Virtual reality is one of those technologies that, in the past, has always seemed to have too big of shoes to fill. Every decade or so we get our hopes up that this will be the time that impressive virtual reality devices are released that meet our expectations, only to realize that the technology is far behind our imaginations.
Well, this time advances in technology may have finally caught up. In the last few years numerous large companies such as Google, Facebook, and Samsung have invested heavily in virtual reality technology and a number of different personal headsets and other virtual reality products are beginning to hit the market. And this time, marketers are thinking beyond the scope of video games and into other industries including business.
Will Virtual Reality be part of your next Job?
Many unique and creative uses for virtual reality are being thrown around as anticipation for these technologically advanced products builds and companies begin to make initial investments. For instance, individuals in the real estate market are considering the advantages of virtual reality as a means of showing more homes over a larger location to potential buyers. Using virtual reality could greatly lower the amount of time and money spent driving to show different homes without cutting out any of the experience for the shoppers.
In addition to cutting down on travel costs, the idea of using virtual reality as a means to improve communication and collaboration is a promising prospect for large, diverse companies with employees spread across the globe. The ability to communicate with all of these employees in a more life-like setting is a huge benefit. As the use of virtual reality technology becomes more mainstream it is likely that you will encounter it in your office space.
Going to the Office without Leaving Home
Imagine how great it would be to attend an office meeting or interact with coworkers every day without the hassle of commuting to the office or even leaving your bed. Or perhaps having the capability to attend important business conferences without the airfare and hotel stay. Exploration of the idea of virtual reality conferences is being taken pretty seriously by a number of companies, which could be huge for reducing company travel budgets.
Virtual reality can also promote team connectedness between remote employees, which is a powerful thing. Since nearly 3.3 million people work from home - a number that is continually growing - the ability of managers to check in regularly and maintain a connection with their employees is becoming a necessity in the workplace. Some research has shown that more positive relationships between coworkers tend to improve both workplace happiness and productivity.
New Employee Training
Even if you’re not a remote employee or you don’t participate in large company meetings, there is still a good chance that virtual reality will become a part of your job (or next job) in the near future. Another promising benefit of companies adopting virtual reality is through their ability to use the technology to train new employees. This is especially helpful in technical jobs such as oil rigging where in-person training can be dangerous to the trainee as well as the trainer and fellow veteran employees.
Rather than having new employees listen to PowerPoint presentations about health hazards and risks on the job or training with real equipment that could get someone killed, new employees participate in their training virtually. Instructors are able to check in on new employees and see exactly what trainees are seeing, which can focus training and help to catch harmful errors before they become bad habits. Trainers can also put new employees through 'scenario training' which can act as a test to ensure that new hires are ready to move outside of the virtual realm.
The power of virtual reality in the world of business is just beginning to be realized and has many years before it is likely to reach its full potential. Virtual reality for remote employees and conferences as well as for new employee training is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to using the technology to improve efficiency and productivity. What other uses can you think of?
About the Author
Brittni Brown is a recent graduate of The College of Idaho; she currently works for a local marketing company. In her free time she enjoys a variety of outdoor activities including hiking, biking, and camping.
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