Virtual reality, or VR, while still far from being mainstream, has proven itself as a technology with great potential in the fields of interactive entertainment, while also having many applications in scientific fields and nearly every avenue of business. From the automotive sector, to aviation, HR and more, every sector stands to benefit from VR implementation.
After all, VR use within businesses is forecasted to grow from $829 million in 2018 to $4.26 billion in 2023, according to ARtillery Intelligence.
Here are 5 ways that companies can use VR in the workplace.
It is a commonly known fact that humans learn better by doing – just look at how pilots are trained using flight simulators as opposed to simply being told how to fly. In this same vein, VR is being used in workplaces to teach staff by ‘doing.’
VR training can range from the simple frying of chicken at a KFC to preparing astronauts physically and mentally for space travel.
For example, “businesses out of VR-focused global accelerator Vive X have raised some $60 million within the last year with the largest rounds of funding in the healthcare and enterprise training areas,” CNBC reports.
In a socially distancing world, with HR managers having to recruit staff digitally using email, video conferencing tools and phone calls, it can still be challenging to connect and truly engage with a job candidate.
In a 2013 study of over 500 professionals by Swedish digital education firm Hyper Island, 78% cited “personality” as the most desirable quality in employees, followed by “cultural alignment,” and finally “skill-set.
With today’s global workforce being much more educated than previous generations, skilled staff are plentiful, but staff with the right mindsets are difficult to find: employees with high development potential, drive and creativity. These traits are not quantifiable, and while it can be impossible to fully discern them from a face-to-face interview, it’s certainly much more difficult to do so from a few emails and video calls.
By incorporating VR into the job interview process, both the recruiter and the candidate can feel more connected and can have more honest exchanges. With remote working candidates becoming more desirable in a world of cost-cutting and outsourcing, as well as one undergoing a pandemic, recruitment through VR looks like a much better prospect than the alternative.
Speaking of remote working staff, video conferencing firms like Zoom have made their fortune capitalizing on the rise of telecommuting.
Naturally, VR is the next step in this communication evolution. Why stare at a screen of 10 faces when you can sit with them around a digital boardroom table, in a virtual office?
This opportunity has brought companies like Spatial to the forefront. Spatial “creates something like a virtual reality version of Zoom, [and] has seen a 1,000% increase in usage since March,” CNBC reported in July, referencing a statement by Spatial head of business Jacob Loewenstein.
VR not only eliminates distance between employees like video conferencing does, it also brings people within feet of one another in a virtual space, ensuring that things like body language and other nuances are not lost in digital translation.
4. Product Development
Product development is another venue perfect for the implementation of VR. From a simple marketing VR project that you want to collaborate with others on to the entire design of airworthy planes, there are barely any limits to how VR can be used to design, test and experiment with new products and services with zero risk to staff and significantly reduced costs.
Google and other Silicon Valley tech firms demonstrated the importance of recreation in the workplace. From gaming zones to foosball tables, these companies were clearly on to something.
With VR, workplace entertainment can be taken to the next level. Team members can go on virtual sightseeing trips, play virtual sports together, or even engage in meditative activities in a fabricated world.