How One Company Is Using Virtual Reality to Create a Real Connection for Its Employees
Reality Interactive, a leading retail technology design firm and digital agency in Middletown, Connecticut, wasn't going to let COVID-19 ruin their Holiday-20 fun.
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A creative and tech savvy group by trade, they were determined to use the very expertise they offer their clients to host a safe, fun and innovative holiday party for their own staff.
In fact, what's been a tough year for many businesses has been a productive year for Reality, as many companies have enlisted them to digitally solve for their pandemic business struggles.
When an employee asked "what are we doing for our holiday gathering this year?", this creative crew did what they do with every challenge… quickly analyze, brainstorm, develop and launch a progressive solution in a month's time.
Like many other companies, the Reality team has been working remotely since March 2020. "We're a small but mighty crew, and the truth is that we've missed the human connection that we had pre-pandemic," said Jeremy Brazeal, Executive Creative Director for Reality. "It didn't take us long to figure out that we need to e creative not only for our clients, but for ourselves, too."
In the spirit of celebration and safety, Reality took every day videoconferencing to the next level. They sent Oculus virtual reality headsets to their 46 employees as holiday gifts. On December 23, they used those headsets to go "holiday office party mode" direct from their homes. Together, employees virtually walked and talked through a snowy winter evening, played a few games of hoops and watched some holiday fireworks.
"It wasn't what we were used to, but it was both safe and fun… and definitely scored points for the cool factor," said Jessica Amenta, Reality Account Director. "It's important that we as a team feel connected if we want to also feel connected with our clients. And this year's holiday celebration showed us that management believes in that, too."
Because Reality typically uses their own staff when testing newer technology, they've been able to stay fluent in new technologies and applications, and offer their ever-evolving learnings to their clients.
"We've been doing remote team building activities in an effort to stay connected, but we wanted to use technology to its fullest and get the most out of our remote experience, especially at this time. Employees now want to try conducting meetings this way, too, so I guess our experiment can be considered a success. We plan to continue finding new ways to use VR to bring teams together-the holiday party was just the beginning," said Jeremy Brazeal.
About Reality Interactive
Reality Interactive is a multi-award winning, retail technology and design agency. The firm specializes in creating and managing innovative retail experiences using touchscreen displays, digital signage, digital media and a full suite of interactive and creative technologies.
Over the past 16 years, Reality has created hundreds of dynamic in-store experiences partnering with some of the world's biggest brands and their agencies.
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