How to use XR to support your business’ Covid recovery

While many of us are beginning to wave goodbye to Covid restrictions, the pandemic rages on and businesses remain faced with a daunting road to recovery.

How to use XR to support your business’ Covid recovery

The business landscape has been fundamentally reshaped by the pandemic, and companies must find new ways to operate and thrive. Now’s the moment to seize the opportunities that the newest, most innovative tech tools can deliver for your business.  

When it comes to building back better in 2021 and beyond, your business’s success will hinge on adapting to a market that is more competitive, margin-driven and future-oriented than ever before.

The stand-out players will be those who can leverage the right tech tools in the right way. And, with a forecast compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 62.67% until 2026, all signs are pointing to Extended Reality (XR) tech as an excellent place to start.

Virti’s XR training platform has been used throughout the pandemic to deliver remote training to workforces - including within the NHS. Today, it offers businesses a powerful way to accelerate their post-pandemic growth. But, how exactly can XR be put to best use? Read on to find out.

What is XR tech?

XR is an umbrella term referring to technologies with the capacity to integrate the real and virtual world, and includes:

  • Virtual reality (VR), which immerses users in a fully artificial digital environment or 360-degree video
  • Augmented reality (AR), which overlays virtual objects on the real-world environment
  • Mixed reality (MR), which not only overlays, but anchors virtual objects to the real world

The market is currently soaring, valued at $26.05 Billion in 2020 and expected to reach $463.7 Billion in 2026. But, how exactly can XR be put to best use to drive business growth and guarantee ROI?

The Virti immersive XR training platform, which  can be accessed using a 360-degree VR headset, a laptop, desktop or even a mobile phone, has been used throughout the pandemic to deliver remote training to workforces - including within the NHS. Today, it offers businesses a powerful way to accelerate their post-pandemic growth. But, how exactly can XR be put to best use? Read on to find out.  

Upskilling your workforce

The best employers treat their staff like high-performance athletes, delivering consistent data-driven training that prepares them to operate at their peak.

Giving employees access to a 360° immersive training platform means giving them on-demand access to repeatable, realistic training scenarios in which to practice complex technical procedures (from brain surgery to oil rig engineering). And, just like in elite sport training, the best XR platforms offer subjective feedback to learners after automatically gathering, analysing and tracking a vast array of data from every single training session.

Research also shows that XR training programmes result in longer knowledge retention; individuals who trained using the Virti platform experienced 52% less skill fade than their peers who used traditional training methods. As a business leader, you should care about theis: from surgeons to sales reps, employees who are onboarded and trained effectively will be more confident, stay in their job for longer and perform to a higher standard.

Making sure that soft skills are up to scratch

A recent Yale University study found that people with emotionally intelligent supervisors—those who are self-aware and empathetic—were happier, more creative and more innovative. However, 70% of the employees whose managers were identified as having little emotional intelligence said their main feelings toward work were negative.

Look beneath the surface of any strong business, and you’ll find a team equipped with equally strong soft skills. From establishing rapport with customers to winning over new clients, these often under-valued qualities are essential to sustain positive growth without deploying excellent soft skills.

The pre-pandemic paradigm was that soft skills are hard to objectively measure, and that training is expensive and time-consuming. But recent innovations in XR have set new gold standards in soft skills training, and smart business leaders are becoming early adopters.

For example, the Virti XR platform allows users to work on their soft skills with Virtual Humans, AI-powered avatars that use speech recognition, data processing and natural language processing to simulate realistic person-to-person interactions. The software analyses tone, cadence, eye contact, language use and numerous other metrics to help trainees learn how to have better, more empathetic conversations. Decades ago we might have laughed off the idea that technology could teach people how to build better human relationships, but now it seems that it’s true!

Reshaping the workplace

The workforce of 2021 are increasingly looking for remote and/or hybrid roles, but navigating the delivery of this can be difficult for businesses built around office-based working.  

Your business needs tools to streamline collaboration and communication between spatially dispersed teams, clients and customers. Existing tools - such as Zoom and Teams - can be exhausting to use and make multi-person conversation feel awkward. However, because the Virti platform (which is accessible via smartphone, desktop and VR headset) allows all participants to feel like they are ‘actually, physically together’, it enables deep, immersive collaboration and conferencing.  

XR platforms can also support a growing business to hire and onboard quickly, supporting the delivery of standardised onboarding modules with inbuilt assessment and data-enhanced feedback. In a nutshell, stripping away geographical barriers means that your business can attract top talent and work successfully with partners, wherever they may be.

Building resilience

If there’s one lesson the pandemic has taught all of us, it’s that adaptability and mental resilience are incredibly valuable qualities to possess. No one can be quite sure what the coming months will have in store, but whatever happens, adaptable and resilient people (and their businesses) will flourish.

If you’re looking to bolster your own mental resilience, or that of your staff, you’ll want to explore the wide XR offering. This includes immersive mindfulness courses, guided 360° meditations and even virtual therapy sessions. Employers can use the platform data and bespoke dashboards to track staff engagement with XR wellbeing training, allowing them deeper insight into their impact on team performance and happiness.

Not every leader will have the confidence to champion a wholly new tech solution, or the imagination to pioneer a way of doing things that is different from their competitors. But to build the connected, highly-skilled and adaptable team that will drive success in the post-covid business world, you can’t afford to overlook the opportunities offered by immersive technologies. After all, as Bill Clinton famously said, “The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change”.

Ready to get started? Get in touch with a member of the Virti team today to discuss how we can work with you.