Today I read an article on Slate.com called “The maddening, surreal experience of work meetings in VR”, The main conclusion of the article seems to be that meeting in VR is not that great and many people struggle with it. Everything mentioned in this article is very similar to my own experiences in VR when it comes to working with corporate clients. The technology is new and people are slow to adapt it.
The true power of VR can only be seen when the people in VR are comfortable with the technology and understand it. It’s great for socializing, and if you’re someone who is comfortable in VR, then working and meeting in VR makes sense for you. But Karen from accounting isn’t going to have the same experience. Most people, new to VR, are going to struggle with the learning curve of using new platforms, and a completely new device. And if it’s “only for work” using it outside of the time you need to, is never going to happen. They just don’t have interest in it.
I meet with other artist all the time in VRChat. Sometimes I meet people to talk about projects, but most of the time I meet people to hang out. I have positive experiences working in VR on projects. Incorporating social VR makes sense for me. I develop content in VR full time. But it may come as a nuisance to a lot of people. Meeting in Teams or Skype will be faster than meeting in VR. Even I, someone who incorporates social VR in my day to day work, use Discord as my main “meeting software”.
VR isn’t all Bad for Work
You’re never going to want to force your employees to work and meet in VR. I believe a time will come where it will make more sense. If they have the option, there are still great uses for VR. Social VR is great for socializing. It’s in the name. Create a space for employees to join and meet for hanging out. With one of my clients, we recreated their old office space and it was a ton of fun watching their team join and see their old environment. VR can be a fun add on to your work environment. For those who want to join, it can be a real positive experience. Some of the people who are more involved in VR outside of work may get better use out of it. While the VR revolution is not here yet, there are still benefits to incorporating VR into a professional setting.