Immersed
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Immersed

Redefine The Workplace

The workplace is defined in Merriam-Webster as a place (such as a shop or factory) where work is done.

Our perception of the workplace continues to be of a place we commute to in order to get our productive work hours in, until it’s time to head home. In 2015 about 76% of workers in the United States fit into this definition (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). The remaining 24% were telecommuters.

These telecommuters have been growing at a rapid pace over the past decade. Since 2005, the telecommuting population has grown by 115%, which is nearly 10x faster than the rest of the workforce (Global Workplace Analytics). I am one of these telecommuters, so I know there are constraints to not being amongst your colleagues in an office setting.

There are a lot of technologies out there today that try to bring remote teams together such as video conferencing, screen sharing, phone calls, or text/messaging. We have a variety of fragmented means to get in contact with our coworkers to get things done.

But There Is Still A Gap…

When I think of being at work, I imagine real-time collaboration, but real-time collaboration is lost in distributed teams. Remote workers do not have the ability to ask questions, get answers, and keep up a productive streak.

In today’s world, remote workers have to go through a laborious process where they take out their phone or open up a video conferencing tool, dial the number or ping a co-worker all to find that, most the time, the other person is unavailable. Remote workers miss out on visual interactions, so being able to speak to and see your colleagues in the office is not possible when working remotely.

On the other side of the coin, there is a lot of top talent in the world today. Some of these talented people can’t physically relocate, even though they may be the best possible hire, so companies have to compromise and settle for a remote worker. What if there was a way to hire top talent, but also have the in-person collaboration and productivity of an office?

Immerse Yourself into The Office

Immersed is an exciting startup from Chicago aiming to bridge these gaps using Virtual Reality. By evolving the virtual reality workplace for remote teams, a person can enter the workplace from anywhere and instantly join their team at the office. Whether a sandy beach shore or city high-rise, you can commute anywhere instantly.

How This Effects Me, The Telecommuter…

When I work remotely, I lose the collaboration I normally have with my peers. I just can’t look to my left and talk to someone or ask a question if I’m stuck. No, I have to ping them, hope for a quick reply, share my screen if needed, and then potentially get a result. There’s no “failing fast” here.

Using VR with just my laptop, phone, and headset, I can now enter the office, and see my colleagues as if they’re in the same room. This real-time access to my team gives me the ability to ask questions on the spot. I can roll over to my co-workers’ screen, if they need help, and vice versa.

In the old ways of telecommuting, this kind of cohesive collaboration was impossible. In an immersive VR experience, collaboration is just one of the amazing ways distributed teams can communicate as if they were all in one physical location.

Rocks

Being present at a physical office also has a visual/social aspect that is sorely missed when telecommuting. Speaking to your team and being able to collaborate in Virtual Reality is fantastic, but how is anyone supposed to know when I go in with a fist-bump on a job well done?

Immersed’s Virtual Reality platform actually immerses you into the digital office with your co-workers. Yes, your avatar can be an elf, but Immersed’s tech also translates your movements and hand-gestures into the virtual office which means virtual fist bumps are completely possible! Getting caught nodding off during a meeting might be one downside, but it’s these interactions that continue to defy the idea that “remote” must mean “physically removed”.

Everyone can make the commute

VR technology today is becoming more and more accessible to everyday consumers. Before, utilizing VR would require an expensive headset, setting up a room with sensors and a high powered gaming computer just to run it all. If you’re planning to work remotely in VR from anywhere other than home, you can probably forget it because it is not at all feasible.

Technology is evolving, and mobile phones have increasingly become the easiest platform to use on-the-go. With mobile devices offering higher and higher pixel densities every year, the ability to create an engaging virtual reality experience with a $10 headset and your phone has become possible.

A statistic below from Statista, shows the forecast for the number of daily active virtual reality users worldwide.They concluded:

The total number of active virtual reality users is forecast to reach 171 million by 2018. The VR market is set to grow at an extraordinary rate in the coming years, with revenues from virtual reality software alone forecast to increase by over three thousand percent in four years.

Being able to utilize your mobile phone to experience virtual reality will drive radical adoption and bring more and more people to the digital space to experience a new way to work.

Redefining The Workplace

Merging what it means to be remote and at the workplace is becoming a reality. By creating an environment where we can collaborate in real-time, teams can be productive together. Digitally immersing ourselves into Virtual Reality closes the gap of human interaction, and today’s mobile technology has expanded the reach of VR making it even easier for distributed teams to go to work, together.

Immersed is changing what it means to be at the workplace — from anywhere, you can work together.

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