Wendy Knight Agard, Leadership Coach & TEDx Speaker
SESSION: Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging – from the Inside Out
Q: Your thought on skilled women who struggle with putting their best forward due to belief that people who are overweight are not strong to perform at their best?
A: The principle of doing the work within yourself applies regardless of the specific challenge you are experiencing. So whether the challenge is highlighting your achievements, a false belief about your creativity or quieting the self-judgement related to body weight, the first steps are to acknowledge and accept that this challenge exists within you. Learning to accept and embrace all aspects of yourself, including the part of you that judges yourself about your weight, is an important step toward developing diversity and inclusion within yourself. You could even use the Can’t/Won’t/Will exercise to address a topic in which you are not performing as well as you would like to. Good luck on your journey.
SESSION: The Power of VR in the Workplace
Q: Are there particular industries where you see this taking off most?
A: We are most likely to see growth in industries were widget-making is incredibly tactical, i.e., manufacturing. VR as a workplace enables people who collaborate on making a widget and testing—-while standing in a room together (virtually).
Q: Where can business leaders interested in adopting VR in the workplace go to learn more?
A:There are numerous VR-as-a-workplace vendors. I’ve always found the website RoadToVR as a source of great product reviews to get started.
Q: Is there a wellbeing issue with this kind of adoption? The challenges that we see with work from home relating to mental health, isolation etc.?
A: Of course! Many of the WIT Summit panelists discussed COVID’s impact on how we work, productivity, and mental health. VR offers a way to engage with colleagues and “leave” your home. The ability to virtually walk through the halls, high-five, and stand next to your colleagues in a conference room has a great potential to boost the sense of well being.
Q: Will VR be additional support for collaboration, or take it over entirely, in your opinion?
A: This is a great question and the topic of debate. When it comes down to it, people would ideally like to collaborate in-person. But, if necessary and it is unreasonable otherwise, they will collaborate digitally.
Businesses use VR-as-a-workplace for specific times of the day, i.e., meetings, a birthday celebration, or training. However, VR experts doubt employees would want to wear their headsets all day. Humans still want to feel grounded in what they are doing. So, for right now, VR-in-the-workplace folks will most likely toggle back and forth while working from home between working with a computer and working with a VR headset.
Q: For those who aren’t fluent in this technology’s language, are there concurrent conversations around VR and AR in the workplace?
A: Yes. Many popular VR platforms (such as Spatial and Glue) incorporate AR and VR to get the job done.
Right now, the conversation boils down to this, “Is VR going to help us, or is it a ‘nice to have’ technology for our office?” This question makes sense when businesses look at their budgets and see employees productively working while using Zoom or Teams. First, the company needs to make a decision. Then, the business needs to roll out a plan for adoption and onboarding employees.