Report: Working in VR leads to more frustration and task load

New study finds working in a virtual reality environment to be more stressful

A paper looking into the effects of working in VR has concluded that it leads to more frustration and anxiety, and less productivity.

The paper, called ‘Quantifying the Effects of Working in VR for One Week’, compared 16 participants working in a virtual reality setup for five days (eight hours a day) to a physical work environment, PC Gamer reported.

Results found “concerning levels of simulator sickness, below average usability ratings and two participants dropped out on the first day using VR, due to migraine, nausea and anxiety.”

The paper continued: “The main findings of the study are as follows: self-rated task load was significantly higher in VR (approximately 35%), as was frustration (42%), negative affect (11%), anxiety (19% ) and eye strain (48%).

“VR resulted in significantly lower system usability scale scores (36%) with below average ratings, self-rated flow (14%), perceived productivity (16%) and wellbeing (20%).”

The paper noted that this only lays “the groundwork for subsequent research,” and that it’s aiming to highlight “current shortcomings and identifying opportunities for improving the experience of working in VR.”

It also highlighted that some participants did “gradually [overcome] negative first impressions and initial discomfort.”

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