Does Virtual Reality have a future in workplace training?

“Virtual reality was once the dream of science fiction. But the internet was also once a dream, and so were computers and smartphones.”

– Mark Zuckerberg

For years, science fiction films have thrilled moviegoers with the thought of humans misusing virtual reality (VR) systems to steal encrypted information, enter an individual’s mind to reveal their deepest secrets, or become trapped in an alternate universe. Thankfully, these creative yet terrifying ideas are just figments of the imagination – but that’s not to say that VR devices don’t have a practical place in our everyday lives.

How can virtual reality impact training in the workplace?

One of the ways to succeed in business is to be open to digital innovation. By adopting the right technology, you can increase your functional flexibility, enhance your brand, and positively impact your bottom line. So, don’t fall behind your competitors – it’s time to think about using virtual reality in your organisation.

Virtual reality is achieving astonishing results in many industries daily, most notably in workplace training. However, using VR for training purposes is not a new marvel. In fact, the first commercial flight simulator was developed in 1929 to train fighter pilots. More recently, the emergence of companies investigating VR to deliver new workplace experiences in the training, design, and field services has increased. So, in a way, you might already be two steps behind your rivals.

Just some of the ways that virtual reality is expected to help employees include:

  • Improved teleconferencing
  • Situational interviewing abilities
  • Improved delivery for on-demand learning and development courses
  • Realistic and relevant skills based training and testing
  • Simulating risk based scenarios in controlled environments
  • Viewing digital dashboards for knowledge workers
  • Providing a digital overlay that displays equipment health

Over half of the general population believe that technology will transform their workplace in the next decade, for the better.[1] This potential for organisations to use VR in conjunction with business applications is now within reach – and it seems that sitting behind a headset will become even more common as we move towards the future.

Bringing virtual reality to your work

It’s difficult to create an innovative workspace if your company is using programs and processes that were invented in the 1990s. By bringing virtual reality to your workplace, you can revolutionise your business practices in so many ways. Here’s four:

1. Imagine being able to simulate real-life situations within a controlled and safe environment as a means of providing education. This is exactly what VR can do for your business – instead of delivering dull presentations that discuss the correct procedure for manual handling from a boardroom, you could instead immerse your employees in a 360-degree training experience that imitates their exact work settings.

2. If your team is spread out geographically, you know how difficult it can be to organise a conference call. VR can take this to the next level by allowing you to hold virtual meetings anywhere and have everyone assembled, no matter where their desks are in reality.

3. Virtual reality technology can create a ‘second screen’ experience for your workers. Think of it like using double monitors at work to get more done: the second screen in our periphery would free up more space as we virtually organise our documents and other resources from the corner of our eye. The latest Holden SSV Redline demonstrates this perfectly with the Head Up Display that shows the speedometer and tyre pressure on the inside of the driver’s windshield – now imagine having a similar type of technology on your person as you complete daily tasks.

4. Talent acquisition is another way that VR can help find and hire the right team for you. From pre-employment assessment screenings through to the onboarding process, virtual reality technology could help to separate the candidates who are skilled with the ones unable to to execute the required job tasks. By allowing prospective hires to experience their possible future hands-on and in an interactive way, both you and your candidate can determine whether they’re right for the role before committing to the job.

VR used to only fit in the realm of science fiction or reserved for game-playing, but now the future is expected to change radically as new technologies enter the workplace. If you would like more information about VR workplace training and how it can positively impact your business, contact Bodycare today.