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Disrupting Business for Remote Workers: Virtual Reality

There is almost nothing you don’t do online anymore. You can get educated, meet your spouse, learn new recipes, connect with family and friends, collaborate with peers; the list goes on.

Your daily work is no exception. Your business, your teams, and you can enjoy the many benefits of today’s connected world and begin working remotely immediately. There is no shortage of online collaboration tools to get you started. However, they’re all lacking one key ingredient in the recipe of remote work: immersion. For a small business, this can take time and effort away from what you really need to focus on.

In a world where there are many solutions for working outside a physical office, among the most disruptive trends has been the adoption of new technologies, such as virtual reality, to help save time and money in the implementation of a remote workforce.

We spoke with Mat Chacon, CEO of Doghead Simulations, a virtual reality software company based in Seattle, about the future of remote work and how it can benefit any business’s bottom line. Doghead Simulations has developed a collaborative remote work platform, called Rumii, that enables remote workers to come together in one location, from anywhere in the world, using virtual reality and work as though they’re all in the same physical location.

What do you see as being the quickest solution to working remotely?

Mat Chacon: Virtual reality is the answer. While both concepts—remote work and virtual reality—are not new, it’s the application of the latter to the former that presents such new, exciting possibilities.

What are some key benefits of switching to remote or virtual reality, workspaces for a small business?

MC: We use our own virtual reality collaboration tool every day. In fact, our company consists of an entirely remote workforce. We have employees across the United States, Brazil, and in London. We use our tool to communicate daily status, conduct training, pitch ideas, run sales meetings, perform code reviews, and collaborate on designing new product features. In fact, in the 25 weeks that we’ve been using it for our remote work, we’ve saved more than $60,000 in business travel expenses and have reduced our carbon footprint by more than 61 metric tons! We’ve also seen a 70 percent increase in meeting productivity.

What types of industries or businesses do you see remote working—really working—in?

MC: This is a growing trend, especially in information technology. In fact, 45 percent of IT teams work remotely around the world, and two of every three Fortune 500 companies now employ telecommuters. This is a trend that is not going away, and virtual reality is the future of remote work because it replaces the flat, unengaged, and frustrating experience of existing online collaboration tools with highly immersive workspaces that ignite collaboration and communication.

Nearly every organization has some type of remote workforce in place, whether contract or full time. Virtual reality offers the opportunity for significant upgrades regarding the ways in which your team works. It has the power to take collaboration and other aspects of communication—including remote work with customers and suppliers--to the next level. By embracing the trend now, you’ll have the ability to remove an array of constraints, while seeing great strides in productivity for your company.