How virtual office in VR can aid inclusion and emission reduction
The work environment is changing, and it is doing so rapidly. While the COVID-19pandemic accelerated the change, the move away from offices and towards a remote or hybrid work strategy was already under way, and there are many factors driving it.
As part of that move to remote teams and a distributed workforce, companies have needed to find an approach that aids collaboration and teamwork when members of the group may have never met and could even be on different continents. One of the fastest growing platforms for enabling that kind of interaction is through the creation of a virtual office, with each team member accessing the space via a VR solution.
While this VR approach offers useful tools for enabling remote collaboration, training and many number of use cases, the benefits of virtual office space reach much further.Through VR, companies can foster inclusive work environments and reduce overall emissions, in turn boosting ESG performance.
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Reducing a company’s carbon footprint
Today, corporate responsibility is more than a few buzzwords, brands can be permanently damaged by actions that go against sustainability and responsible operations, while those that embrace these concepts can be rewarded by consumers. In a very real sense, a project or brand’s success can be built on a platform of genuine,sustainable activities. A common question then, is how can a company reduce their carbon footprint without impacting productivity and performance.
While there are many choices to be made depending on industry, the kind of manufacturing or services provided and so on, for every business, one of the benefits of virtual office space is the ability to cut overall carbon footprint.
There are two ways that this happens. The first is through travel, or rather the lack of it. Whether it is traveling to attend a physical office, meeting clients,traveling to expos and other events around the world and more, the activities that a team undertake throughout the year generate a significant carbon footprint. But with a virtual office, all of that can be eliminated.
Unlike a zoom call or other more traditional ways of communicating over distance, the VR space allows for detailed interactions, including examining virtual versions of products, giving an engaging and more effective experience. That is why it can replace so many reasons for travelling, and with it, the carbon emissions.
The other is in product development and the go to market process. From visiting factories,shipping samples back and forth, often halfway across the world, and endless tests, a process of iteration can have a major carbon emission penalty for the business. However, with a virtual office, things are different, prototypes can be created digitally, viewed and assessed by your team all within the virtual world. No shipping, no travelling and no wasted material.
In the case of sustainability, every bit matters, and not only will a virtual office help with ESG performance, but will benefit from a more positive brand image where environmental responsibility is concerned.
By using a tool like Arthur, carbon emissions from travel to meetings alone can be reduced by as much as 1,500 times. This can be even greater if travel is transcontinental, as it can be for many organizations. But that is not the only way companies can benefit from VR implementation. Knowing what are the advantages of a virtual office include other aspects of corporate responsibility too, such as inclusion and diversity.
Every business must create an inclusive environment for their teams, not only because it creates improved productivity and more, but that consumers take this seriously,and will often seek to actively punish brands who eschew an inclusive workspace. Brand image can be permanently damaged by incidents where inclusivity is neglected, likewise a diverse environment has been shown to help brands connect with wider audiences.
One of the benefits of a virtual office space is that location is taken out of the equation, and team members can be drawn from communities around the world. Not only does this aid long-term performance, instead of recruiting the best people at a specific location, you can recruit the best people, wherever they are, but it allows for a genuinely diverse team who live and work in entirely different cultures.
The flexibility of a virtual office also helps to foster inclusive work environments, allowing many who are shut out of a traditional office-based position due to disability, life circumstances (mothers with young children for instance) or simply a lack of opportunity in their locality, to be able to contribute with the help of the virtual office.
One of the benefits of virtual office space is that it completely removes all physical and locational restrictions on attendance, and when creating an inclusive environment, nothing could be more useful.
So, what are the advantages of a virtual office? It costs a lot less than a traditional one, reducing costs significantly, but the ability to reduce carbon emissions and create an inclusive environment for a more diverse workforce, while opening possibilities for innovative new processes for almost all aspects of business operations are the key benefits that can transform both team performance and business outcomes.