While 2020 has heralded a period of remote working for many in response to Covid-19 lockdowns, the prospect of a fundamental shift in our daily working practices has been accelerated. As businesses are increasingly looking to new and innovative ways to embrace remote working practices to help recruit, retain and upskill the best talent, streamline processes and enhance productivity, immersive technologies are central to driving change.
Successful businesses are as strong as their workforce and their ability to adapt to change. Companies are increasingly adopting immersive technologies as a cost-effective way to support and enhance new working practices in order to survive and thrive. Through VR collaboration tools such as VISIONxR™ teams are able to connect, collaborate and learn together in a way that has potential to revolutionise remote working.
VISIONxR™ creates unique spaces for remote team collaboration to have the chance to meet, work, train and host events together. Your team members and audiences may be based around the world, but they can connect in one space via a range of devices including VR headsets, PCs and mobile devices. This means that while they may be based remotely, they’re not isolated from each other.
Making the perfect match: Using VR to attract the best talent
When recruiting new employees, hiring and retaining the right person can be challenging, especially for highly skilled roles where there are significant skills gaps. By introducing remote working, businesses are able to remove geographical barriers and draw on a global talent pool.
Adopting immersive technologies could give your company the competitive edge to attract and retain the brightest and best talent. VR can be integrated into recruitment processes; from experiences highlighting working environments to candidates at careers fairs, through to using VR for remote interviews and assessments.
Getting on board: how VR can help the new recruits
For remote working team members, joining a new company can be uniquely challenging. How do they get a sense of a collective corporate culture and values, get to grips with new ways of working and learn more about their fellow colleagues? By creating tailor-made VR onboarding experiences, you can effectively communicate your company’s identity, introduce fellow team members and get a head start on your business operations and procedures; possibly even before their first day on the job.
This month in our new podcast BUILDING NEW REALITIES, CEO Tim Fleming talks with Employee Experience strategy director, Belinda Gannaway, about how immersive programmes support the change coming for their business.
Working it out: how VR can transform remote team collaboration
For teams based across multiple sites around the world or who work from home, virtual reality provides a unique tool for collaborative working and the power to revolutionise workflows.
VR and rapid prototyping: fail fast, learn quickly
An example of this is product development. As VR software becomes more accessible with users no longer needing extensive 3D modeling experience or game engine experience, traditional workflows are disrupted. Multiple remote teams can work in the same space simultaneously on virtual prototypes. This facilitates the chance to create multiple iterations of 3D models at speed, significantly accelerating the R&D processes.
By being freed from the constraints of the real world, the expertise of the best people for the job can be harnessed by creating a shared working space whilst being geographically dispersed.
We’re in training: harnessing VR for upskilling
Ensuring that your employees are working at the top of their game and communicating effectively with teammates, customers (and beyond!) is good for business. VR platforms aren’t just great for facilitating collaborative working for remote workers, but can be harnessed as a powerful learning and development tool. By using immersive technologies, tailored training programmes allow team members to learn quicker and deeper, leading to increased retention rates and productivity, as well as provide tangible cost savings.
Teams that train together, stay together
VR-based training has the power to connect remote teams to learn together in a safe and inclusive environment. By taking training out of the real world and replicating real-life, high risk scenarios in a virtual space, employees have the chance to learn by doing in real time, in ways that will often be impossible or dangerous to do in real life. This has significant benefits for teams working in highly skilled and specialised areas; especially where team members’ actions are interdependent on each other; such as spacecraft engineering to surgical procedures.
Soft skills: big impact
Virtual reality platforms are now tried and tested for providing an effective training channel for the development of technical and highly skilled tasks. But why stop there?
For training that focuses on soft skills, interaction with, and reaction to, another person is central to the learning process. The increasing sophistication of VR platforms to pick up on, and react to certain behaviours, means that immersive courses are incredibly effective for the development of skills such as problem solving, communication and emotional intelligence. So, whether it’s honing presentation skills or improving customer relationships, through to learning how to work in an inclusive environment and team building, training no longer requires face-to-face scenarios or classroom-based learning.
Measuring up: the impact of assessment and evaluating performance
The impact of remote working on individual productivity can divide opinion. There are those who believe people work more efficiently when away from the distractions of a busy workplace, through to others who argue that without a manager watching over like a hawk, workers are likely to hit the breaks on their activity. Either way, as a line manager, it’s often difficult to keep a track on a remote worker’s activity and identify where there may be specific issues or challenges.
But in VR, performance and productivity, making it a fantastic tool for effective line management. From the production of tangible outputs to evaluating the impact of training on skills development and effectiveness through to tracking movement and behaviours, immersive technology has the potential to monitor, evaluate and introduce interventions to improve performance, productivity and processes.