Virtual reality, a tool that facilitates teleworking :

Astrid Baron - 23/12/2020

Virtual reality, a tool that facilitates teleworking :

COVID-19 , virtual reality and telework :

We have no real visibility on the way out of the health crisis we are going through. The coronavirus epidemic is forcing us to review our working methods and tools. As the article of the newspaper of the net underlines it “Covid-19 generated a real shaking within the companies. This leads us to reflect on a new vision of the world of work, its interactions, its stakes and its limits“. This upheaval in the work habits, forced the companies to react immediately and to deploy a new organization of work.

Isn’t teleworking becoming the norm?. In a BFMTV interview, Matthieu Soullé (DGA BNP US) explains the situation in the USA. “Some companies wish to generalize teleworking, observing that this way of working does not especially impact the productivity of employees”. He goes further, explaining that “American high-tech companies are the first to consider this cultural revolution. Twitter, Coinbase… but also Facebook which announced that half of the employees could work from home, permanently, within 5 to 10 years“. Facebook is the forerunner in the field that wants to become, according to Le Monde article, “the most advanced company on telework.” So how do these companies intend to do this?. Virtual reality could be a tool that would facilitate telework?

What are the new tools in teleworking? :

The Digital Factory explains that “containment and social distancing measures are exploding the demand for remote collaboration tools.” A race for collaborative tools has begun, with certain players such as ZOOM benefiting in the process. Its action went from 75 USD to 570 USD over the first 9 months of the year. But what do we really need to work well?. The Journal du net insists on the importance of collaborative tools. “In order for employees to work in the best conditions, the framework is essential. An adequate work space, if possible separate from the family space, is recommended. The setting up of telephone or videoconference meetings with specific and animated themes. Virtual coffee breaks… play a decisive role in the bond between the collaborators”. 

Going back to Facebook, where 95% of its staff is currently teleworking, the concept goes even further. Facebook wants to make teleworking more immersive thanks to virtual reality” ( 01net article of September 18th). The article from the digital factory explains more clearly the strategy of the social network that wants to “authorize” new productivity and collaborative work applications on the official Oculus Quest store. They will be available later this year”.  

Spatial and Immersed on Facebook :

Among these tools, 2 are already known in part: Spatial and Immersed. Spatial allows to transform any environment into an immersive workspace, where several users can collaborate even when they are remotely located. The Immersed application, on the other hand, “allows you to connect to a computer, and then display up to five virtual screens, which can be shared with other users”. Employees can of course teleport to the same space to exchange information. These tools therefore respond to the problem of working at a distance, while plunging the employee into an immersive world that would take him out of his personal environment. Virtual reality could well become more present in our lives than we imagined.

Virtual reality and teleworking: a tool that facilitates :

Can VR at work be a solution to the current context? In view of what we have previously mentioned, Virtual Reality is thus moving from a niche technology, designed for a few gamers, to a pragmatic solution to facilitate teleworking. All the giants of the Web, Facebook in the lead, are exploring the uses of RV right now. It is becoming a real work tool. The site réalité-virtuelle.com picked up a tweet from John Carmack, Oculus CTO, who states that “Facebook is serious about making Oculus Browser a viable work platform”. As a reminder, Oculus Browser is the virtual reality web browser developed by Facebook for its RV helmets. As the article continues to point out, “In the era of COVID-19 and widespread teleworking, such a proposal is relevant”.

Can you imagine working in a spacious office that is different from your personal and family environment? John Carmack would take the idea one step further “by possibly suggesting the avatars of his colleagues around him”. A real universe in which we can evolve, develop our creativity and productivity. The notion of well-being at work and social experience is in full swing in tomorrow’s virtual world. Facebook, but also Apple with LIDAR are putting forward these new technologies with a futuristic approach to what tomorrow’s professional life awaits us. We can therefore affirm that virtual reality has found a new use through teleworking.

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