A recent article on Motherboard describes a full day working in one of the first VR offices. Rather than extolling the virtues of being able to turn your head to track a target in a VR air-to-air combat game, the article’s author Aaron Frank discusses the impact of being able to have dozens of virtual screens floating in front of you as a game changing way to view desktop data.
“Recently, I had the opportunity to try one of these systems” explained Mr. Frank. “A product made by the Bellevue Washington based startup Envelop VR. Their platform runs any Windows application—Microsoft Office, Spotify, Chrome browsers, whatever—all inside VR.”
The article focuses on the increased productivity of sitting in an office where the screens, software, environment and apps can all be seamlessly interchanged with a couple clicks. However, what this new era appears to be ushering in, of even more importance, is a complete obviation of the distinction between being a ‘remote’ employee and an ‘in house employee.’ Of course many technical fields and trades will never be replaced by VR, a hosting server technician needs to be able to physically touch a broken device in order to repair or replace it – but for many careers, virtually being on site will soon be identical to actually being in the office.
Rather than worrying what time a remote employee actually starts working each day, managers will be able to see them and talk to them as they virtually walk into work almost exactly the same way they do now. Sharing a cup of coffee around the office water cooler will be possible without ever getting up from your seat.
Conference rooms are already better optimized by virtual reality than they ever could be with antiquated laser pointers, slide shows on a physical screen or clunky tabletop telephony systems. The same way many of us now prefer to play a board game on an iPad rather than with physical pieces, and the millennial generation has adapted to intimate interactions via mobile devices with emojis, the work environment is quickly trending toward remote VR access as well.
Decades ago computing was made popular as a new form of entertainment, over time it also completely replaced the way business was done. These days people rarely write with a pen, fax machines are defunct, most people don’t carry cash, and calls are far less frequent than digital tickets, emails or texts. In the coming decades you can expect the apparatus of business to be replaced again, with contact lens VR portals that connect every member of the office staff to each other from anywhere, as if they are all sitting in the same room together.
It’s an exciting, and somewhat overwhelming idea, that will require improvements of enormous magnitude in terms of data security and reliable connectivity. National Net will continue doing our part to provide the kind of fundamental collocated and managed hosting services necessary to support these new evolutions of the business world, with the exact same focus on customer service that has allowed us to prosper in previous eras of global commerce.