Ready Worker One? High-Res VR for the Home Office

Title Ready Worker One? High-Res VR for the Home Office

Many employees prefer to work from home, yet struggle to squeeze their office into an already fully-utilized space. Virtual Reality (VR) seemingly offered a solution with its ability to transform even modest physical spaces into spacious, productive virtual offices, but hardware challenges\—such as low resolution\—have prevented this from becoming a reality. Now that hardware issues are being overcome, we are able to investigate the suitability of VR for daily work. To do so, we (1) studied the physical space that users typically dedicate to home offices and (2) conducted an exploratory study of users working in VR for one week. For (1) we used digital ethnography to study 430 self-published images of software developer workstations in the home, confirming that developers faced myriad space challenges. We used speculative design to re-envision these as VR workstations, eliminating many challenges. For (2) we asked 10 developers to work in their own home using VR for about two hours each day for four workdays, and then interviewed them. We found that working in VR improved focus and made mundane tasks more enjoyable. While some subjects reported issues\—annoyances with the fit, weight, and umbilical cord of the headset\—the vast majority of these issues seem to be addressable. Together, these studies show VR technology has the potential to address many key problems with home workstations, and, with continued improvements, may become an integral part of creating an effective workstation in the home.

Year of Publication
Conference Name
Virtual Reality Software and Technology (VRST) '23
Date Published
Conference Location
Christchurch, New Zealand
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