The terms “virtual” and “reality” seem to be on the verge of melding into one––while VR headsets like Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear have already made a splash in the digital marketing software world, through experiences like VR gaming and sports, virtual reality is extending its reach beyond the consumer. The same technology is starting to impact the daily lives of business professionals, working to solve problems that will likely change the way businesses operate.
Travel Less, Save More
Business trips are expensive. Period. According to the Global Business Travel Association, a record-breaking $1.2 trillion was spent on business travel in 2015, and that is predicted to reach $1.6 trillion by 2020.
While this is lucrative for the travel industry, the majority of other businesses are shelling out some serious dough to ship employees across the world. But, when you toss VR into the equation, traveling for business takes a whole new shape.
Imagine that instead of talking to a floating head on a screen, you could actually occupy a three-dimensional space and see your colleagues as avatars in the room. This is not only incredibly cool, but can make business meetings feel more personal, interactive and engaging.
And aside from making you feel like you are a part of the Jedi council, VR meetings can greatly reduce travel expenses. As already displayed in education software and other platforms through an interactive browser, VR can transport you to different parts of the world that were previously unaccessible. This technology could lead to big-time savings for companies in the near future, both financially and in one of the most precious resources: time.
Virtual Builds, Inspections
Car companies like BMW have already started to invest more time and effort into VR technology, and it will likely continue in the CAD and building design and building information modeling (BIM) arena. As exploration into the architectural advantages, such as contextual immersion, spatial navigation and tactile interaction (fancy words for building something while virtually being in the space itself), the benefits of VR are pretty clear.
When you work in an industry that requires inspections, like building design or supply chain and logistics, you understand the amount of time you lose in the process. Projects managers need to block off a substantial amount of time to meet with inspectors, who also need to juggle a busy schedule and factor in drive time.
If inspections and building walk-throughs can be done through VR tech, it will greatly reduce time lost and could ultimately lead to financial benefits for all parties involved.
VR in HR
Yes, VR even lends the human resources software department a helping hand, especially on the quest to hire ideal candidates. More people are relocating for work than ever, and coordinating flights and accommodation takes time and money.
VR not only makes it possible to interview remote candidates, but gives the interviewer a much clearer picture of a candidate’s personality, attitude and even level of professionalism. It offers what phone and web conferencing software interviews cannot: an actual representation of how a candidate interacts and behaves in a work environment. This can help determine, aside from qualifications, if a particular candidate will be a good fit for a company’s culture and workflow.
As the VR landscape continues to evolve, it should be interesting to see how rapidly businesses begin to adopt the technology. Business is certainly becoming more virtual, and practices will likely begin changing as a result.
How else will VR affect businesses? Comment with another way you see VR changing the business world.
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