“People no longer want to be in the office every day,” said Barrett. “But they still want to have in-person experiences that are highly productive, immersive, and collaborative.” Flexible and remote work expectations are not going away. While a few corporations are stubbornly clinging to the idea that the best work can only be done in an office, many have recognized the benefits of offering flexible options. The technology is finally here to make the digital workplace a reality without sacrificing the human interactions that deliver results.
Bringing people together with virtual reality
When we last spoke to Barrett, he told us about the perimeter-less workplace, where people can access corporate applications and data safely from anywhere and on any device. Platforms like Microsoft 365 and Teams have evolved so any organization can make this vision a reality. The truly work-anywhere digital workplace has arrived.
What’s been missing so far from the experience is a virtualized form of the in-person office environment. Employees and managers generally agree that interacting with colleagues is more satisfying and productive. They just may not agree on the sacrifices needed to do so, like long commutes, moving to another city, or sharing space with contagious viruses.
The perimeter-less digital workplace is starting to feel more and more like the real thing. And virtual reality (VR) is making it possible, as Barrett demonstrated during our call. Once a specialty device, VR headsets are now familiar and affordable. VR not only allows teams to gather and collaborate as if in person, it also provides flexible ways to access, share, and present multiple files in a safe environment.
“Enterprises that have adopted digital collaboration platforms are seeing the results in performance measures like improved productivity, user experience, security, capabilities, and resilience,” said Barrett. “They’re also realizing lower costs by replacing legacy tools. And they’re finding it easier to attract and retain top talent who want to be working with the latest tech.”