How extended reality is set to shape the digital workplace

remote workers

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the workplace of the future is not a physical workspace, but a decentralised collection of talented individuals linked together by technology. But while this shift brings with it a number of opportunities for businesses and employees alike, the problem of distance can prove alienating for many teams. 

However, as augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) technologies increasingly become the norm, extended reality (XR) – real-and-virtual combined environments generated by technology and wearables – is already enabling employees around the world to collaborate in new ways. A recent study by management consultant, Accenture found that 80 per cent of executives now consider XR solutions as important to helping close the gap of physical distance when engaging their workforce.  

This new study supports findings from Accenture’s 2017 report which found that XR was among the key technologies driving corporate change.  

In fact, according to the report, 27 per cent of executives also believed that it was important for organisations to be pioneers in XE solutions; a move which has sparked a recent shift in management consultant thinking, with firms such as Deloitte Digital now shifting to a remote-first strategy.  

Due to the real-time nature of XR – which enables users to chat, work on projects and share data in-the-moment – its popularity stems largely from its ability to deliver authentic human connections. The technology offers not only the traditional phone call / co-working experience but takes it one step further to make employees actually feel like they’re in the same place. Helping teams stay better engaged and connected by enabling effective communications, despite the distance. 

So this raises the question, should the first option for businesses now be to offer a tailored solution for the remote worker as standard, rather than designing an office experience and then downgrading it?