We all know virtual reality (VR) has been making waves in the gaming industry with its high-quality graphics and immersion that is simply out of this world.

But VR has found another use – in the workplace helping to innovate how we train staff.

The cutting-edge technology can enable employees to practice difficult social situations with simulated employees or customers, practicing communication, negotiating and conflict resolution, without the real-life repercussions.

It can even be used to put police officers, surgeons, soldiers, or pilots in training in controlled, grounded environments where they can experience dangerous situations first-hand and test their reactions, without having to be exposed to harm.

These complex situations can be simplified to help employees practice their responses – and as we all know, practice makes perfect.

Current methods of soft skills training such as roleplaying, workshops and coaching can work, but they often have high financial and logistical costs. Meanwhile, text-based, video or presentation-based courses don’t expose employees to the emotions or challenges associated with interpersonal situations.

VR allows companies to perform test runs of new initiatives to see how employees respond, and also test drive new products and experiences so employees know what to expect and how to better sell these products to customers.

There are also some VR programmes that help you create content and get to grips with it, allowing you to physically change a product based on the things you experience within the virtual simulation.

Because VR is so immersive and compelling, learners absorb information faster and retain what they have learned longer.

Memory formation is linked to emotional response, and VR is an emotional rollercoaster that excites and delights employees.

People have many different learning styles – they may be visual, aural, verbal or physical learners – and there are VR training programmes out there for everyone so all learning styles are accounted for.

Virtual reality is transforming the way we train staff, and also how we as workers get to grips with our jobs.

In a hospital setting, VR technology MPathic is being used to teach med students how to break bad news to patients and their families, as well as how to carry out tricky procedures.

In the retail and hospitality sector, staff are trained using VR programmes that include on-screen cues that will prompt staff to make decisions based on real-world situations, such as how to deal with Black Friday rush or customer service scenarios.

NASA uses VR to train astronauts in the aspect of spacewalking – an action where the astronaut leaves a spaceship environment to perform an action like replacing a faulty module on a spacecraft. Astronauts have no idea what to expect until they are actually doing it, but VR allows them to get an idea of what they will experience and reduce the risks of errors.

You can hire virtual reality equipment from ITR. Want to learn more? Contact us today.