Brainstorming is a widely known way of generating and sharing ideas in order to solve a technical or commercial problem. It’s a space where everyone is encouraged to speak their mind. All the participants are urged to put forth novel and innovative ideas, however odd they may seem at first. There are many benefits of brainstorming as it provides diverse perspectives, generates multiple ideas in a short amount of time and creates a sort of buy-in among the participants. To enable this free flow of ideas it is important to have the right tools to serve every person’s instinct. Even the slightest hiccup in the process of translating ideas from the mind to the world can hinder the whole process and discourage someone from being bold in their pursuits.
As larger groups of people started working from home it became practically impossible to conduct a brainstorming session the old fashioned way – where everyone gathered in a room lined up with whiteboards and equipped with decks of sticky notes and colorful markers. To bring out the same or better level of output, it’s important to have an apt space and set of tools which would allow the participants feel present and engaged in the context of the meeting. At first a 2D meeting platform can seem like a solution but with the growing phenomenon of Zoom fatigue, people feel exhausted to communicate on video calls. Research has shown that nearly half of the surveyed professional workers report a high degree of exhaustion due to perpetual use of video conferencing.
Harvard Business Review in its research discovered that an engaged employee is 55% more productive than one who is not and now, thanks to virtual reality and its productivity tools, VR office is the refined solution for remote, engaging and creative brainstorming session. To fruitfully brainstorm in VR, below are some of the tools that will help the participant visualize their ideas.
Using text labels and 3D objects the participants can realize their ideas in a mind mapping format. Clients have managed to create a detailed and clear flow of ideas by utilising multiple assets such as dividers, arrows or shapes. All the facets of a project can be linked together and you can resize the elements to reflect the importance of a certain aspect. 3D mind mapping can create a complete overview and provide significant insights into the decision making process.
Using audio zones for breakout rooms the whole group can be divided to do focus work. The “no-distraction” setup where each group will have their own private space allows participants to converge on the problem at hand and collaborate with the team towards a complete solution.
Pinboards can be used to create an idea board. We have seen our clients use pinboards to structure their thoughts for generating ideas and brainstorming. The scalability of the pinboard allows users to pin a lot of objects on a large, single pinboard or across multiple pinboards. The pinboard can be a one-stop site for all things about the topic. You can completely capture your vision without limiting yourself to the physical availability of resources.
Using these tools, it is both efficient and effective to brainstorm in VR. However, the advantage of conducting the meeting in VR instead of on 2D platforms or in-person is the possibility of a persistent content presence. Unlike physical rooms, in a virtual office, you don’t need to rub off the whiteboards. Your brainstorming rooms will remain untouched until you decide to enter the space again. The continued presence of the rooms allows the members to revisit the material whenever they want. Virtual rooms give you the dual benefit of in-person interaction and the option of on-demand availability of the content.
Without the limitations of stationery supplies or a flat screen, the opportunity to formulate novel ideas increases multi-fold. To read more about the versatile application of virtual reality, please check out our other blog posts.