Virtual reality is a technology we mostly associate with video games, an accessory that makes a digital world tangible. But it’s more than just a hobby — it’s a device that’s changing the working world, too.
That’s because virtual reality has multiple uses for companies large and small, jobs tech-related and old-fashioned. Soon, it’ll probably be part of your daily grind, too. Here are seven ways it’s revolutionizing the modern workplace.
1. It’s Creating Jobs
For starters, the popularity of virtual reality is a boon to employment as a whole. Not only are more and more people becoming developers, but, with the improvement and proliferation of the technology, there are even more job openings in the VR sector.
You don’t have to be a computer science pro to become involved with virtual reality, either. Everyone from marketing specialists to lawyers to business developers will undoubtedly be involved as the technology becomes more common at work and in homes.
2. It’s Revolutionizing Collaboration
Sure, you can consult with far-flung co-workers via email, instant message or even through video chat — but have you tried conducting a meeting with VR? The possibilities are truly endless in this regard.
Rather than shuttling employees from site to site — more on that later — you can show them a new construction project and its progress through VR. Or, you could use the technology to have designers from all over the world brainstorming, drawing and revising their creations in ways they never could before. Even a face-to-face conversation is more immediate, real and personal with VR.
3. It’s Updating Training
Some jobs require very intensive training before staffers are ready to complete the task at hand. In the past, this put employers in a tough position — how can you prepare someone for a challenging role without the liability of having a newbie at the helm? VR is already changing that.
Virtual reality has revolutionized things as specific as ship captaining and navigation. Now, training can take place through VR, giving users full access to radios, autopilot, tracking and other controls they’d need to get a ship from point A to point B. And this practice gives firsthand experience that’s informative enough to put practitioners behind the wheel sooner, rather than later.
4. It’s Bringing Virtual Employees Into the Office
We already touched on the fact that VR is changing collaboration — namely, that it brings together employees from across the world to take projects from planning to reality. But this technology will affect remote employees, too, whose jobs usually isolate them from the rest of the team.
Now, they can come to the office regularly for meetings, status updates or feedback sessions. For a company with offices around the world, VR will make every conversation that much more personal. And, if you like who you’re working with, you’ll be happier and a better employee in turn, so VR could improve workplace performance as it hones communication.
5. It’s Improving Employee Health
Sitting at a desk all day can be detrimental to a person’s health — research has linked everything from slower metabolism to spinal injuries to depression to a sedentary lifestyle. But VR could be the answer to this problem.
For starters, VR allows staffers to get up and move around while remaining productive. They can collaborate with and speak to their colleagues while sneaking in a bit of exercise they wouldn’t be able to get otherwise. Or, companies can someday use the technology to make workplace tasks easier on the body by making some controls virtual. These implementations are just the beginning when it comes to bettering a workforce’s health.
6. It’s Transforming the Face of Marketing
It’s a specific niche, but VR is having a particular effect on the marketing world. Now, those within the industry have to consider the technology and how they can use it to improve the promotion of their product or service. It’s a powerful tool, too, since it’s so immersive and gives potential buyers even more of an experience than traditional marketing methods.
Not every marketing firm has made this avenue a priority, though, and that could be a big mistake. If this happens to be your industry, start familiarizing yourself with the types of VR available to consumers and brainstorm how you could use it to your great advantage.
7. It’s Reducing Business Travel
The only ones who will be unhappy about this one are the airlines that routinely fly businesspeople from one office to another. VR makes it possible for employees to slip on a headset or a pair of goggles and attend in-person meetings without setting foot on an airplane. The face-to-face collaboration will be the same — the only difference is that it doesn’t take any travel to make it happen. Jetlag, hotel fees and expense reports will become obsolete, too.
The Internet completely revolutionized the way we work and play, but that was only the beginning. Virtual reality is on its way to revamp the way we collaborate, communicate and cut down on unneeded business expenses — in other words, you don’t want to miss out. So, think of ways you can make VR part of your company’s day-to-day tasks and implement them right away. The time to go virtual is now.