Why We Love VR Fridays

Last Fall, we established VR Fridays. Now an end-of-week institution, VR Fridays allow Coughlin Porter Lundeen employees to come together, don VR goggles and walk through our latest projects. We’re sharing why VR Fridays have been such a success in our office and suggesting tips for implementing your own version of employee-driven learning.

Why We Love VR Fridays:

1. Gets Us Away from Our Desks
2. Lets Us Benefit from Team Talent
3. Keeps Us Up on Trends
4. Broadens our Perspective

Gets Us Away from Our Desks

VR Fridays give our team a reason to get up, interact with one another, and get away from their desks. The benefits are numerous: the opportunity to interact with teammates we don’t typically, encouraging a culture of collaboration in our office, even improving overall productivity. (There’s science supporting the idea that small, purposeful breaks actually make employees more productive.)

Most of all though, we love how VR Fridays let us spend time with our coworkers in a lighthearted environment. Brought a beer along? Fine! Have a tidbit about the project we’re walking through? Shout it out! Did you just show up to watch your teammate try to acclimate to VR goggles? Enjoy the show! (But you’re up next…)

Tip: In order to make VR Fridays less of an interruption or distraction, they’re strategically scheduled for Friday afternoons when the team is closing out the work week. Designate your time carefully, considering the dynamics, schedules and work styles of your team.

Let’s Us Benefit from Team Talent

Each of our team members brings a unique skillset and life experience. Coughlin Porter Lundeen prioritizes collaboration, and it feels on-brand that there would be a platform like VR Fridays to learn from one another. VR Fridays are facilitated by Technology Specialist, Joel Hills. A regular hackathon participant (and winner), and self-proclaimed tech geek, Joel brings his tech enthusiasm to the office – and we all benefit. In the same way, we have success with staff-led task teams (Wood Task Group, Steel Task Group), committees (Women in STEM). There’s even a book club! We feel VR Fridays are a case study in what can happen when you give employees a platform to share.

Tip: Sure, Joel may seem like a perfect fit, but we bet there are employee education heroes hiding in your ranks, too. If your marketing department has a member who loves writing, host a Writing Tips Lunch and Learn. If a recent project featured a never-before-executed element, invite the project lead to give a lunchtime presentation. Do you have someone on staff who is a client meeting superstar? Maybe they can pass on their skills to young employees in a miniseries. You may just find that your own team boasts the best teachers!

Keeps Us Up on Trends

We promise clients that we’re up on the latest technology and trends. VR Fridays help us put our money where our mouth is. At VR Fridays we’re not only able to walk through recent projects, but have the opportunity to share all things VR and technology: how it’s worked on recent client projects, who’s using it exceptionally well, tips and tricks we’ve picked up via use, even cool out-of-industry applications.

Tip: Keeping up-to-date on trends doesn’t require an event or gathering. An easy way for employees to learn from one another: article sharing! By encouraging this practice, you’re allowing employees to learn from one another in an organic, low-pressure way. Staff interests are sure to be varied, so everyone benefits when they share what they’re reading, being inspired by, and excited about. Even (and especially!) out-of-industry pieces. (Scared of spam? Talk to your Marketing department about presenting articles in an organized way.)

Broadens our Perspective

On VR Fridays, the projects we tour are our own. In an office that manages more than XX projects a month, it’s difficult for employees to be familiar with every active project. VR Fridays provide another channel for employees to explore the firm’s portfolio and see beyond the work on their own desk.

Tip: Prioritize internal communication. We do our best to make it easier for staff to get info on firm work. A few things that work well for us: publishing full project lists, sharing project updates in our monthly internal newsletter, and hosting staff project presentations at our quarterly, all-company meetings.

Coughlin Porter Lundeen is leveraging VR for many live projects and regularly hosts in-office demos for clients. If you’re interested in a demo or learning how VR could be used for your project, please contact your project manager.