We Worked in a VR Office For a Few Months and Didn’t Totally Hate It | Mashable

okay my face is probably like just just like so red [Music] facial is an application that can work across mixed reality there's augmented reality components you can jump in via the browser or your vr headset but essentially it puts you into like a fully simulated shared space environment and you get to interact with other colleagues in their avatars just a really neat way to sort of showcase uh the future of work and what's possible right now i started working at mashable only a few months prior to the start of the pandemic so because of that i really never had a chance to meet a lot of my colleagues i immediately thought to myself like wouldn't this be a great way for me to like kind of meet my colleagues and like do the work with them can we maybe work for a month solely in virtual reality okay okay i'm going in i'd only worked with alex for a few months uh before the pandemic hit and then i never met joseph in person so i was excited to actually be able to see them even if it's you know not their actual selves anything was better than a computer screen at that point i hope i'm joining my room when we first started our meetings uh in spatial i was very fearful i was worried that brendan and alex were gonna think who is this kook why is he making us do this this is such an unnecessary part of our you know workflow and then i worried it would also be distracting i found a baseball bat there's an option in your dashboard called stuff it's just this huge library of objects you can pick from while we were just chatting and discussing things for work alex would be just arranging all these objects and playing with them and i never put that as uh as a sign of oh he's not paying attention i took that as a sign of he's actually really engaged and present and i know even for brenda she had wanted so badly to play around with all the objects um to help focus she was worried it would be rude so she actually would just focus on alex's behavior and it sort of grounded all of us in a way and it added levity hold on i found a pizza the biggest learning curve was just mainly getting used to the controllers in general because i'm somebody that never used the quest to after one or two tries it sort of just becomes you know instinctual you just just figure out what to do how do i scroll up i found it pretty natural to acclimate just to that stuff you know i figured out how to make it do what i wanted it to do pretty quickly it's not some vr quote unquote experience about riding a roller coaster you know shooting aliens or whatever it's meant to uh replicate the experience of sitting in a room with your co-workers okay yeah like like what would you want us to yeah what do you want us to say i'm sorry would you say alex nothing don't worry about it sorry i was thinking out loud the advantage that i thought this had over something like you know zoom or google me was that if i want to address someone i can turn and look at them and that i thought was one of the more transformative things about it compared to the way we the other ways we've been doing this stuff for the past year meeting in vr means that you don't have to be camera ready so i didn't have to do my hair or my makeup or even worry about what i looked like i didn't realize i had that issue of like worrying about that until the pandemic happened and we all had to chat on you know video but with spatial i didn't have to build in that time to look ready and presentable occasionally every now and then while we were talking i would just close my eyes for 10 or 15 seconds just like i'm just i'm sitting back i'm listening i've got my eyes closed and you can't do that when you're talking to someone in real life because it's very rude but in vr they can't tell uh and that's great [Music] the issue i've always had with vr is an issue i still have with vr after doing this is that i just don't like being forced into a situation where i am not aware of what's happening phys immediately around me because i'm wearing this headset that encompassing all of my senses are being occupied by this thing i'm stuck i'm literally stuck oh man let's just hit the coffee that's on my desk whoopsies the other thing about the headset specifically until it is something that is as easy to wear as like my glasses i don't think that it would be something that would appeal to a lot of people whatever the future of home vr is or home ar or whatever needs to be thinner and lighter it needs to be something that doesn't remove you from your physical surroundings like it does now i would do it maybe like once every couple of weeks for certain things like maybe if i wanted to have like a really goofy get-together bonding meeting yes i think it would be helpful even in even in the best circumstances it's just not the same as sitting in your chair in front of your laptop i personally took for granted uh the connectivity of things like you know google calendar and that integrated into slack and whenever you have a meeting you get the pop-up and you just click the link and you're already in your meeting i think until we're able to do that with vr the process of putting on the headset logging in and then clicking on the app and then finding the room it's just a process the promise of it was much more tantalizing than the reality of what it turned out to be but i think in general mostly what spatials served to do for three of us was facilitate conversations it helped me bond with the both of them it allowed us to talk about things you wouldn't talk about in a meeting and as a result we were able to sometimes get pieces out of it that wouldn't have been suggested or even discussed in the first place yeah yeah we're good i'm good and it's friday

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