The Realities of Work: How AR and VR is changing Workspaces
As AR and VR tech are deployed in various fields, companies have identified its benefit in running workspaces.
Ever since we’ve entered the electronic times, there is no aspect of our lives that is separate from the digital world. Be it our leisure, our hobbies or our work, everything has been integrated with either our phones, our laptops or television screens.
As augmented and virtual reality tech enters the dynamics, companies have identified its benefit in running offices. The pandemic showed us how beneficial tech could be in building a hybrid workplace, ensuring a creative work environment for employees. With the passage of time more offices are integrating AR and VR for training, general operations and to allow for a flexible work-from-home system.
Benefits of AR and VR in the Workspace:
- Interactive Work Environment
- Increased Collaboration
- Improved Recruitment
- Immersive Training
- Innovative Marketing
Interactive Work Environment - AR and VR make the research and development process much more effective. The team can view product intricacies clearly through AR which allows for a 360° view, detailed zoom in and on-the-spot alteration.
Even monotonous office tasks like meetings and studying infographics are made more interesting through AR and VR. Data visualization through AR and VR makes information more attention-grabbing. Gamification of processes creates an innovative, productive and interactive workspace.
Increased Collaboration - Work-from-home settings or having offices in multiple locations leads to many communication gaps because of physical distance. To an extent, these gaps have been lessened by online meetings, but they still do not provide a great collaborative space. Virtual reality takes online meetings a step further by bringing all participants, even across the world, together in a shared ‘virtual space’. Actions like picking up a product, giving notes, eye contact, 360° view of the meeting room, all give the sense of a ‘real life’ team collaboration in virtual reality. Co-working spaces can also use AR and VR for better coordination and project collaboration.
Improved Recruitment - AR and VR help recruiters in assessing candidates across the globe way more effectively. Recruiters are able to create immersive assignments that test the candidate in a simulation close to the role for which they applied. Online interviews are made more personal and vivid with the help of virtual reality, allowing both parties to get a better sense of each other’s personalities and expectations. HR can also use AR and VR to let candidates get a real sense of their job’s tasks and responsibilities.
Immersive Training - New joiners often require training before they can contribute to the workplace through their role. Through virtual tours, employees can get a detailed view of the office and get information of different rooms on their screen right as they step in. Virtual simulations for high risk jobs ensures safety of the employee as well as the office equipment. It also helps in practical training without compromising on the actual work of the office.
Innovative Marketing - The purpose of marketing activities is to reach the target audience and get them to interact with the company. Marketing messages can be made more appealing with the use of AR and VR, through immersive advertising, virtual try on features, 3D billboards etc. Internally, AR and VR tech allows the marketing department to better communicate with all the other departments and understand campaign requirements according to product specifications or visualized sales data.
Trends in Workplace AR/VR
This year we have seen Meta devoting its research and budget on virtual reality especially for the workplace. With its Meta Quest Pro headset made primarily for office space, the company considers the working sector to be among the biggest users of VR tech in the coming future.
Retail giant Walmart is using VR to train its employees for high-rush scenarios like the Black Fridays and dealing with angry customers. This is allowing them to train employees without annoying the customers on the sales floor. They can recreate scenarios through VR in a much safer, beneficial manner.
Manufacturers are using AR and VR for creating prototypes and testing out their products. Ford is one such company that is using VR to create and refine its prototypes, and it is proving to be effective in saving time and cost while improving the quality. According to Jeff Greenberg , Ford’s former Senior Technical Leader, it has also given creative freedom to designers and engineers for experimenting with multiple different development options.
Luxury car company Jaguar teamed up with band Gorillaz to recruit over a thousand electronics and software engineers for its company. It developed a virtual reality application for people to play code-breaking puzzles, allowing the company to test their persistence, lateral thinking and problem solving skills.
AR and VR have long surpassed the borders of science fiction. In fact, they are proving to be as engaging and useful as science fiction imagined them to be. We can see AR and VR tech being utilized in almost every sector including the workspace, and this is only the beginning.
As the present trends predict virtual pens, notepads, and desks replacing the office setting, we could see a future of work that exists solely in the digital realms.