As a consequence of the Covid pandemic, profound changes in working environments have been felt keenly by millions of people around the world. These changes are likely to become a catalyst to existing long-term working trends, with more employees working remotely and working from home becoming more prevalent, and teams working remotely spanning different countries from around the world.
Online business meetings are now a regular part of many of our working and professional lives. With the widespread availability of user-friendly, affordable, and reliable platforms like Zoom, video conferencing is a convenient way for people to connect to colleagues based across various workplaces, as well as those working remotely.
Online business meetings also contribute to companies functioning in a more environmentally friendly way by reducing unnecessary staff travel and therefore off-setting a company’s carbon footprint, both locally and globally.
As immersive hardware becomes more widely available and affordable, coupled with advances in software technology, VR has tangible and demonstrable business benefits, from helping to improve productivity, through to connecting with employees, clients, and customers in new and unique ways, whilst also ensuring that businesses are employing the right people, with the right skills.
Traditional online meetings lock participants into a 2D screen, creating a passive environment that has more in common with the TV than the boardroom and other meeting spaces.
Virtual reality has the power to bring meetings alive within a 3D space, giving participants the freedom to move around and interact naturally. By adding 3D interactivity, attendees can act and react as they would if they were holding a traditional meeting in a physical space. VR allows participants to move around and look where they want to, as well as picking up on non-verbal signals and gestures.
In a study on VR training undertaken by PWC in 2020, employees were 3.75 times more emotionally connected to content than in the classroom.
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Virtual reality and 3D modeling are a perfect match. Digital versions of colleagues can be brought to life and also, digital content such as collaborative documents and models can be introduced into the VR meeting.
Meetings on VR collaboration platforms can become more visually appealing and action-focused. 3D models can be introduced and scrutinized by colleagues who are brought together in a common virtual space for simultaneous working, no matter where they are in the world.
Real-time changes in the VR meeting can be made in an instant. This can significantly improve and speed up prototyping, bringing designs to digital life, and allowing colleagues and various departments to collectively scrutinize every aspect in meticulous detail.
The sky’s the limit for a virtual reality meeting space. Whether you are wanting to recreate a traditional boardroom, or spark attendees’ creative potential through meeting in a more unusual place, VR platforms give you the chance to create meeting spaces that reflect and enhance the tone and agenda of any meeting.
VR has the ability to take a participant fully out of their physical space. Virtual Reality helps to minimize every day interruptions and increase the effectiveness of the meeting, thereby increasing the focus of the attendee. By using a headset and headphones to enter a virtual meeting space, attendees can fully concentrate on the matter at hand and they will not be distracted by incoming emails, doorbells ringing, or other people around them in the physical space.
A report into VR training by PWC in 2020 found that learners in VR are four times more focused than with e-learning.
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The Covid era has accelerated the uptake of teams working remotely out of necessity, rather than design. This in turn has led companies to seek new ways to improve operations during these challenging times, offering a blueprint for future working practices.
Immersive technology is developing year on year and virtual reality is becoming a viable alternative to online meetings. VR hardware like Oculus Quest 2, which was launched in October 2020, is more affordable and accessible.
Coupled with the rollout of 5G, VR will become a more reliable communications tool, significantly improving the quality of shared experiences, as it allows high resolution and realistic digital content to be easily accessed.
Virtual reality-based solutions have the potential to keep colleagues, business stakeholders, and clients connected in new and exciting ways holding meetings in VR and staying ahead of the game by offering unique and visually engaging ways to meet and work together – both now and in the years to come.
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