Posted on September 2023 By Anya Constantinescu
In today's world filled with fast technological advancement, it can feel as though we are surrounded by torrents of negative mass media concerning technology and its misuse. But one way in which technology is deconstructing this negative backchat is virtual reality (VR).
Bringing a new vision to our workplaces virtual reality (commonly associated with online gaming communities) is revolutionising teaching and the way employees can access training days.
One company that has adapted its sector to assist learning through the use of VR is Jenson8. Primarily, Jenson8 specialises in VR-based training platforms and provides team-building exercises in computer-simulated worlds, revolutionising the VR space like never before. Backed by science, Jenson8 combines VR and psychometric testing to help companies deliver scalable change.
Their most notorious team-building exercise is known as Apollo and takes its players on an adventure through Mars to complete an escape game. Each participant gets up to four attempts to complete the challenge with the possibility of playing from different role perspectives: a leadership role, a standard robot, or an observer. However, the mission is only successful if all the participants manage to escape Mars and complete the challenge. Andrea Murad from the BBC comments ‘This isn’t a video game. Rather it is a training session where you and your co-workers are all wearing VR headsets’.
This VR team-building exercise gives colleagues a chance to understand one another better, outside of their regular surroundings and in a totally unique environment. After Apollo has been completed the group which participated will be asked to discuss how the dynamic of the group changed once within the VR world.
Since 2020 and the increase in remote working, the way we learn has also undergone development. Mike Wynn from the Bank of America mentions that ‘The attention spans are not the same as they were a decade ago and even longer. Now, we want information quickly, and we want to be able to see things versus just reading it.’ VR is One of the ways to help solve this educational challenge. According to a study made by PricewaterhouseCoopers, staff learning through VR campaigns absorb knowledge four times faster than if they were in an average classroom. The same report also discovered that participants are 1.5 times more focused whilst in these computer-generated realities.
While offering many promising abilities in various industries, VR isn’t without its negative implications, especially when integrated with unpredictable spaces such as the workplace. Extended VR use may lead to physical discomfort and motion sickness, consequently impacting employee well-being. Excessive reliance on VR for training tasks could result in decreased face-to-face communication skills, hindering essential interpersonal relationships. Although this is less likely to occur as VR training sessions are rapid and intermittent. The cost of VR implementation, including equipment and training, can be prohibitive for many businesses and exclusive in its use.
While VR has its many advantages, both educational and technological, its use must be carefully balanced in the workplace to avoid potential consequences that could hinder the innovative education of VR training tools.
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