The office, for many of us is where we spend a large portion of our day, and for those that do, environment is obviously hugely important. Whether it be a chatty Cathy at the desk two tables down, or the general hustle and bustle of the day, distractions in the office can cut down on productivity in big ways.
The open-office model, wherein cubical walls are eschewed for a more open collaborative space, has been around since the 50’s and has recently become heavily popularized due to its effervescent presence in the tech industry. Studies have shown that while this environment does have it’s benefits like making the office feel like a more laid back and innovative space. However according to an article in the New Yorker, it comes with numerous downsides such as “damaging attention spans, productivity, creative thinking, and satisfactions,” and that “compared with standard offices, employees experienced… higher levels of stress and lower levels of concentration and motivation.” That being said, speaking personally, the idea of being locked in a cubical isn’t exactly appealing either. So where is the happy medium solution where you can be in a collaborative atmosphere but get away to concentrate when you need to? Mure VR believes the solution can be found in virtual reality, with Breakroom.
Breakroom is a project that is being created with the help of environmental and industrial psychologists with the goal of making a “virtual reality office space [that] stimulates the user in a positive way and therefore enhances [their] performance.” The project looks to help solve the problem colloquially known as the ‘open-office trap’ and do so in a way that helps to functionally increase productivity. Breakroom allows you to project your virtual monitors in a “fully functional workplace environment tailored to your specific needs and aesthetics.” The point being to create an environment that allows you to maintain a strong focus on your work, while not letting your stress levels elevate to crazy levels (because how can you be stressed on a gorgeous mountain — oh wait I can think of one way).
Says the company’s head of business strategy, Anton, “our long term vision is to make specialized solutions that make employees feel more comfortable at work and be more productive.” Honestly, as a writer in an open office myself, I am excited about this. It sometimes can be a little hard to concentrate with all the goings on around me, so having a way to productively isolate myself without burying myself in some closet is great.