Virtual reality and augmented reality are set to revolutionise the way we interact with technology in the workplace, enhancing productivity, efficiency and collaboration. 

As VR and AR continue to advance, their impact on the workplace is becoming increasingly evident. 

With more than a quarter of organisations now using VR and AR to train their employees, according to one study, it’s no wonder that the global VR learning market grew by nearly 38% in 2022.

How are VR and AR changing the workplace?

VR and AR technologies permit for new ways to interact with virtual environments, data, and objects, leading to more engaging and effective work processes.

Shifting towards immersive experiences offers numerous benefits for organisations, one being the enhancement of focus. By establishing a sense of presence within the virtual environment, employees are less prone to distractions, resulting in increased productivity. 

Current applications

Currently, virtual reality is used as a training tool in many industries. In healthcare, VR is used to recreate complex medical procedures and surgeries, with which medical professionals can practise techniques in a virtual operating room, gaining hands-on experience without the pressure of a real-life operation.

VR is also employed in training simulations within industries such as aviation, manufacturing and defence: pilots can undergo virtual flight training, industrial workers can familiarise themselves with complex machinery, and military personnel can engage in virtual combat training.

What’s next for VR and AR in the workplace? 

Immersive training

Traditionally employee training has relied on classroom-style lectures, manuals, or video-based modules, which often fall short of providing an engaging learning experience.

VR and AR offer the potential to transform training programmes into dynamic, interactive simulations that mirror real-world scenarios.

Improved HR practices

Virtual job fairs and interviews are on the rise as companies explore innovative methods to engage with potential candidates. VR technologies enable job seekers to participate in these fairs from their own homes; for employers, they also offer the advantage of reaching a broader talent pool and conducting preliminary screenings with greater efficiency.

VR also provides opportunities for improvements in conducting interviews. For example, companies can use VR to create virtual scenarios that simulate real world situations, allowing the employer to assess the candidate’s skills in a realistic context.

Increased collaboration 

VR technologies enable remote collaboration, allowing teams to work together despite geographical barriers. The possibility of remote collaboration saves time and resources, also prioritising accessibility and ensuring that individuals with disabilities can fully participate.

Within virtual workspaces, team members are represented by avatars, giving individuals a sense of presence, as they can visually perceive and interact with their colleagues’ avatars, leading to a more captivating and dynamic communication experience.

Efficient product development

Virtual environments permit designers to test the functionality and performance of their product by visualising and manipulating products in three-dimensional space. This allows for a better understanding of the design, ultimately leading to more informed decision-making. 

Furthermore, VR and AR can assist in the prototyping stage, eliminating the need for costly physical iterations, reducing more time and expenses.

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Data visualisation

VR offers a unique environment that can provide a more intuitive understanding of complex data sets.

Instead of looking at a flat graph, professionals can step inside a virtual space where data points are represented as objects or structures, revealing patterns and correlations which might otherwise go unnoticed, simultaneously encouraging a more interactive and collaborative data-driven decision-making process.

Enhanced customer experiences

VR technologies allow companies to showcase products in a visually compelling and dynamic manner. For example, virtual showrooms and product demonstrations allow customers to explore the products from the comfort of their own homes.

The future of VR is now

The future of VR and AR in the workplace holds promising possibilities. As these technologies continue to advance and become more accessible, their impact is expected to be game-changing. 

Organisations that embrace these technologies will gain a competitive edge by using their transformative capabilities, as they have the potential to enhance workplace experiences by cultivating a culture of innovation, creativity, and inclusivity.

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