Virtual reality offers corporate training a fresh perspective.

Imagine that you are a robot avatar who has been sent to Mars. There are other people in this computer-simulated virtual reality (VR) environment nearby who are also moving like robots. It is your task to cooperate in order to go past several obstacles and board a space pod to leave the planet. The job is not accomplished if one or two robots take off on their own; rather, it is only successful if every robot escapes. But this isn’t a video game. Instead, you and your colleagues are participating in a training session while donning virtual reality headsets.

The Mars mission is a team-building activity called Apollo, created by Jenson8, a UK-based company that specializes in virtual reality training systems. Every team at work has three or four simulation runs to figure out how to get out. Additionally, participants can interact with Apollo in three different ways: as an observer, a normal robot, or in a leadership capacity. After removing the VR goggles, the group is asked to talk about the various dynamics that contributed to their success or failure.

According to Bryan Barnes, head of research and development at Jenson8, “people’s preconceived notions that they carry with them when they’re in the workplace are taken away when they are in this immersive experience.” “And it allows them to show up as themselves rather than trying to play that work character.” For better or worse, he continues, members can develop a deeper awareness of their place in the group. And that this can result in open discussions that support the development of a more productive team. Millions of workers were accustomed to remote work and video conferences during pandemic lockdowns, and training is currently evolving as well.

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