The latest tech buzzword is Virtual Reality (VR), and it’s set to change everything. To really understand the scale of VR in our future, think of it as an interface rather than a gadget, offering new ways of seeing, experiencing and interacting with the world. VR has the potential to revolutionise media, economy, how we live our lives, and of course – the workplace.
VR can allow candidates to step in to a simulated work environment, follow workers through their daily routine and experience various roles, as such Virtual Reality can be an effective talent acquisition tool.
Taking candidates on a tour around the office and truly experiencing the role and workplace can let perspectives see if the job is truly for them. Vice versa it shows the applicant that your company is making a real investment in them and the role.
This also may deter certain candidates from applying who, after their VR experience,may decide it’s not for them. This additional filter prevents companies from hiring unsuitable candidates with false expectations, and increases career commitment from new employees who have experienced the role and office beforehand.
Virtual reality could transform aspects of interviews like personality and psychometric testing into a fully immersive experience. For example, a sales assistant candidate could be put in an immersive scenario to demonstrate how they would react and deal with a difficult customer on the spot. For behaviour testing, a candidate can be put in a situation to see how they will interact in a social environment. This would allow better and more accurate assessments of how a candidate would conduct themselves in particular situations and whether they are suitable for the role.
Still in its infancy, Breakroom is an exciting program which could revolutionise the way we use computers. Currently we work on a screen switching between multiple tabs and browsers. Now imagine easing between tabs with just the turn of your head. The application transforms the VR into a multi-monitor system removing the limitations that comes with a singular monitor screen. It also allows unlimited numbers of floating 2D monitors with a soothing background of your choice – so you could be working in a Japanese garden, a beach, or up in space!
Typically training programs can involve talks, PowerPoint presentations, computer based training, and videos. The problem with these types of techniques is engaging with employees.
A more immersive, interactive and hands-on training will make workers more receptive to new information. With VR, employees can experience different scenarios that demonstrate various types of situations with a real-life element. Living and feeling physically involved in an experience will make it easier to process and remember information.
VR doesn’t just give you the opportunity of being in other places, it also allows you to see in someone else’s eyes, which is why VR is also known as the “empathy machine”
Walking a mile in someone else’s shoes tells a thousand words and beyond. Allowing us to understand the experience and journeys of others can change our bias, our minds, and connect humans in a deep way.
Charities have used VR’s empathy machine to help people understand the suffering felt by refugees, a feeling that might not come across as strong in film or words.
The NFL is using VR for diversity training. An immersive experience that allows a person to experience prejudice or harassment of a victim is far more effective than someone outlining the rules and regulations – it allows people to feel and discover this for themselves.
Empathy is a strong and powerful force that has a great influence on how we feel, think, and act. Whether employees or customers, humans are the most important element in every great company, and if the empathy machine can teach us all to be more compassionate, and ultimately more human, then VR can be a real force for good in the workplace.