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VR and AR in HR? How Tech Can Transform the Workplace

By Universum on 17/03/2017

Bold, decisive moves when it comes to adopting technology — that’s what it takes to be successful in business today. Identify the next up-and-coming technology and make the changes necessary to take full advantage. Doing so will increase your flexibility, enhance your employer branding, and maximize your profits. Virtual reality and augmented reality are two technologies that can greatly enhance businesses. Don’t wait; begin the adoption process now.

Not so fast.

Technology is only as effective as the people using it, and how well people use technology is shaped by whether they want to use it or not. Your employees will only want to adopt something new if it helps them get something they want or if it makes their jobs easier.
Many employers embrace technology based on the perception of what it might do as opposed to the reality of what it will do for their business and what it would mean to their employees. When evaluating how to adopt VR and AR processes, consider what it will mean to your employees.
Universum recently did a study that evaluated how new technologies are likely to influence business. Among the topics touched on were VR and AR. Here is a summary of some of the realities brought to light by Universum’s work.

AR vs. VR: The Difference

There are two sorts of reality technologies that might disrupt your business. Virtual reality is a completely immersive environment. This means that when you are locked into VR tech, you can’t see what’s going on around you. While the potential uses of VR in the workplace have not been fully explored, some possibilities include improved teleconferencing, product testing, and educational courses.
Augmented reality provides digital details about the real world around you. So if you were walking down the street and saw a restaurant while wearing an AR device, you could easily access the location’s menu, hours, price range and reviews. In the workplace, such a device could help workers stay up-to-date on important equipment upgrades, provide background on people they are meeting on sales calls, and share real-time insights on how to improve workflows.

Generational Realities

While only 3 percent of people use VR, around a third think that it will transform their work environments in the coming decade. It was the one technology identified by Generations Y and Z as most likely to have the greatest effect on business.
However, what these studies did not reveal is how this technology should be applied. One possibility is that VR and AR could lead to greater work flexibility, with more people working from home. The assumption is that most workers want that. But Universum found that those in Generation Z actually prefer face-to-face interactions and working from an office. So depending on your employee composition, embracing VR or AR to minimize working in the office could actually hurt your employer brand.
Regardless of whether you adopt virtual reality or augmented reality, the key to success for your business is to stay grounded in your organization’s reality. When adopting tech, reach out to your employees and even the candidates you are looking to hire to hear their thoughts. Use their insights to guide you about where VR and AR should be applied and where it shouldn’t be. The result will be improved workflow and an employer brand that suggests you embrace technology without forcing it onto your employees.