Understanding Virtual Reality
VR collaboration can be defined as a set of processes, tools, and rules that promote employees to collaborate in real-time in a simulated virtual environment. A virtual reality universe (or metaverse), 3D avatars, virtual reality headsets, desktop streaming, and collaboration and/or productivity applications are among the major components. These components can be used to create a VR experience that is both fun and productive for all participants. One of the most significant benefits of VR collaboration is that participants are fully immersed in the environment and have no distractions. Depending on the hardware you have another benefit is that you can read and react to a coworker’s facial expression, body language, and gestures, reducing the risk of misinterpretation dramatically.
Using Virtual Reality for Collaboration
At XpertVR, we’ve already implemented virtual reality as our main medium for brainstorming and team engagement.
“Every Monday morning, we put on our VR headsets and we have what’s called a clubhouse inside of Rec Room,” said Evan Sitler, the co-founder and CEO of XpertVR, in a recent interview, “We also have a poker table, a little coffee bar, a stage for charades. We even put in a hot tub, just for fun.”
Transforming the typical office workspace into something a bit more fun is just one of the benefits of using virtual reality and the metaverse for collaboration in a business environment. Let’s take a look at some more benefits of using VR for workplace collaboration.
The Benefits of VR for Collaboration
Better Connection to Peers
When compared to traditional venues, virtual reality technologies make remote meetings and collaborative work so much more meaningful. When comparing virtual reality meetings to video conferencing meetings, many users state that virtual reality meetings allow their colleagues to be more present. This is because it’s natural for off-the-cuff conversations to occur in a face-to-face setting. People spontaneously join in on chats and chime in with their ideas in an office. This is not practicable in a remote environment, as you are talking over everyone else and it can be hard to insert yourself into a conversation. In virtual reality, people can enter an environment that feels more like a “conventional” office or they can meet on the moon. Not only does this make for a fun experience but it allows employees to work in the environment that best fits their needs. This can help people feel less tired and anxious when they’re “on camera” and make interactions more comfortable.
Higher Retention Rate
Because VR is still in its early stages of adoption, we don’t have much evidence of its benefits in the workplace. However, virtual reality has been widely employed in schools, yielding some intriguing statistics that could be applied to the workplace as well. Immersive VR training improves content retention and yields directly observable benefits. According to the National Training Laboratory, learners who used virtual reality had a retention rate of 75%, compared to 10% for reading and 5% for lectures. Improved retention can lead to demonstrable benefits such as fewer errors and injuries. And in a collaborative sense, higher retention rates would ensure everyone is on the same page and has the information they need to proceed properly.
More Interactive than Zoom
To be frank, Zoom doesn’t offer very much in terms of features. Zoom can be used for bare-bones video conferencing and little else. Virtual reality takes all of the good things about platforms like Zoom and makes them more interesting, compelling, and fun. This can include playing paintball or fighting a dragon after a meeting but can be as simple as having access to 3D models of new products so that designers can work and make edits together.
Improved Focus Among Collaborators
Video conferencing is beginning to alleviate the problems that corporations have had with meeting concentration for a long time. Employees could previously multi-task while participating in text and audio-based conferences. As a result, it was uncommon for people to give whole attention to what was going on. Although video conferencing makes people feel more “watched,” it’s crucial to keep in mind that people might still become sidetracked. While on silent, employees may begin skimming through their messaging stream or checking their email. Employees are more physically present in a virtual reality setting. They communicate with others in a variety of ways, including through body language and movement, sorting through digital data, and more. Because virtual reality transports you into a space that is entirely dedicated to one meeting, employees are less likely to become sidetracked.
Thousands of employees can be sent anywhere in the world using virtual reality for collaboration at a fraction of the expense of traditional methods. In the future, VR material can be used for a variety of purposes, including ongoing and future brand training, on-demand learning, consumer engagement, shareable videos, and more. When compared to alternatives, VR is just a more cost-effective option.
VR Can be Fun
As we mentioned earlier, it’s not always about work. Virtual reality can make things more interesting and fun without sacrificing productivity in the workplace. For example, if your whole team is remote, plan a virtual birthday party at a high-end metaverse dance club for your next employee’s birthday. Or instead of doing any old team-building activity, create a quest custom to your brand, that your team can compete in for prizes. Really the possibilities are limitless, you just have to bring the curiosity and creativity!