New tools and technology are available to revolutionize the way you, your team, and your contractors train.

From better ways to communicate and share lessons learned to better training simulations, there’s a wealth of great opportunities that become more affordable every day. A lot of experience has been gathered and specialized companies support from Fortune 500 companies to much smaller family businesses already implement breakthrough technology.

Take a look at two big ways that training and personal development are changing.

Collaboration, Training and Simulations

Slack Discord, Skype, Google Docs, and many other collaboration tools used by companies like Siemens or GE exist to make working together easier.

As the internet revolution made it easier to work on digital and traditional projects, it was obvious that creating teams that do not have to share the same physical space was the future. 

Advances in collaboration in the 2010s made it easier for teams to work on technical specifications, prepare tenders or write a board report. Obviously writing software and working on digital platforms becomes much easier as people can collaborate across different locations. To work on documents, images, and other files at the same time rather than waiting for someone else to finish improved team efficiency considerably.

Now, collaboration is finding ways to work faster than even if the team was working in the same room. Being able to not only work on files, but chat, send links, draw diagrams, and share other communications instantly is the way of the future.

Working together and training together is vital. For training and professional development, teams can use information from their live work sessions to share notes, make comparisons, and even recreate scenarios.

This training goes beyond internal practice. What if your client is okay with being in on the improvements and wanted to see what the project would look like if cavalier thinkers were unchained from rules, protocol, or customer expectations?

Creating a simulated project in a collaboration suite allows team members, clients, and others to work together, create small pods to work on the same projects without prying eyes, and many other configurations.

Virtual Offices, Shops, and VR Worlds

Virtual Reality (VR) has been in and out of the entertainment and business world for a few decades, but recent advances have made VR a better experience for everyone.

The problem with VR has always been immersion and cost. How much money do you need to pay for an experience, and is the experience any good?

The Oculus Rift headset marked the beginning of the modern mainstream VR headset culture. Although it had a rocky start in Kickstarter, it signaled an opportunity for bigger companies.

The Sony Playstation VR Kit, HTC Vive, Nintendo Labo, and Lenovo Mirage followed, along with more Oculus company devices. While mostly for entertainment, the technologies that are being developed change the way doctors operate, industrial design labs shorten development times and marketing companies create new 3D advertisement content.

Augmented Reality (AR) is often labeled as a separate concept from VR, but it’s the same general technology with a different use. AR is useful for everything from overlaying internal organs and schematics for professionals to catching monsters in Pokémon Go.

For employee development, the world of simulations and better practice is here. While real-life experience is often limited when you really need to see a detail from different angles, AR will often yield the best results, better simulations allow consistent, safe exploration.

VR/AR training along with live, production experience can constantly build on one another to make more simulations. Simulations will provide more practice than real life experience can provide in many industries, and real life improves simulations.

If you own a family business, make sure that your management is constantly updating its own know how and that your Board Members are savvy enough to guide you in the right direction.