Offer People their Own Space
Over the last two decades, companies everywhere have jumped into the open office design, only to discover that it doesn’t work quite as well as everybody had thought. In fact, there are some indications that it lowers employee productivity – particularly for the more introvertedly minded.
VR offers a way out. It opens up an entirely new dimension where people can work. The space can be as private and as big as it needs to be. At the same time, it also offers some of the very advantages that the open office offered, with people being able to interact easily and naturally in the virtual space.
Worldwide Open Office
In fact, because distance is no longer an issue, it can become possible to bring people together into the same space to do work even when they are half a world away. This allows you to embrace the advantages of the open office while not having to physically move people close together in order to make it possible.
This makes it possible for people who have never been on the same continent to still collaborate together in a way that email and phone calls previously has never allowed. After all, we’re visual creatures who depend a great deal on being able to look each other in the eye. And though we might find that virtual eyes aren’t quite the same thing as physical ones – they’re certainly better than none at all!
And already there are a whole bunch of new possibilities to make the experience more realistic, like haptic jackets which create the sensation of touch.
Your Office On the Go
Virtual reality actually offers the opportunity to save money, by reducing the space your company needs in actual reality. For example, if in the past employees needed a number of screens in order to be able to view all of their information easily, that’s now no longer the issue. Those screens would be available to them in a virtual space instead – where they’ll be able to open as many such
And so, the only thing that they would really still need is a comfortable place to work from. This means that offices can be shrunk, or the space that has been won can be put to a different use – such as giving people more leisure possibilities, bringing more employees into the same amount of space or any other need you can think of.
Even better, you wouldn’t even need to be in the office to access it. You could already start working during your commute, or from home for that matter. Meetings could be sat in on, conversations would be entirely possible and the day whether you’re not sure if somebody actually came into the office or you just saw them virtually is probably closer than we think.
Train by Doing
The reason we often learn from textbooks is because other forms of learning are often prohibitively expensive. VR changes that equation. We can allow people to deal with all kinds of situations and learn hands-on in virtual environments.
Fighter jet pilots have been training in this way for a long time now. Clocking hours in the simulator has become a huge and mandatory part of their training. And now, finally, the rest of the world is catching up.
We can train them how to deal with emergencies, each other and with customers. Even better, the same situations can be repeated ad nauseam until the lesson has been learned.
Data Science Flow
Then there is the data your employees will be generating. This will be several factors greater right now as suddenly it will be possible to track movements and relate them to the tasks being performed.
This too will offer some very serious opportunities. Suddenly it will be much easier to know what people are looking at, what they’re doing with it, where they are working efficiently and where a simple tweak could lead to a big boost in output. The more data we gather now the more we’ll be able to analyze when the tools like AI become powerful and cheap enough to do so.
And though we’ll want to avoid situations where employees feel like they’re always being watched, being able to analyze such data over a company will give us far more insights into behavior and the people who perform them. For example, we’ll be able to know when other people are in the flow and really shouldn’t be disturbed. Similarly, it will become possible to see when an employee doesn’t have enough expertise to deal with a problem before it blows up in their face.
The Future is VR
Though we might have gotten a little carried away initially, people who are dismissing VR are making a huge mistake. Virtual reality will live up to its potential. And those people who know how to use it when it does will have a huge advantage – including a workforce who is already familiar with the tools and a corporate climate which knows what are the most powerful features of the technology and how to take advantage of them.
Now obviously, for some companies, there are bigger advantages than others. For example, VR offers some truly powerful opportunities for companies who do a lot of design. At the same time, everybody stands to benefit, be they part of a writing company or theater. The potential is phenomenal – more importantly, it’s already been realized.