Categories: Engineering Workplace Transformation

Humans are complicated. Webex Hologram embraces that.

Seven years ago, my team set out to create something truly disruptive—something that would transform hybrid work and collaboration as we knew it. And we did it. In October 2021, we announced Webex Hologram, the industry’s first real-time, photorealistic holographic tool.

By simply donning an augmented reality headset (our tool works with Magic Leap 2 or HoloLens 2 headsets), my colleague, who’s thousands of miles away, appears right in front of me in lifelike, three-dimensional form. This is the future. This is where hybrid collaboration is headed.

Oddly enough, the driving force for creating Webex Hologram wasn’t so much focused on the future as it was on the past. Yes, I thrive on innovation, and, yes, I wanted to redefine collaborative technology and how we use it. But I also wanted to fix what was broken with hybrid work. I wanted to strip away the technology, simplify everything, and really uncover what we as humans value most when we collaborate. And I found that—while, yes, technology is ever evolving—humans have pretty much stayed the same since the beginning of our existence.

Keeping that revelation in mind, we designed Webex Hologram to foster meaningful human connection—however nuanced, emotional, and even illogical it may sometimes be. If you’re considering adapting our tool in your workplace, here are three ways Webex Hologram is designed to meet your human employees where they are.

1. Humans value proximity. Webex Hologram brings people together.

We can work from anywhere these days: the train, the couch, the beach, the office. But we still crave human interaction. In a recent study, 74% of Gen Z respondents said they want some form of onsite work because they value face-to-face interactions with their colleagues.

This isn’t surprising, considering we are inherently social creatures. Since the dawn of humanity, we have gathered together to tell stories and learn from one another. We have circle time in kindergarten to share about the day. We bond over after-work drinks to swap stories as adults.

Our Webex Hologram customers use this tool to be together when they can’t. For example, one customer, a medical device company, needs to teach physicians how to use their products during spinal surgeries. This hands-on training requires real-time feedback. Webex Hologram allows for that valuable proximity, even if trainers and trainees are thousands of miles apart.

2. Humans rely on unspoken cues. Webex Hologram lets us use them.

Hybrid work is a game-changer, but the downside is that we’ve flattened collaboration. Working together in a remote world looks a lot like talking heads stacked across the screen. When we left the office, work collapsed into a two-dimensional reality.

While, for the most part, we can get the job done this way, think about what we’re missing: According to the famous 1967 study conducted by psychology expert Albert Mehrabian, only 7% of how humans communicate is based on our words. Body language comprises 55% of our communication, while tone of voice is 38%.

The McLaren Formula 1 Team knows how valuable those unspoken cues are. With racing taking place across the globe, sometimes on-site car builders need to collaborate with off-site engineers and occasionally engineers are flown to a Formula 1 event to help whenever a part needs to be reengineered or reconfigured. But with Webex Hologram, the team can save precious time while still experiencing an in-person interaction that facilitates deeper understanding and collaboration.

3. Humans are complicated. Webex Hologram embraces that.

Remember when everyone was turning siloed offices into open-concept workspaces? Then we decided we all hated that, so we scrapped that idea. We humans are constantly trying new things, figuring out new ways to work together. It is in our nature to explore and discover. Webex Hologram leaves room for that curiosity.

One of your employees might thrive in an office environment, while another might manage daily tasks better from home. Webex Hologram lets these different work modalities come together, helping you build a highly productive team that feels valued because they can work and connect in whatever way is best for them.

Ready to help your employees experience meaningful human connection, no matter where they are located? Learn more about Webex Hologram here.

Published by
Elizabeth Bieniek

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