While virtual reality (VR) as a game-changer at work might currently seem unlikely, according to a new report by Universum, almost half of Gen Z in Singapore believe that the technology is poised to revolutionise their work in the coming decade.

Surveying 18,337 individuals in 19 countries with statistically relevant sample sizes, the report produced in collaboration between Universum, INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute, The HEAD Foundation and MIT Leadership Center, found that just 3% of working professionals currently use any type of VR applications in the workplace. However, a third of them felt that VR is poised to revolutionise their work in the coming decade.

"For employers, it’s an interesting reminder that a trend that seems like a distant possibility may be closer than imagined – if only because of the rising pool of Gen Z soon to enter the workforce. Among Gen Z, 42% anticipate VR applications in the workplace – a statistic that should jolt talent managers into action," the report noted.

By country, 49% of Gen Z in Singapore believe that VR will revolutionise work in the coming decade, with 45% of Gen Z in the United States, and 56% of Gen Z in India agreeing with the sentiment.

Universum State of Unreadiness VR

Universum State of Unreadiness VR 2


But before employers look into VR, it is crucial for them to get their basic digital capabilities right.

According to the research, despite 72% of Gen X and 72% Gen Y thinking that their employers’ digital capabilities are important, only 44% of Gen Y and 40% of Gen X think employers’ digital capabilities are high.

With the increasing importance placed on flexibility, the research also noted that it is important for employers to understand what flexible means for key members of their workforce.

Universum state of unreadiness flexibility

Universum State of unreadiness flexibility 2


Additionally, when it comes to training and development, Universum's research found that 78% of Gen Z students in the U.S. prefer in-person options, while just 50% of Gen X professionals in the U.S. say they prefer in-person training. Interestingly, in China, the gap between generations is smaller: 68% of Gen Z prefer in-person options compared to 61% of Gen X professionals.

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