How Can AR/VR Be Used to Optimize a Workforce?

  • 25 May, 2021

Every business is constantly seeking to improve efficiency while reducing operational costs.

What if we told you, it's not necessary to hire expensive in-person consultants and firms to help improve your workflow?

You can simplify your workflow optimization with augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to improve processes and efficiency and increase work quality-all while reducing errors in business, health care, manufacturing, and more. This blog post will delve into the ways several types of businesses integrate AR/VR into the workforce.

Businesses rely on group collaboration and teamwork to produce results. Everyone who has worked in an office setting has likely attended hours of meetings monthly if not weekly. Meetings provide the opportunity to brainstorm, collaborate, and generate team goals, but how can AR/VR come into play? Using AR/VR allows employees to put on a headset and enter a virtual conference room where they can see each other's avatars, talk to each other, and share information seamlessly. Another helpful element to consider is that AR/VR allows for information to be better communicated between management and workers. For example, if workers are experiencing difficulties with equipment or the way a factory is laid out, they can use AR/VR to demonstrate the exact problems they are having to the leadership team, who can then make better operational decisions based on the provided information. AR/VR delivers a convenient means of communication in a business setting.

The healthcare industry not only improves people's health, but also helps develop new and effective health strategies. Some of the challenges the healthcare industry faces include the cost of running medical programs and access to human subjects for anatomy exploration and surgical procedure experimentation. The implementation of AR/VR in the healthcare industry can help provide solutions to these concerns. Medical training is so expensive in part for the need to provide training equipment and opportunities for students. We are familiar with the idea that using AR/VR technology in education has been shown to enhance learning and increase learner engagement1. We can infer that the application of AR/VR will help reduce operational costs for medical programs considering that they not only increase content retention but also can provide virtual, reusable equipment. These technologies allow students to interact with and explore parts of the human body without the need for human patients. They also provide opportunities for medical students to gain confidence while practicing surgical techniques without fear of making a mistake on an actual patient. With so many medical students in training and needing constant practice, AR/VR takes away some of the stress of the university's needing to procure subjects to fulfill this need. Many universities, like Johns Hopkins2, are beginning to introduce AR/VR into the core course programs to reap these benefits.

How Can AR/VR Be Used to Optimize a Workforce?

Manufacturing often relies on large-scale production processes. In manufacturing industries, employees require training for these processes on how to use equipment and assemble products. But the more processes, the more opportunities there are for employee errors and/or injuries. Applying AR/VR technology in manufacturing can increase product quality while reducing injury rates3 . Studies have demonstrated the benefits of immersive technologies in education, and this idea translates to manufacturing as well. In addition to being used to train employees on equipment and product assembly, AR/VR provides opportunities to troubleshoot problems in the workflow. For example, instead of needing an equipment repairperson to travel to the facility, workers can don an AR/VR headset and transmit exactly what they're seeing to the equipment expert, allowing changes to be made based on the projected images4 . Workers who have performed the same action repetitively may become careless or negligent, but with AR/VR, process instructions can be overlayed in manufacturing assembly tasks to reduce errors5 . Another applicable advantage includes the production of prototypes; instead of creating costly tangible prototypes, workers can save money by generating computer models6. With the benefits of AR/VR in manufacturing, it is no wonder that large manufacturing companies like Lockheed Martin and Ford Motor Company7 are beginning to implement these technologies.

When polled, 77% of millennials reported they are willing to use AR/VR in the workplace8 , demonstrating a strong inclination to learn and embrace the numerous advantages AR/VR offers. To ensure seamless and functional use of AR/VR, however, companies must ensure that their employees have the computer technology, infrastructure, and bandwidth to effectively engage in virtual meetings9 . With technologies constantly evolving and becoming more accessible, the benefits of immersive tech are within reach. To learn more about the exciting world of AR/VR, we encourage you to check out EduMind's comprehensive AR/VR course: https://www.edumind.com/extended-reality/ar-vr/



[1] "Augmented Reality (AR) & Virtual Reality (VR) in Education and Training," PixelPlex, April 21, 2021, https://pixelplex.io/blog/ar-and-vr-in-education-and-training/.

[2] Lesser, Natasha. "'Mixed Reality' Makes for Better Surgeons." The Hub. Johns Hopkins University, May 17, 2019. https://hub.jhu.edu/2019/05/17/augmented-reality-headset-brain-surgery/.

[3] "How Virtual Reality Is Changing the Manufacturing Game." cmtc. California's Manufacturing Network, August 3, 2018. https://www.cmtc.com/blog/how-virtual-reality-is-changing-the-manufacturing-game.

[4] Bassan, Jarrod, and Nathalie Vancluysen. "Augmented Reality for Real World Productivity." DXC Technology. Accessed May 5, 2021. https://www.dxc.technology/workplace_and_mobility/insights/145571-augmented_reality_for_real_world_productivity.

[5] Bassan and Vancluvsen, "Augmented Reality".

[6] "How Virtual Reality is Changing".

[7] "How Virtual Reality".

[8] Newmand, Daniel. "The Applications of AR/VR in the Workplace." Dell Technologies US. Accessed May 5, 2021. https://www.delltechnologies.com/en-us/workforce-solutions/the-applications-of-ar-vr-in-the-workplace.htm.

[9] Steely, Chris. "A VIRTUAL REALITY: HOW TO OPTIMIZE PERFORMANCE AND EFFECTIVENESS WITH A VIRTUAL WORKFORCE." LinkedIn, March 15, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/virtual-reality-how-optimize-performance-workforce-chris-steely?trk=portfolio_article-card_title.
About the Author: Martha Hunsucker

Martha Hunsucker is a content writer for EduMind. She received her BA in English from Stetson University and has experience marketing, copywriting, editing, and blogging. In her spare time, she enjoys reading books by Jon Krakauer (her current favorite author), hiking with her two dogs, and sleeping in on weekends.

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