The Virtual Office of the Future: Are Centralized Workplaces Obsolete?

  • Pascal Knierim ,
  • Albrecht Schmidt


The worldwide spread of coronavirus is vigorously affecting our everyday life and many industries. Unforeseen, a significant number of workforces are required to work from home, impacting creativity, work performance, and social interaction. Video conferencing is consequently substituting in-person meetings, and new workplaces are arranged in domestic environments, causing a fundamental shift in how employees work and interact. To lower the unfavorable impact of continuous telecommuting, we highlight virtual reality technology as a potential solution to enhance domestic workplaces. In this position paper, we discuss the opportunities and current challenges for working in virtual reality. We focus on two application scenarios and present recent solutions to enable knowledge workers to work and interact in virtual reality and trends on how virtual reality services could substitute video conferencing. As a result, we envision a virtual office of the future, making centralized workplaces obsolete and highlight open research questions to realize productive and pleasant work in virtual reality.


mixed reality, virtual reality, workplaces, virtual office, collaboration, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2


LMU Munich

Pascal Knierim is a researcher in the Human-Centered Ubiquitous Media group at the LMU Munich, Germany. Prior, he was at the Human-Computer Interaction and Cognitive Systems group at the University of Stuttgart. His research focus includes augmented and virtual reality as ubiquitous computing technology. He is investigating the lifecycle of mixed reality applications and how they will influence our everyday life. Knierim has worked for Nokia and Microsoft Research in Cambridge.

LMU Munich

New Future of Work 2020, August 3–5, 2020
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