America is facing an employment crisis. One of the major contributors to the country’s employment crisis is the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused many companies to close or lose their businesses. This, in turn, caused as many as 3.8 million workers to lose their jobs. Currently, 7.4 million Americans are unemployed. Furthermore, 1.3 million individuals were prevented from looking for jobs because of the pandemic.
On the other hand, the pandemic also made some employees reevaluate their career goals, which caused an increase in employee turnover, prompting HR professionals to find workers who can fill vacant positions.
As businesses continue to adapt to the new normal, how we view the workplace has started to change. How can HR professionals bridge the unemployment gap? How can innovations in technology address the country’s employment crisis?
The XR Association (XRA), a trade association that promotes the global growth of XR technology and represents companies that employ this technology, has recently released its second annual market research survey. Titled “A New Reality in Immersive Technology (XR): Insights and Industry Trends for HR and Learning & Development”, it details how HR professionals in various industries view extended reality and how it can be used in the workplace.
Highlighting Priorities Needed to Address America’s Employment Crisis
How is America’s employment crisis affecting workers and employers? The XRA’s report also confirmed that the post-pandemic situation has prompted many workers to reevaluate their career goals, and that employers are dealing with higher turnover rates.
To solve the employment crisis, HR professionals are looking into three top priorities:
- Training and upskilling employees;
- Finding and securing skilled talent;
- Promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts.
They believe that extended reality technology, an umbrella term that covers three technologies: virtual, augmented, and mixed reality, is one of the most effective ways to address the country’s ongoing employment crisis.
How XR Technology Bridges the Gap
The pandemic has prompted many industries to embrace digital transformation. However, it’s not without its challenges. As the need for a remote workplace increases, employers are struggling to bridge the gap. In this train of thought, XR technology is being viewed as a pandemic recovery tool.
By leveraging extended reality technologies, employers can make a lot of impact in three key areas according to the IBM Institute for Business Value: training, workflows, and employee engagement.
The XRA report further states that XR technologies can be used to increase efficiency, achieve better training and development outcomes, and expand the capabilities of distance learning efforts. For employee training and development, extended reality can be used to enhance visualization, remote collaboration, and accessibility. They also make learning more fun and interesting, bolstering employee engagement and knowledge retention among employees.
Moreover, extended reality can be used as tools to enhance resilience, enabling employees to still get work done despite the challenges posed by a post-pandemic work environment.
In addition to these benefits, XR technologies also promote a more efficient way of finding and retaining talent as well as improving how teams communicate and collaborate. Extended reality technologies also expand opportunities for both workers and employers. Sixty-one percent of HR professionals believe that XR technologies can provide them with expanded opportunities for workers throughout the country, which can help mitigate the effects of the country’s employment crisis.
Extended reality can also be used to address the skills gap, allowing employers to hire more diverse pools of talent, shares XR Association CEO, Elizabeth Hyman. “The use of XR for workforce training can help close the skills gap, allowing HR professionals to look beyond recruiting for exact expertise, opening up larger, more diverse pools of talent,” said Hyman in a press release shared with ARPost.
Extended reality technologies will continue to reshape the way we work, allowing blended workplace environments to continue to thrive.