VR’s compelling case for remote team collaboration

What: Virtual reality (VR) may hold the answer when it comes to effective collaboration between remote team members.

As more companies adopt a distributed team structure, a sense of connection, alongside communication, between members and departments is becoming a rare and valued commodity.

While there is no shortage of communication and project management platforms out there, it seems like they aren’t able to replace the togetherness one gets form interacting with their co-working in a real-world, office environment.

Enter VR.

How: One company out of La Jolla, California, offers a VR platform that addresses the above shortcoming. VirBELA, which launched in 2012 out of the campus of the University of California San Diego, has been providing its virtual co-working campus to teams and businesses for a while now. The VR equivalent of WeWork, so to speak.

Recently, the company launched what it calls “private Team Suites” – virtual office space allowing teams to collaborate. As the company puts it, the services lets teams “come together, feel together, and work together from anywhere.”

Team Suites can host groups of up to 20 co-workers (i.e. their avatars), at a monthly lease of $200. Co-workers can talk to each other, share their screen, deliver virtual presentations and more.

Check out how it works here

The company will continue offering its Open Campus, a public co-working space, for free. In addition, it offers fully-customizable environments for businesses to tailor it to their needs, host events, meetings, training sessions, etc.

VirBELA offers a variety of spaces that allow remote teams to interact, conduct meetings and presentations and, now, sit together daily in a private, virtual office environment.”, the company said in a press release. It boasts a number of clients, including Stanford University.

VirBELA is part of eXp World Holdings, Inc. (EXPI 56,97, -6,74%), a real estate brokerage that is one of the main users of the virtual space for its almost 25,000 agents. Recently, it held a leadership meeting for 650 of its people who all came together in VR.

What’s next: A global research by Swiss service company IWG shows that more than 50% of professionals worldwide work away from the office for at least half of the week.

With employees’ increasing appreciating of their personal time and space, and rising demand for flexible working (important for 4 out of 5 respondents), it is not unlikely to see VR working practices gain even more popularity in the coming decade.

Here’s to a future of work where your avatar is hustling in VR while you’re lounging on the beach, marveling at the sunset with a margarita in hand.