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4 reasons to start using virtual reality in 2021

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Stop, breathe and come to terms with the fact that most of us will be away by spring. Some technology companies for example, Google, plans to stay away until the summer. Even if the vaccine becomes available to the public, the effects of COVID-19 will have a lasting impact on how people work.

The dynamics of modern work are evolving, and part of this evolution involves the adoption of new technologies such as virtual reality (VR). Although working from home has certain benefits, such as no travel and more time to focus, employees may feel tired from some aspects of remote work. Even if it’s a “quick meeting,” employees and senior executives feel it video conferencing fatigue. While we can have instant two-way communication through video chats or phone calls, there are certain psychosocial benefits that bring personal communication with others.

Fortunately, VR technology can bring the same benefits as a face-to-face meeting, with the convenience of working from home. As companies plan for 2021, more of them should pay attention to the benefits of VR for meetings, training, project planning and more. This technology provides a new and more efficient way to improve productivity and ideas.

New MarketDigits report predicts industry VR and augmented reality (AR) significant global expansion by 2026. Sectors such as healthcare, marketing, manufacturing and training are leading in the adoption of this technology. Organizations that care about the future performance of employees should also look at the application of these tools.

Despite the long list of benefits, here are four reasons why companies should incorporate VR technology into remote work settings in 2021:

1. It increases activity and speeds up learning

Training new employees personally is a costly process. On-site training requires companies to hire instructors, and planning can be challenging. In addition, many companies may not be inclined to include personal training in 2021 adaptation agenda. On the other hand, many approaches to distance learning create problems. While students can watch instructional videos when they are comfortable, there is no guarantee that they will pay attention to the content. In traditional online learning, students are often not involved because of the physical and figurative gap between coach and student.

Compared to video or textual material, VR provides a richer learning experience than the gap that often arises when people are not physically present. How Jay Van Buren, founder and CEO of VR educational company Early Adopter says that virtual reality provides people with the ability to “engage … asynchronously”. Even if employees are not together, they may feel just as busy as if they were studying in the same space.

2. It allows you to visit a virtual site

VR “bridges the gap between theory and practice” as Dom Barnard, the founder of virtual speech, saysallowing participants to learn about the topic and then experience it in an interactive 3D world, making the training memorable.

Unlike reading about a situation, VR allows employees to feel like they are feeling it. Employees can not only visit workplaces, but also have the opportunity to experience the simulation several times. This scalability and repeatability would be costly to replicate “in real life”.

3. It creates a safe learning environment

VR provides employers with a safe learning environment that can demonstrate the real consequences of mistakes in the workplace. These simulations can be useful in training employees in dangerous or difficult-to-repeat situations. Unlike a two-dimensional learning game or text in a learning quiz, VR feels realistic. This ability to simulate real life helps ensure that employees will take learning seriously.

Everyone can try to prepare for a dangerous situation, but someone may not know how he would actually react. VR can help, for example, simulation of shutdown procedures at a refinery. Employees can learn from their mistakes in VR modeling and reduce the likelihood of errors “in real life”.

4. It improves learning soft skills

Soft skills, such as public speaking, negotiation, and networking, can be difficult to teach. VR is the first tool of its kind to provide employees with simulations aimed at training. These tools can even improve teaching diversity, inclusion and pursuit.

According to Sophie Thompson, co-founder of VirtualSpeech, using simulation to teach diversity can help “reduce unconscious bias and improve communication between employees when they face discrimination”. Similarly, modeling sexual harassment training can take into account how to notice the elusive nuances of nonverbal communication; ways to intervene as an outside observer; and, most importantly, how to identify sexual harassment in the workplace.

The future of VR in training

Many organizations have begun to implement VR as part of the learning and learning process. Despite the initial cost of purchasing and setting up equipment, it is an investment in the future. VR is a necessary asset for distance learning. It scales across the organization and is customizable for each student, providing endless opportunities for staff training and talent development.

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