Day 23 in the Virtual Office!
Total Time in VR: 4 hours and 28 minutes (across 6 VR sessions)
Use Cases: 1:1 Meetings (60% – 2 hours 41 min), Focus Time (29% – 1 hour 16 min), MiniMindfulness (11% – 30 min)
Today I spent a lot of time in 1:1 Meetings. I do monthly development meetings with my team and today was the day. While we often do those on Zoom (gotta see the faces!), lately we’ve done them in Workrooms, where we do pretty much all of our other meetings already.
It was great to spend that face-to-face time with each of them. Every time we do this activity it reminds me how powerful VR is for building connections; for building relationships. I care about my team, and I would even if all we did was Zoom. But there’s an element that is added when you spend time in “virtual proximity” to one another that is hard to explain, but you know it when you feel it.
At the same time, the solo sessions in between my 1:1 meetings felt very hollow today. I even jumped on my Sprinter page to rattle off a 15 minute stream of consciousness that I will not burden anyone by sharing. In the writing, I talked myself into understanding that I was feeling the same feelings I would if I was with people in a physical space and then was suddenly completely alone. It’s jarring. My brain didn’t like it. But there’s more to explore to figure out how to find balance, or how to reset expectations of how a VR Office Space might function.
Cup Half Empty: I started tracking each time VR got in the way of my productivity today (and I track it in the daily survey too). During my first 1:1 this morning I was totally booted out of Workrooms. Like all the way to the Landing Page with my apps. I sent a quick Slack to say I was coming back, and after a minute I was back in the room, but it had derailed the convo for a bit. Apparently I just appeared grey with “connecting” over my head the whole time I was gone, but it took us a few minutes to get back on track. I was worried that would happen in all of my meetings today, but it did not. In one meeting the avatar froze a couple times, but it seemed to un-freeze after a few minutes. That was a little jarring, but I could see past it in a way that other users probably would not. So avatar freeze remains a worry for me when thinking about scaling the solution.
Cup Half Full: Despite those jarring moments, the majority of the time in my face-to-face meetings today was awesome. I know my team by their avatars almost better than their real faces (and the same goes for my avatar with them)! I was excited to spend so much time in conversation today. My largest category is usually Focus Time, which is great but solo, and collab is where the best experiences will be found.
I had a much busier day in VR today because of many scheduled 1:1 meetings. I was surprised by the jarring difference between being in collab VR and suddenly being in solo VR. I really want to think more about how that hard shift plays with the brain a bit more than I expected. The issues of avatar freeze are becoming a bit of a trend, so it’s good I’m tracking those things in my daily survey. All in all, this was a good day in the VR Office!