The virtual office – how work and video games are colliding.

Working in virtual reality

The Virtual office is coming. Companies are investing hundreds of millions of dollars to bring their employees back – Virtually.

Before the pandemic, people used to wait until the end of the day to go home and play video games. With the pandemic in play, and working from home becoming the norm, this is no longer the case. 

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Now, instead of waiting until the end of the day, you can play in meetings, in between breaks, or whenever you want. However, with an ever-changing technological landscape, multiple companies are attempting to combine video games with work in a “virtual office.”

Around two months before the pandemic, I thought about what life would be like in a few years. “With the advancement of technology, especially in the Virtual Reality sector, and climate change heating the planet, could we soon see ourselves in virtual offices”?

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It turns out, it was not years away, but weeks. A few weeks after I had this thought, I was in a virtual office, along with millions of others. However, it was not the virtual office I had anticipated it would be. It was 2D, not 3D, and the feeling of real interaction was non-existent. 

However, it turns out that I was not the only person to have this vision. With zoom being the go-to platform for creating a virtual office, many companies have wanted more interaction with their employees while working from home. Mattel, Pfizer, among others, are bringing their employees back from home into their virtual office. Here they can view 3D models of their products and meet “face-to-face” with their employees. 

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The Wall Street Journal reported three different companies trying to advance the virtual office space, including Microsoft, Facebook, and a start-up known as Spatial. These companies are working on making virtual models of companies real offices to meet with their employees “in-person.” 

While these companies have billions in funding, the virtual office’s reality aspect is challenging for these companies. While you are in these virtual offices, it feels like you are in a video game, and not the right kind. As the pandemic continues and more and more companies tell their employees to work from home for longer, the virtual office will likely see a massive increase in quality.

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