May 28, 2020

Gather ’round the virtual watercooler…

… because virtual reality offices are like a mashup of Dilbert and The Sims.

Photo: TEOOH / YouTube

…because you may be able to visit the best parts of your workplace right from your couch. Companies are rolling out virtual office environments to bring their socially distanced troops together.

Dilbert, meet The Sims

The file-transfer service WeTransfer opened a virtual replica of its Dutch HQ, and employees use it for in-person meetings and happy hours (because it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere, even in virtual reality).

A London firm called Teooh specializes in building venues where virtual gatherings take place — giving office workers the same thrill (OK, maybe that’s pushing it) that video gamers have enjoyed for years.

The valley of the virtual office is uncanny

And depending on the platform, the experience may or may not imitate real life. As Fast Company noted: Private talks on Teooh involve only the participants — so no eavesdropping on your bosses.

The office may be virtual, but the org chart is still very much intact: Sine Wave Entertainment’s own virtual space features a boardroom that senior members can lock.

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