Virtual reality (VR) training can help upskill employees for everything from safe lifting techniques to how to respond in an active shooter situation. With VR training, learning leaders can help reinvent workplace performance, increase employee engagement and improve efficiency.
VR can also help with mental health. By incorporating meditation practices into VR training, companies can promote mental well-being, enhance customer interactions and build employee resilience. Enterprise companies are already adopting VR for training, but how can we help employees get more out of the VR experience?
The Benefits of Meditation and Mindfulness Training for Employees
Mindfulness and meditation are well-established practices that can help employees focus and perform better. Meditation is linked to reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and it can improve levels of empathy and compassion, which are essential skills for customer-facing employees.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw a big jump in mobile meditation apps like Calm, Insight Timer and Headspace. However, a manufacturing employee taking a 15-minute break while trying to tune out passing co-workers, moving pallets and intercom announcements, the idea of shutting down their thoughts for a few minutes can be challenging. Meditating in VR can feel much more relaxing than just sitting in a chair — it’s more like mental transportation.
How Companies Are Using VR to Improve Mental Health
In a busy workplace, a VR headset can help workers focus on their own breathing with fewer distractions. Meditating in VR can feel much more relaxing than just sitting in a chair — it’s more like mental transportation. A well-designed virtual environment can make it easier for employees to settle into a meditative state that can deliver lasting benefits.
VR training meditation can even be more effective than conventional mindfulness or mobile-based apps, according to recent research. These calming environments can truly help people let go of distracting thoughts, while reducing anxiety and improving emotional regulation.
Moving beyond meditation, an enterprise VR platform with a well-designed interface can make it easier for employees to discover other training programs. The interface can help educate employees about opportunities to learn new skills or practice challenging customer interactions. Getting employees interested in VR experiences for meditation can drive a positive flywheel as employees discover more offerings on the platform and capitalize on how VR is an effective medium to facilitate better learning and training outcomes.
Employees Are Looking for Better Mental Health Support in the Workplace
We’ve outlined the benefits of VR training and meditation in the workplace, but there’s another advantage: increasing worker retention.
An American Psychological Association study found that 81% of workers agree that how their employers support mental health is an important consideration for them when they look for their next job. In an Ernst & Young (EY) study, 29% of millennials said they’re planning to leave their company within a year because their company doesn’t match their values. These findings highlight how the next generation of workers expect new programs, policies and benefits from employers who hope to attract and retain talent.
We’ve just started to scratch the surface of what’s possible with immersive learning applications for employee mental health. VR training can help a wide range of employees complete training with better outcomes and improve their break-time experience with virtual meditation sessions. It can also help employers discover upskilling opportunities that can help reduce employee burnout and make the most of the VR platform.
With the evolution of the workplace and the pressures of “always being on,” producing more with less and dealing with increasing pressures from customers (for those in customer-facing roles), a short meditation break is an effective solution to helping employees stay productive and focused on the job. Employers who support employees with VR training and meditation opportunities can hope to see improved engagement, improved efficiency and a reduction in stress — and that can help everyone get through the day with a smile.