Virtual reality, augmented reality, and immersive simulation technology have entered homes as a new way to experience video games and other types of entertainment. Over the last few years, tech companies have made VR headsets more compact, user-friendly, and affordable. But VR uses include more than just novelty; this technology has been used for real-world training for jobs of all different types. By putting a person in a virtual situation that closely simulates the conditions of a job or task, it’s possible to build and improve skills, as well as evaluate performance.
In the past, training simulations were typically reserved for jobs in high-risk or dangerous situations. Examples of this include flight simulation for pilots and open-heart surgery simulation for cardiology surgeons. Virtual simulations of these scenarios were far more complex than today’s VR technology. For jobs that pose far less safety, on-the-job training and vocational courses are far more cost-effective.
Since VR headsets and simulation software are comparatively a lot less expensive than the immersive training equipment of the past, VR training simulations are now used for all types of job training, as well as the building of softs skills, including improving responses to interpersonal conflicts, safe handling of equipment, and better customer service.
VR Training And The Virtual Employee
An increase in remote working arrangements means that more workers have transitioned from onsite employees to virtual employees. A virtual employee can include a permanent, contract, and outsourced employee who contributes to a company regardless of their physical location. When these employees need to complete training or a performance evaluation, they may do so through various digital tools, and virtual reality simulations could be among them. Augmented reality and VR training simulations can be customized to imitate and enhance real-world training for virtual employees.
This can include tours, training, and exercises through company-exclusive platforms. Virtual employees can also use this technology to attend and conduct meetings that more closely resemble in-person interactions. This can foster better collaboration and working relationships regardless of location.
VR Training Simulators Compared To On The Job Training?
Traditionally, on-the-job-training examples have included working with experienced employees and utilizing skill-building tools to understand processes and develop abilities. On-the-job training can include very structured programs, like courses and classes, or it may be carried out through a more informal approach, like an apprenticeship. Today, technology has a role to play in on-the-job training. Instead of working directly with a manager or supervisor and utilizing necessary equipment, new employees may make use of a VR training simulator and augmented reality software.
This and similar technology can be used for participation in job training scenarios. Depending on the job and its duties, VR job training can help avert risks, reduce demands on management, and give new employees efficient exposure to, and preparation for, situations they’re likely to encounter.
Since the training is happening virtually, safety can be more easily maintained and performance can be consistently measured and evaluated. VR training simulators are being more widely utilized by all types of industries.
Although they cannot yet replace real-world training for every type of task, virtual employee training tools are diversifying. They could become a common tool in all types of professional skill development.