Can Virtual Reality change the world of business training?

Jean Dennison
July 31, 2017
69 Views

Is VR the way forward for business training? Obviously, it’s not a perfect fit for every business, nor is it feasible for most businesses to incorporate VR training into their framework within the next decade or so. However, there will be a surprising number of businesses over the next few years, we think, that are going to start implementing VR training. Hiring a business trainer can get very expensive. Can Virtual Reality fill this void and improve tranining?

VR Is More Accessible and Affordable Than Ever before

VR is starting to show up in an incredible number of industries now. We have seen it make a big impact on gaming over the last few years, and it is being used in medical fields all over the world to help in treatment and therapy. It’s used in scientific study to provide exploratory tools that were previously impossible, and it is taking training and research to new heights we wouldn’t have thought possible a decade ago.

VR is finally mass market, and it looks like it is here to stay. It’s becoming more and more affordable, and the competition is heating up too. Tons of tech companies are getting in on the VR game and trying their hand at incorporating VR into what they are already very good at. For many companies, it is not a matter of if they will start using VR but when.

Because VR has achieved mainstream success now, people are more ready than ever to embrace it. It’s not some fantastical technology that barely functions. Instead, it is real and it is making it’s way into every facet of our world, slowly but surely.

VR Is the Safer Way to Go

Imagine any job where the employees are expected to deal with high stress or dangerous situations regularly. Police, firefighters, EMTs, surgeons and more deal with life-threatening problems on a daily basis. For generations, the best way to deal with training people in high-risk jobs has been to put them out in the field and put them to work. This trial by fire is hit or miss, with lots of people dropping out of those industries quickly after the first few weeks.

We have looked at that process and told ourselves that it is simply a case of the strong surviving and the best people being put through. However, what we may be missing is the fact that many of the people who failed to perform well when thrust into high-risk situations may have just been under-trained. What kind of difference would it have made in their first dangerous work experience if they had been able to train in virtual reality simulation for a very similar situation?

It’s possible that it would have made all the difference in the world, and they would have known what to do, they would not have frozen up and would have responded in an appropriate manner. They may have gone onto become very successful at their job and saved a lot of lives with their talents. Now, we can know for sure if that is the case, as businesses are implementing VR simulations into their workplaces.

This is happening slowly right now, because the technology is still new and the kinks still need to be worked out, but imagining the potential is an amazing thing. Many of the industries we have already mentioned have countless departments and companies within them that have already requested VR reprograms be built to train their new and current employees.

Once implemented, it is possible that their workforce will be more competent and that the hiring and orientation process will not be as problematic. They should be able to train their employees more efficiently and keep them out of high-risk situations until they are ready. There wouldn’t need to be a reason to throw people into the deep end. Instead, they can gradually transition until they are ready to handle these kinds of situations successfully.

Working out the Problems

VR is not perfected yet. There are still problems with motion sickness and discomfort from using the VR tech for long periods of times. With new recruits, training may be all they do for the first few weeks on the job, and there needs to be more than just VR training for them. It’s likely that some companies are going to fall back on VR as the sole training tool for many of their employees, and that can lead to a poorly trained workforce and people who lack real-world experience.

These are all problems that will have to be dealt with eventually. How successful companies are in fixing the problems and making VR really work for them will depend on personal business practices. It will vary from one company to another, and the transition from real-world training into at least partial VR training isn’t always going to be a smooth one.

Still, it is go going to happen, and we will only see more and more companies accept VR moving forward as way to train their employees. It doesn’t even have to be high-risk jobs that benefit from VR training. This type of technology is great for keeping valuable employees in their positions and relegating the training to the simulations. It is also useful for solidifying teaching and making abstract concepts seem more real to employees.

The level of immersion possible through VR presents a fantastic opportunity for business, and they simply have to recognize that opportunity and then implement it successfully. As the tech improves and advances are made in VR tech and the way it is implemented, we will see more businesses work it successfully into their training programs. They will have to learn from one another and make sure they aren’t making the same mistakes as their competitors, but it can definitely work.

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