Virtual reality is currently one of the fastest growing industries in the world. In the projected timeframe of 2021 to 2028, virtual reality (along with AR and MR) is expected to grow from 28 billion to over 250 billion USD, with its use cases spanning everything from gaming to construction to employee training. (Source
) Billions of dollars have been invested into the technology, and for good reason. Virtual reality has a singular ability to cross bridges between communities and create a more streamlined communication process. As of 2022, thousands of business owners have invested in virtual reality training. In 2023 thousands more will because VR has the unique ability to transfer knowledge in a swifter, more efficient manner. Why else do businesses want to use VRT for their training needs?
Why Use Virtual Reality Training for your Business?
While there can be dozens of reasons to use virtual reality training, they can all really be boiled down to five general categories.
Time- Companies can save time in training employees because virtual reality transfers information faster than traditional training methods. Employees learn crucial information faster and retain more than paper manuals or even video lessons. It greatly reduces the amount of time necessary to train incoming employees. And as they say, time is money.
Finances- Speaking of money, virtual reality training is more cost efficient than outdated training methods. Yes, there is a much larger up-front investment into virtual reality than there was in previous methods (i.e., equipment, software creation, and training manual updating), but as time goes on and less money is spent on time and employee error, the cost evens out and employers can see a major return on investment. For more on this, please see 7 of ways Virtual Reality Training Can Save Your Organization Money.
Confidence- Because of the method of absorbing information, companies see more confident employees. Virtual reality technology allows trainees to practice what they're learning in real time with real examples of what they'll see on the job. Training in any sort runs through standard operating procedure, but the gamified way that virtual reality supplies information is crucial in giving employees the confidence to tackle a problem head on and find effective long-term solutions.
Hands off training- Virtual reality allows companies almost a "set it and forget it" type of training. Instead of having to use a proctor to show the employee the ropes, or oversee that training is being completed, virtual reality gives them the opportunity to have the trainee learn at their own pace and really absorb the information they're given. On top of that, it allows the employer the opportunity to see how well they work alone and how efficient they can be. It also allows them to use their time well and on things that need their more immediate attention. In the end, it's less intensive than the standard hands-on training model.
Safety- It's been said already that virtual reality gives employees the confidence to complete tasks with minimal supervision post training, but a major reason to switch to virtual reality training is because of the major safety factor. Because the employee probably failed at completing the virtual task in the simulated environment they understood the direct consequences of failing in a real scenario and are much more careful at a result.
Fields that use Virtual Reality Training
There are many sectors in which virtual reality training has seen a rise in, but manufacturing, construction, and healthcare are driving the advancements in development of critical technology that will branch out into other areas of the workforce with a more forward momentum. These areas innately need successful safety training, and virtual reality enables employees to have the hands-on training necessary to create product with minimal risk to themselves or others. Business owners and operators noticed a substantial decrease in injuries sustained on the job, as well as better performance and cost benefits.
Manufacturers have implemented virtual reality training to educate employees about the materials and processes of building their cars, aircraft and other product. This gives the engineers a solid grasp of assembling the product before ever touching an engine. In this training, users navigate the simulated space, approach displays, and complete tests to help with memory recall and retention.
Companies actively using virtual reality training to empower their employees include nursing homes, fire fighters and EMS, as well as chain hotel establishments. The nature of VRT makes it a diverse tool that can cross multiple fields of work. It engages the user in multiple ways and helps them understand important points of the job in a short amount of time. Construction workers use VRT to train for on the job safety procedures that cut down workplace injuries significantly.
How Can You Get Your Hands on Virtual Reality Training?
The process is simple really. First, you'll want to have a definitive list of the daily protocols' employees will need to do in order to work efficiently. Create the training program before reaching out to a VR service company. There are many virtual reality service companies to choose from, so find a trustworthy one with multiple happy clients. It's important to make sure that they can do what you need for your program. It's okay, and encouraged, to ask questions to ensure they you're a good fit for each other.
Once you decide which company to go with, they'll create the software and you'll be part of the whole design process. Test the program out on a few employees. This step is an important one because creating VRT can be expensive. You're paying money to make the most effective training program for your business and making sure that it works for your needs and there are no faulty training portions is a crucial step in the process. Make the necessary changes from suggestions made by your sample employees. By this point, the process is mostly done.
You'll also need the right equipment for your VRT program. There are dozens of different headsets and processors on the market with variable capabilities and price points. Sometimes you can get away with sacrificing quality for price, but most of the time- again, depending on your needs- price for quality is the better route.
At one point in time, virtual reality was something that only big corporations could invest in. It's becoming increasingly more common to find companies making the switch to VRT because of its superior capabilities of training employees efficiently and effectively in the ways of company procedures.
Companies using virtual reality training are preparing themselves and their establishment for future success. Virtual reality is rapidly gaining a pedestal in companies all over the world because of the rapid retention of information. Virtual reality training has enabled employers to have a more hands off approach to training and gives the employee a deeper understanding of standard operations and more confidence in their chosen field. Manufacturing, construction, and healthcare are three fields already implementing virtual reality before the workers even step foot into their actual position. Virtual reality is transforming the way employees in these fields are trained and it's only a matter of time before other areas of employment adopt this highly efficient method.