As we head into a post-pandemic landscape, it’s no surprise that many corporate workers are not itching to get back into the office. Whether it’s that extra hour in bed, the 5-minute commute from your bedroom to the office or the fact that pyjama bottoms have become the new office couture. 46% of us swapped the office for remote working in 2020 and most of us want to stay put.
After a recent survey revealed that over 65% of corporate workers wanted to remain remote post-Covid, it’s time to assess the potential impacts of remaining a WFH nation and how the evolution of technology could make it the new normal.
What Is Immersive Technology?
Immersive technologies such as AR and VR aim to enhance your reality using digital layering. Augmented reality Turns a traditional eyeglasses look into a hidden digital haven, allowing the user to view an augmented version of their real-time surroundings. Using AR, consumers are able to interact with a digitally enhanced picture, gain new information about the object surrounding them and visualise pictures and data in real-time as if it were a part of the world around them.
With a potential growth of over 25 million sales for AR headsets within the next few years, it’s no surprise that business leaders are investing. As a productivity booster and a communication tool for WFH employees, AR and VR are quickly becoming the stars of the corporate world.
How does AR Improve Working From Home?
The question is, how do these technologies improve the future of remote working? With popular companies such as Apple releasing Apple Glasses imminently, experts suggest that AR could one day become as popular as the iPhone. As the corporate landscape continues to become digitalised, we are not surprised to see that business leaders are investing in the future of AR/VR generated workspaces.
1. Mimics a Real-Time Office
One of the most important benefits of immersive technology within the home office is its ability to mimic the reality of a real-time office environment. Using AR eyewear to project data in front of you while talking to colleagues or within business meetings, mirrors the way in which we would view data in real-time on our screens while within the company of our staff members. Using AR technology, workers are able to multitask while presenting finding or new ideas, improving communication between employees and presentation skills from a remote environment.
If you’re looking to take it one step further, some businesses are using VR headsets to physically augment a digital business meeting, where employees feel as if they are physically in the room with their employer.
2. Worldwide Communication
When transitioning into a remote business, communication is key if employer’s want to remain successful. While video-conferencing is a smart solution in the battle to upkeep face-to-face communication high between employees, group video calling apps make it hard to multitask during meetings, share data to back up ideas and fully immerse yourself within the office environment.
For corporate companies that rely on effective communication, introducing AR and VR to your remote workspace is a great way to limit restrictive boundaries imposed by the nature of remote communication. Gone are the days of the Zoom filters and the awkward pauses while someone shares their screen. Augmented Reality breaks communication barriers and allows employees to collaborate with each other in real-time.
3. Virtual HR
As AR continues to revolutionise the field of remote working, productivity and communication isn’t the only factor this impressive piece of tech is aiding. As we become more digitally connected as a corporate landscape, immersive aids could also improve the future of HR in the post-pandemic workspace.
In a recent study by Perkbox, experts found that as we moved into a remote workplace structure, over 79% of respondents conveyed that they experienced at least one form of work-related stress in response to the shift. This is a 20% increase from the 2018 stats, suggesting that Covid-19 has dramatically affected the corporate landscape.
As many continue to swap the office for the couch, a lack of physical communication between staff and employers has only elevated levels of lockdown loneliness.
4. Productivity Booster
For those of us who work from home, finding that motivation can be challenging. Using the benefits of AR and VR tech to aid organisational productivity is key if business leaders want to succeed while working remotely.
(Source: Association For Talent Development)
Thanks to AR’s ability to display data in real-time, immersive tech allows the user to not only multitask but also take in information at a faster pace. For example, a remote sales executive is able to work smarter when talking to customers, with the ability to view their personal information in real-time when selling a product. In fact, new data predicts that over 53% of virtual customer service platforms are investing in AR/VR tech, in order to boost sales rates and speed up customer service.
5. WFH Training
Another area of the corporate landscape that AR/VR can improve is WFH training. As a task that has become increasingly difficult due to Covid-19 restraints, AR and VR tech has begun to revolutionize the future of teaching as well as enhancing employee performance. As stated by a recent Intel Workforce Study, 66% of remote employers would be willing to embrace immersive technology as an effective training technique.
6. Immersive Interviews
As well as training, potential employees can also use AR/VR technology to get a feel for the corporation before they join as a team member. Mirroring the abilities of training technology, Augmented Reality can provide a new layer to the interview process.
Employers can use immersive technologies to enhance the interview experience, by placing the candidate in a real-time computer-generated environment that mimics a situation they could find themselves in during their future role. This allows business leaders to put interviewees to the test before choosing to hire the right person for the job.