch and to provide some insights on Learning Now TV. We also create digested versions of some of the research, which you can see here.

This year we thought we’d compile (and regularly update) the research that has caught our eye. Treat this more as a bookmarking page than an analysis of the research. You’ll have to dig around in the reports to get what you need from them.

Employee Experience

2021 Employee Experience Trends, Qualtrics
This survey of more than 11,800 full-time employees from 20 countries looks at how the employee experience has changed in 2020.

Future of work/hybrid working

The New Future of Work, Microsoft

The tech giant says of this report, “We believe it represents the largest compilation of research related to the pandemic’s impact on work practices available to date.” Thanks to Teresa Rose for the recommendation.

COVID-19 and the Future of Work: Citrix Shares Lessons Learned One Year In

This survey of 7,250 employees across 12 countries explores changing attitudes to work, especially office-based work.

The Next Great Disruption Is Hybrid Work—Are We Ready?, Microsoft

Tech giant Microsoft shares seven trends that will shape the future of hybrid work, based on a survey of 30,000 workers across 31 countries.

What employees are saying about the future of remote work, McKinsey

This research of 5,000 employees shows why communication around hybrid working is important in easing employee concerns about the future oil work.

Learning/work trends

2021 Global Talent Trends Study, Mercer
A look at the trends shaping talent management, based on a survey of 7,300 business executives.

Learning and Skills at Work Survey 2021, CIPD
Results from this survey of 1,219 L&D professionals, carried out in February 2021, shows how learning teams have managed through the pandemic.

2021 Workplace Learning Report, LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn’s annual report looks at the role of L&D, the function’s priorities, how it measures impact and more.

The L&D Global Sentiment Survey 2021, Donald Taylor

Learning professionals around the globe share what they think are the hot trends for the year ahead.

Innovating Pedagogy 2021, the Open University

The Open University’s Institute of Educational Technology looks at 10 innovations in teaching and learning.

Virtual classrooms in a post-pandemic world, Fosway Group and Barco

136 organisations share their approach to using virtual classrooms and how that has changed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and working from home.

Build the Future Apprenticeship Survey, the Open University

More than 600 UK employers share their plans for how they intend to use apprenticeships to develop new skills.

The Work Ahead: Digital First (To Last), Cognizant

This survey of 4,000 senior executives looks at progress on how employers are developing digital organisations, the impact of Covid-19 and the role of automation.

Understanding Society, UK Data Service

A UK-based longitudinal survey looking at trends in working and social life.


Perception/impact of L&D

Same Team, Different Sides?, Emerald Works

How do business leaders perceive the role of L&D and how well does L&D support business priorities? This report shares insights into the perceived value of learning teams.

5 Years of Measuring the Business Impact of Learning, LEO
This survey revels how L&D teams measure the impact of learning in their organisation.



Employee Resilience: An Evidence Review, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

The CIPD takes a look at what the evidence says supports resilience in employees.

2021 Deloitte Global Resilient Report, Deloitte

This survey of more than 2,000 customer experience officers looks at how organisations  are building resilience.



A License to Skill: Embracing the Reskilling Revolution, Cornerstone
A research survey of 500 business leaders and 1,000 employees across the globe that looks at how organisations are developing new skills.

Disconnected? Exploring the digital skills gap, Learning and Work Institute

A look at what 1,000 businesses and 2,000 young people think of digital skills and the UK labour market.

The Future of Jobs Report 2020, World Economic Forum

This is the report that everyone seems to cite when talking about future skills. Read it to find out what the top 25 skills will be in 2025, the impact of Covid-19 on skills and what automation means for the skills agenda.

The State of Skills 2021: Endangered, Degreed

A temperature check of what 5,000 workers, managers and leaders think are the in-demand skills.

In-Demand Skills, Debut
Recruitment app Debut analysed thousands of job listings to see find out the most in-demand skills.


Edelman Trust Barometer 2021, Edelman

Edelman’s annual global research report explores trust in business, government, non-governmental organisations and the media.


Working from home/Covid-19

Flexible working: lessons from the pandemic

Research from the CIPD looks at how organisations adopted flexible working approaches through the lockdown

The Future is Hybrid: Helping Organisations Work Smarter to Live Better, Microsoft

This research looks at what 4,000 UK office workers think of hybrid working.

Disparity Begins at Home: How home working is impacting the public’s health, Royal Society for Public Health

A look at how working from home has affected the public’s health and wellbeing. Only 6% of people want to go back to working in an office full-time.

Management Transformed – Managing in a Marathon Crisis, Chartered Management Institute

The surveys looks at how 2,300 senior leaders, managers and employees have been coping through the Covid-19 crisis.

The British Return to Work Report, hownow

A look at what 3,000 workers in the UK think about returning to offices and working from home.