Using VR in the Workplace - Top 10 applications

As virtual reality (VR) technology continually advances, so does the breadth of applications the technology affords, an increasing number of which stand to benefit the workplace and the way businesses operate today and into the future. 

Below we share some of the areas we have personally been involved with at Lumanorth, having supported organisations of varying sizes to embrace VR as a solution to address a very specific problem or need.

1) Recruitment and retention

Role-play scenarios provide a good basis for understanding how a prospective employee might act and respond in a situation. This is much more than a psychology test; using VR we can gain insights into behavioural responses that can very specifically test suitability for a role, based on real-world examples. The benefit is two-fold too, providing the candidate with a life-like example of the sort of work they may be involved in if successful. VR can also be used to engage and motivate employees by providing experiences that are exclusive and immersive and are designed to be rewarding, aiding with retention.

2) Onboarding

There’s nothing quite like VR to visually present induction content to new employees, helping to communicate company culture and principles in a way that’s standardised, controlled and designed to deliver the appropriate messaging. Content is immersive, engaging and can really help to create an understanding of expectations and norms at the outset, helping to get the new employee off to a good start.

3) Employee training and development

One of VR’s key advantages is the ability to provide life-like simulations, as mentioned a few times in this article. Better still, VR can create simulations that are often not possible, perhaps due to the nature of the requirement (e.g. it may be too dangerous, not logistically possible or require a series of complex tasks that are hard to replicate). With VR, employees can learn new skills and gain experience with relative ease. For ongoing development they can utilise training and coaching programs.

4) Project Collaboration

VR simulations can be ‘multi-player,’ allowing others to enter the same realm and take part in coordinated programmes. This format is perfect for wide-ranging uses, such as team-building exercises, product co-creation, market research and cross-team communication, enabling employees to meet and work on projects together regardless of their physical location.

5) Supporting Mental Health And Wellness

We tend not to hear about VR being used for this purpose too much, but it is becoming increasingly popular. There are businesses using VR to help support people suffering from anxiety, depression and other mental health issues to good effect. Guided VR meditation is often the form this takes, and in some cases can be provided as part of an employee benefits stack.

6) E-Commerce Experience

Retailers are always looking for new and improved ways to communicate their brand and product or service. With VR, shoppers can get a much better idea of what the product is like before purchasing it, which enhances customer service and helps to ensure they make the right purchase choice, while reducing the likelihood of returns.

7) Customer engagement & experience

As well as product demos, being able to enter a whole ‘brand’ world brings the customer experience to another dimension. With VR the possibilities are endless, allowing the business to effectively ‘transport’ the customer or prospect into their immersive environment. This may not be wholly about purchasing, but may be more about brand experience with the aim of promoting brand affinity. VR games and Meta worlds are some examples.

8) Digitalisation of sales

We mentioned the use of VR for supporting the sales process by improving engagement and providing immersive worlds, VR can also play a role in shortening the sales cycle. Some businesses operate overly complex quotation/sales/supply processes, often as the nature of their products require this. By ‘walking’ a customer through a VR sales process, decisions can be made on more accurate information — the product being more clearly communicated to the customer. This can be very beneficial for highly customised and technical products which may require demonstrations and explanations at many stages to help the customer determine their product design/specification.

9) Marketing

Just as VR can provide immersive worlds for the employee and the customer, VR can also provide a multi-dimensional tool for marketers. With VR, marketing messaging, product information, demonstrations, events and exhibitions can all be sequenced via a VR programme to provide a seamless brand experience — and through the desired lens designed to produce an intended outcome.

10) Gamification

VR just for fun! in a bid to make workplaces engaging and attractive environments for people to work in some businesses provide break-out areas with VR games, providing employees with a welcome break and an escape for a short time from the pressures of their daily ‘to-do’ list.