It’s easy to get caught up in the latest fads. Especially in today’s social media driven world, in which we share every purchase and social outing with our friends. However, it can also go the other way, with us mistakenly dismissing game-changing technology as one of those fads.
This causes us to miss out on the benefits of the technology and leave the rewards to be reaped by more curious competitors. Live streaming, cloud-based apps and laptop computers were all considered tech industry fads at one point in time.
Virtual reality is one of the aforementioned game-changing technologies that has proven its value and is most certainly here to stay. That said, those of us who remember the tech world’s attempts at VR during the ‘90s (remember Sega World?) could easily make the mistaken assumption that today’s VR is just a graphical upgrade to video gaming. Far from it.
VRE’s clients have already discovered one of the most beneficial business uses of the latest VR tech and that’s it’s use in corporate team building.
While we offer a bespoke service to suit their specific virtual reality requirements, many of our clients find VR to be an excellent team building activity and tend to cite similar reasons for choosing it. Today we’re going to take a quick look at the advantages they’ve experienced when using virtual reality for their team building.
The Goal of Team Building
While some employees may see team building days as an opportunity to get out of the office and have some fun with your co-workers (and they are!), as the organiser of the event, you are likely to have more business focused objectives.
Put simply, team building days can aid businesses by improving communication between team members, thus creating a more pleasant and productive work environment. In addition, they can train staff members in often overlooked soft skills such as interpersonal communication, role development, leadership skills and the development of critical thinking.
Quite simply, it’s an opportunity to train employees at the same time as watching how they work as individuals and as part of a team- all while giving them a chance to blow off some steam!
How VR-based Team Building Events Can Help
With hundreds of options now available for team building events, it’s more important than ever to carefully consider your objectives when picking an activity for your staff. While a few reckless laps of go-karting might be popular with the petrol heads on your team, for example, it may or may not serve the described objectives of team building.
Whatever you choose, the activity ought to generate excitement amongst team members, in order to gain full participation, while remaining on task with the goals of stimulating teamwork, encouraging bonding within the team and developing the leadership and communications skills of everyone involved. Virtual reality activities offer many of these benefits.
Non-VR events tend to require team members to travel off site, which eats into the time available for activities and can stop busy team members from attending. With virtual reality, the team building events can simply pop-up at your office, so that even those who are hard to tear away from their desk get the chance to benefit.
Similarly, the indoor nature of virtual reality team building experiences mean they are enjoyable all year round, unlike some outdoor team building activities that are best enjoyed over the summer. Generally, virtual reality is less affected by external influences, meaning you have much more control over your team building event when using VR.
One disadvantage of non-virtual reality team building events are that sometimes the difficulty level can’t be adjusted. For example, while the office triathlete might think attending the local trampoline park sounds like a great team building event, the less sporty members of the team might feel excluded by such an event. With VR team building exercises, the playing field is somewhat leveled, with many of the VR exercises offering different difficulty levels to suit a range of users.
Virtual reality based team building days also benefit from another advantage of today’s technology – regularly updated software. Whereas some team building experiences can suffer from the “I remember this activity from last year” effect, virtual reality based experiences are constantly being updated with new activities, extra stages and new functionality. VRE operate a fleet of the latest equipment, always kept up to date with new activities and staff who are trained to help you make the most of your event. Similarly, the digital nature of these events mean there is no usage cap – your staff can have as many goes as they like without incurring extra costs.
One of the most exciting benefits of using virtual reality for team building is the ability to collect data as the activities are completed. While you might be able to send an observer to keep an eye on a traditional team building activity, with virtual reality based team building, you can collect data on the activities in real time, even remotely. Whether it’s recording the viewpoint of a participant as their team scrambles to solve a puzzle in the virtual arena, or capturing the top scores of participants of a particular challenge, a range of possibilities are opened up by the use of Internet connected VR.
Business management experts and game theory strategists often talk about “first mover advantage”, where a business gains a stronger position in relation to their competitors because they were the first to enter the marketplace with a particular product or service. Similarly, it’s widely accepted that the businesses which embrace change and embrace new technology are the ones which avoid stagnation and stand the test of time. Could your business gain an advantage as an employer brand by embracing virtual reality and changing the way you do team building?
Ultimately, there are a huge range of benefits to choosing a virtual reality team building event, the list of which will only continue to grow as more sophisticated software and hardware become available and as companies wise up to the power of virtual reality for HR departments and beyond.
If you would like to take advantage of these benefits as part of your next team building event, please do get in touch to discuss the finer details of what Virtual Reality Experiences can do for you.