Virtual Reality (VR) has been around for a long time, for well over 20 years. It never really took off unfortunately but not from lack of trying. Like so many amazing ideas it was predominately due to the technology not being ready for the idea itself. Technology as we all know has improved vastly since the 90's and it looks like affordable VR may soon be with us at last.
What does that mean for work if anything. Is their a case for VR at work? Can it enhance our abilities or just add another level of complexity and distraction to an already complex easily distracted work force? I can’t honestly answer these questions but what I am going to try is to envision such a device in a Contact Centre and see what ideas come up.
The article will be broken up into multiple parts, there is just so many ideas and aspects to talk about. As always I’ll touch on various ideas only briefly in this format.
Today’s article: **Environments**Future articles:Interaction with office software in VRCustomers engagement in VRGamification in VRThe negative sides of VR at work
like any other immersion technology virtual reality has the potential to increase employee and customer engagement. In a world of ever decreasing levels of engagement this is nothing to laugh about. Personally I believe this technology has huge potential to change the way we work with technology and people. Augmentation will likely be the first step in achieving this but full VR is the real revolution just waiting to happen.
First thing, non VR wearers seeing rows upon rows of agents wearing such devices would probably look utterly disturbing at least initially. From the wearers point of view it will be a different story entirely. The contact center space from an agents perspective could be anything imaginable, anything at all. We can only imagine what agents/ companies will come up with. This is important to take note of as we know that images, symbols, colours and sounds have various effects on our ability to concentrate. In the example image below the green and yellow colours have been used to de-stress and draw attention respectively in rooms and lighting for years. Remember this is just a 2D image in a VR Contact Centre it will be the actual forest itself explorable in 3D complete with swaying trees and sounds if needed. Better still each of these environs can be measured for effectiveness using standard reports. If the forest doesn't work for agent group A, just change it.
Companies could create there own patented environments that only their staff have the privilege of working in. Google could spend millons on environs specifically catered to there workers whilst other companies will have to stick to off the shelf (it maybe an attractive proposition in the competitive world of quality staff). It certainly is in the first person gaming world.
Imagine navigating your office through a VR space being part of doing work itself. Specific locations in the environ could represent an aspect of your job from customer service to upgrading a customers internet connection. Or areas could represent departments. How agents get to places or work done could constantly change offering continuous opportunities and instant feedback. It’s gamification at it’s best (more on that next time).
Agent forest view
Mobility has been impacting the “where” we work notion for some time now, VR will add to that. Why would you travel to an office when the office can come to you virtually. With this technology the experience is the same regardless of location. The cost savings of using a virtual office space rather than real space are huge. This office however regularly renovates, and never runs out of meeting rooms. The concept of working from home will take on a new meaning, one which is far more normal than just acceptable.
Sony HMZ-T3W Personal 3D viewer
Next I’ll be taking the an example environment and start coming up with how an agent will use this space. How can a CRM package be represented within it. How will customers and fellow workmates present themselves and communicate with each other.
If you’d like to discuss VR in much further detail or look at ways VR could be implemented please feel free to drop me a message and I’ll get back to you.