In the forecast report Realizing 2030: Future of Work by Institute for the Future and Dell Technologies, extended reality (XR), which includes augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality, plays a critical role in how we will collaborate by 2030. It combines real and virtual environments to allow users to turn abstract information into rich, interactive experiences. In fact, 86% of recently surveyed business leaders plan to use emerging technologies to improve workforce productivity1.
Over the next decade employees will collaborate in entirely different, immersive ways as technologies, such as XR, empower them more than ever before. Real-time collaboration practices already embedded in gaming, coding and distributed communities will be used to enable more connected ways of working. Entire teams will be able to look at, touch and interact with work together.
Building New Cars Together, Virtually
A few companies around the world are already embracing the technologies available to day to foster productivity, collaboration and team morale. For instance, Volke Entwicklungsring SE, a company for technical automotive engineering. It creates vehicle concepts ranging from design to body construction of commercial and showcars. In order to shorten the time from the first idea of a new vehicle to series production, Volke Entwicklungsring SE developed the software solution “Cloudmodelling”. It’s a VR software that enables modelling, design as well as constructions planning and simulation in virtual spaces and allows up to 10 participants to collaborate from anywhere in the world. “Building a model directly in the virtual space, allows you to immerse yourself in the object and achieve certain viewing angles that were not possible before“, says Martin Werthers, Clay Modeller, Interior Design, Volkswagen AG.
Closing The Digital Skill Gap
While overall non-employment rates are low, the skill gap is growing. Hence, one of the keys to success for the future will be the ability to reskill experiences workers and empower a new generation of workers. Some organizations will have up to five generations of workforce within their organization – all with a different level of tech savviness and learning preferences.
Interplay Learning is a leader in Virtual Reality (VR) and 3D simulation-based training software for the Skilled and Industrial trades. Interplay is working with blue collar workers to mimic hands-on training at scale — enabling workers to build skills and experience. With a catalog of courses currently available in the HVAC and Electrical industries, Interplay Learning is making an immediate and profound impact on closing the skills gap that is plaguing the skilled trades in this country and beyond. Doug Donovan, CEO of Interplay Learning explains: “With “VR in a Box”, we’re making it as simple and easy to get virtual reality accessible to as many workers as possible. Essentially, it’s a training solution set capable of delivering hundreds of thousands of jobs.”
In another industry, Republic Airways is taking steps today to court talent from across the nation to boost their future workforce. It is transforming traditional commercial pilot training into a curriculum that’s more affordable and tech forward, provides a direct classroom-to-cockpit opportunity for students and a mobile flight simulation experience, using VR, to recruit new talent. It’s also improved workforce satisfaction and retention with mobile technology and modern, informative apps. Their goal is to seek the best talent and upskill staff quickly, in the human-machine era. “While LIFT Academy helps us address the pilot shortage of tomorrow, apps like Crew Life are improving workforce satisfaction and retention today” says Jim Widmann, Director, IT Infrastructure and Operations, Republic Airways.
From building the next generation of cars to retraining industrial workers to closing the pilot shortage, the application of virtual reality in the workplace cannot only provide real-time theoretical and practical learning experiences but also boost collaboration and morale.
Find out more about other trends for the workplace of 2030 here.
1. Source: 4,600 business leaders from companies with 250+ employees, across 40+ countries and 12 industries; Vanson Bourne and Dell Technologies, 2018