In recent years the availability of virtual and augmented reality technology has increased hugely and rapidly. And although it may seem strange and unlikely, it’s still somewhat understandable that it’s now starting to creep into the workplace; saying that in some ways it’s already had an impact.
Video calls that span time zones may seem mundane now, but if you think about it, even they have an element of augmented reality about them; after all, you’re seeing an environment in front of you that isn’t actually there.
Taking this into consideration, it was only a matter of time before virtual reality took over the reins and began integrating itself into the workplace. Despite still being quite a niche approach, headsets are being used in place of a traditional computer. The headset enables the user to utilise all the space around them in the digital world so that they can see multiples screens at once — and adjust them as per their own preference. It therefore means that each employee can tailor their own virtual space to reflect how they work best.
This essentially creates a mobile workspace for each employee and can also have the benefit of added privacy (so no-one can snoop on your work when you’re in public for example). Additionally, it can help to block out distractions from whatever environment you’re in, which helps to create a more work-friendly environment, thus boosting productivity and performance.
Using VR may even be beneficial for customer service as it means that employees would have quick and easy access to files and can therefore respond to customer queries with improved efficiency. However, when it comes to collaborative work with colleagues, augmented reality would work better.
VR headsets aren’t ideal to wear for long periods of time and you may be limited to what tools you have at your disposal. In-room experiences where everyone partaking in the session can make eye-contact and see facial expressions more clearly will always feel more comfortable than trying to talk to someone that’s wearing a headset.
Steve Bays, Managing Director and Head of Product Design comments, “It doesn’t have to cost a fortune to make an office more ergonomic and productive. It is all about knowing your office and how the teams and departments work and responding to their needs; it is equally important to employ a designer that understands your needs and works well with your requirement as well as ensuring that the furniture supports technological developments and everyday needs.”
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