When the pandemic hit, everyone was fretting for a solution – a solution to replace their gym classes with a solution to just talk to someone else without endangering anyone’s health. For example, for office meetings companies started using Zoom. By April 2020 Zoom had 300 million active users.
One might think that video conferencing and 2D collaboration solutions could be the answer but the lack of in-person feel leaves the participants exhausted and less engaged with the content. Research has shown that nearly half of the surveyed professional workers report a high degree of exhaustion due to the perpetual use of video conferencing.
An office in VR where all the employees have a photorealistic avatar creates a sense of true presence among the participants. Harvard Business Review in its research discovered that an engaged employee is 55% more productive than one who is not. There are many benefits of virtual reality in business. Thanks to the immersive nature of VR, according to a PWC study, the participants can learn more quickly, retain more knowledge and gain a deeper comprehension of the discussion.
If you are curious about conducting a meeting in virtual reality, you have come to the right place as we will examine the topic and answer all your burning questions.
What is a virtual meeting?
Virtual reality gives its user a 3-dimensional space where you can meet with people as if you would in real life. VR is hosted on specific hardware, this does make it costly when compared to video conferencing however the longevity of the solution makes it a worthwhile investment. In all its essence, a virtual meeting is just like any other normal meeting except for using a VR Headset such that the participants are located in various locations.
In VR you can use the infinite space to arrange content in your virtual office more effectively. It also offers customized features such as 3D flowcharting and pinboard. These tools allow all the participants to be as creative as possible without any limitation of 2D screens or physical whiteboards.
What are the types of meetings that can be organised in Virtual reality?
Virtual reality for business meetings equips you with infinite space, a wide tool kit of productivity tools and scenic backdrops from the Alps to the Beachside. These essential elements allow participants to customise their rooms according to the agenda of the meeting. Below are some of the commonly observed scenarios.
Workshops in VR
In a virtual reality workshop, participants can fully focus without any outside distractions. Everyone from their remote locations can come together and share ideas using collaboration tools such as whiteboards, 3D objects, pinboards and sticky notes.
Asynchronous collaboration in VR
The advantage of conducting the meeting in VR instead of on 2D platforms or in-person is the possibility of persistent content presence. In VR your subject matter will continue to stay in the room even if you leave the space. While some team members worked on the project in the morning others can access their output and build on it when they are asleep. This allows anyone to enter the room at any time and collaborate on the subject asynchronously.
Training in VR
PwC in their research highlighted that participants who undergo training in VR are better capable of applying their lessons than if they were training in a classroom or on video conferencing. The adaptability of VR also allows companies to build a digital replica of real-life situations and allow participants to learn through practice.
Brainstorming in VR
Fruitful brainstorming has become difficult for distributed teams. Using the infinite virtual space and productivity tools like pinboards, breakout rooms etc companies can translate their ideas into actionable plans in VR.
Client Presentation in VR
Given that often companies and clients are located across the world, VR helps companies achieve full flexibility in where and how they deliver engaging client presentations. The productivity tools help them in guiding the customers through complex content.
Team building in VR
The immersive nature of VR makes it an appropriate tool to generate the feeling of in-person presence for a distributed team. This increases the likelihood of people forming real relationships based on interactions beyond stand-ups and meeting calls. In VR you can organise many activities like a game of Pictionary or Scavenger hunt to build a connected workforce.
How to set up your VR meeting?
Setting up your virtual office requires some integral steps which will make sure you have the right solution to seamlessly collaborate in virtual reality. A VR meeting needs all the participants to have a VR headset, software geared towards productivity and a strong internet connection.
As with any technology-based solution, having the right hardware and software can make or break your company’s overall performance. It can be argued that software is more important when it comes to making a selection than the hardware since it’s the software that will conduct your meeting and bring your virtual world to life.
At Arthur, we have helped organisations in implementing virtual reality as a virtual collaboration platform to conduct meetings for a geographically distributed team. To read more about the use of VR for business meetings please check out our other blog posts.