Workplace

4 Ways the Virtual World Can Change the Workplace

April 7, 2014

4 Ways the Virtual World Can Change the Workplace

What looks like playing a video game may soon be changing the age-old workplace. Virtual reality software is now a viable option for getting important work accomplished and moving an organization forward in the new technology era. This new workplace is becoming easier to implement in new, emerging as well as trusted, traditional business structures; and it is  showing great promise in the manufacturing sector.

Natalie Burg wrote, “If only Henry Ford could see what his brainchild was up to today.” Ford is currently in a year-long piloting phase at the Wayne, Michigan assembly plant, and the company is leading the way in this innovative approach to work. “Ford takes a very innovative approach to manufacturing, so it’s no coincidence that they are the first to leverage IntoSite,” said, Zvi Feuer, senior vice president, manufacturing engineering software, Siemens PLM software.

A virtual workplace for manufacturers and engineers is beneficial for many reasons:

Efficiency

In a game-like setting, engineers can tinker, test and solve issues quicker and with less up-front costs. Information can be stored and accessed in an organization’s open data cloud. The platform ultimately creates a trusted, transparent organization. It also allows large media files to be shared seamlessly with others. It eliminates the need for physical storage space, transportation, and presentation to partners in other plants and offices.  PowerPoint presentations and endless meetings may become a thing of the past as humans find new, more practical ways to get the job done.

Globalization

At Ford, employees from around the world will soon be able to collaborate in highly sophisticated ways. The IntoSite uses Google Earth technology to map out the plant space and create a truly realistic, virtual experience, allowing employees to visually share their innovations. By using Google technology to bridge the gap between global plants and offices, the possibilities are endless.

Standardization

File sharing improves consistency by establishing shared processes, formatting, and knowledge. New, shared information will quickly sync and spread to everyone within the organization. This leads to improved consistency in planning, researching and development.

Collaboration

IntoSite is “turning local insight into enterprise efficiencies.” Tricks of the trade will spread through the virtual community quickly and freely. IntoSite might finally bridge the problematic manufacturing and engineering skill gaps, which reduce innovation in the American automobile industry.

 

For many millennials, this kind of workplace sounds like a dream come true, and with it come new, exciting jobs. Do you think your business could benefit from using virtual workplaces? What challenges might arise? 

 

Sources:

Ford Pilots New Siemens Software Using Google Earth Technology to Virtually Navigate Assembly Plants and Enhance Global Manufacturing Collaboration

Ford Pilots A New Virtual Assembly Plant To Build Its Cars

MIT Study Finds Engineering Skills Gap May Hurt American Innovation

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