It's no secret that there's a growing trend in technology-enabled remote work. In fact, according to Gallup survey data, 37% of US employees are already working remotely at least part time and that number is expected to grow over the next decade. But what does this mean for the way we go to work? Will virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) change how we collaborate with one another? And what will working from home look like?
Working from home
Working from home is already possible with current technology. The benefits are obvious: you can avoid traffic, dress however you want and eat whatever foods suit your fancy. You won't have to walk into an office building every morning or stay late at the office because of meetings. However, there are drawbacks as well - you might not have the same level of access to colleagues and resources as someone who works in an office does.
The key to making working from home work for you depends on how well you set up your environment so that it feels like a real workplace and not just a place where you do things alone all day long (because let's face it: most people don't like being alone). This includes having everything set up so that when clients call or email with questions they can reach out directly; having good Internet connectivity so everyone can communicate effectively over video calls; having nice furniture so coworkers feel comfortable visiting each other's homes when necessary.
What will the new office look like?
VR and AR will change the way we collaborate with colleagues, clients and partners. Virtual meetings are already possible through technology such as Zoom and Google Hangouts. And now that VR headsets have dropped in price, there's no reason why your team couldn't have one at their disposal too. Imagine being able to attend an 'in-person' meeting from anywhere - you could even be on vacation or at home in your pajamas! What's more, travel is going virtual too: instead of buying plane tickets or booking hotels when you need to go somewhere new for business purposes (or pleasure!), why not just teleport yourself there?
Virtual meetings are more efficient than face-to-face meetings. You can use VR to share your work, which means you don't have to carry around a laptop or projector with you. And since AR overlays virtual objects onto the real world, it's easy for others in the meeting room to see what you're working on at any time--even if they're not physically there with you!
Travel is going virtual
As virtual reality and augmented reality technologies become more popular, they will change how we travel.
We'll be able to visit faraway places without leaving the office. We can experience different cultures, attend conferences and events, or even meet with people from all over the world--all without leaving our desks.
We'll be able to work from anywhere.
The new office will be virtual.
Remote working is already common and it's only going to become more so as the technology advances. A recent study by KPMG found that nearly half of all workers would like to work from home at least one day per week, with millennials leading the charge at 65%. But just because you can work from anywhere doesn't mean you should--or even want to. Some jobs require face-to-face interaction with clients or colleagues, meaning that physical offices will still have their place in our lives for some time yet. However, there may come a day when most people choose not to go into an office at all anymore; instead opting for a hybrid approach where some days are spent working remotely from home and others in regional offices around the world, meeting up with colleagues via video conferencing whenever necessary (and convenient).
We are living in a time of great change. Businesses are struggling to adapt to new technologies, while employees are looking for ways to make their jobs easier. With VR and AR on the rise, it's likely that these tools will have an impact on how we work and live in the future.