The future of corporate training lies in virtual reality

Damian Collier
Annual Gaming Industry Conference E3 Takes Place In Los Angeles
This new technology can help recruit international staff in a post-Brexit world (Source: Getty)

Virtual training is being hailed as the “new Powerpoint” for corporates when it comes to training up staff.

And as virtual reality (VR) continues to rise in popularity across the social community, it is no surprise that organisations are looking to embrace this immersive technology as a replacement for existing, more traditional methods.

No more boring, stuffy presentations that drag on for hours. VR engages employees in an interactive way so that bosses can fully embed their staff in the culture, ambience, and feel of the business.

Using 360-degree video and VR to simulate real-world, on-the-job scenarios for enhanced learning, corporates can not only save money on expensive training courses that may also require them to fly their staff all over the world, but also allow for remote workers to experience the same setting as employees working at headquarters.

And it can help with recruitment too. Deloitte Digital used the Blend Media tools to build an interactive experience to engage potential candidates at recruitment fairs. Deloitte created a virtual tour of its Clerkenwell Studio to immerse people in its office culture. And as a result, the company saw the number of applicants triple.

And let’s not forget the anticipated headache of recruiting and onboarding international talent in a post-Brexit world. For those businesses that rely on overseas talent and may see working restrictions imposed after Brexit, immersive training could be hugely beneficial to train up employees based in other locations.

Employees can do their training, attend meetings, interact with colleagues, and continue to learn on the job via a headset that is provided to them by their employer.

Sure, it’s not the same as being in the office and embracing a new life in a new country, but until businesses can overcome the hurdles of pre and post Brexit uncertainty, it can be the next best thing.

L’Oreal’s professional training division, Matrix, recently took this approach when creating a 360-degree educational experience to help with the professional development of branded salon owners and their employees around the world.

The experience stars Tabatha Coffey, Matrix’s brand ambassador, who takes users through a self-guided, educational virtual tour addressing the emotional journey a customer goes through when visiting a salon – from entering the reception area to how to set-up the salon backbar.

Clicking on a hotspot and teleporting to new scenes in a realistic environment has been proven to heighten the intensity of a fully interactive experience for the user. The effect of the final product feels more like a one-on-one conversation with Tabitha than a one-way training video, with the functionality for the employee to navigate their own path through the salon and the seven steps of Salon Emotion.

This type of training is the future for corporates, and one that is no doubt going to save not only money but time, as well as resulting in a more engaged and retained workforce. It will be interesting to see how this adoption plays out in 2019 as the days of death by powerpoint move swiftly behind us.