Have you ever wanted to take a walk on Mars? How about exploring Egypt’s Great Pyramid from the inside? Done and done. Thanks to Virtual Reality (VR) technology, which has made the impossible possible, users can virtually experience things they could previously only dream of.

But while consumer adoption of VR (outside of the gaming industry) is slow, progress in professional and enterprise VR is growing rapidly. And with good reason: VR offers endless possibilities for companies wanting to provide immersive experiences for their employees.

Bringing people together

In an age where flexibility is viewed as necessary to increase employee satisfaction and productivity, geographically diverse workplaces have become commonplace. And with remote work comes the debate about how people best communicate and collaborate.

Traditionally, in-person meetings are viewed as the most effective way to collaborate because they offer the best hearing and visual experience. VR technology now offers the same possibility by expanding the workplace beyond physical boundaries to connect employees.
A collaborative virtual environment enables people to connect in a meeting space, rather than over conference call, allowing employees to share ideas and experiences as if they were in the office together.

Reshape learning experiences

Large companies are using VR to get their staff inducted into a new space or experience, something they wouldn’t otherwise be able to in training – not even in real life.

David Betteridge is a director, cameraman and early adopter of VR 360 video. He worked with a global logistics company to provide VR films through which colleagues are able to interact with their virtual surroundings by choosing which areas to visit and where to find more information.

“The organisation was spending a lot of money each year just getting staff to different locations for training. Instead, I’ve been able to use VR technology to create an immersive experience,” he explains.

It doesn’t stop there. The possibilities of VR solutions are endless. Training on everything from operating equipment to combatting workplace bullying could become a lot easier and more effective.

Even hospitals and healthcare systems can simulate operations, ensuring professionals are prepared and equipped to handle worst-case scenarios. By creating safe and controlled environments in which to learn new skills, VR can help to eliminate risk.

As VR technology continues to improve, the case for testing, adoption and deployment will become stronger, and therein lies the key. To create an effective virtual reality you must know your audience and what you want them to think and feel.

For large organisations wanting to provide immersive experiences, virtual reality is no longer just fun and games; it has become a very real tool of employee engagement.

 

Unlike traditional user interfaces, such as video and conference
calling, VR places the user inside experiences. By using photorealistic
graphics or 3D video to stimulate as many senses as possible – sound,
vision, touch and most recently smell – users are transformed
into an artificial world.  VR is most commonly associated with the
head-mounted display (HMD) but virtual reality simulation can also
be carried out on a computer screen using your mouse and keyboard.