From sold out virtual concerts, crazily immersive videogames, real-life training for surgeons, all the way to a complete metaverse where you’ll be able to live out every aspect of your life in an online world…there’s no denying that the virtual reality we’ve been imagining is already happening, now.
The verdict is still out on whether or not the most encompassing vision of the metaverse will actually materialize to become the next greatest thing. And while some of this is incredibly exciting and a long time coming, we have to admit that some of it a little overwhelming when the vision is something that will fundamentally change how we socialize.
We’re in both camps for the moment, and will be watching the space for what happens next. But what we already know for sure is that it’s going to be revolutionary for the way we work.
What if you could be more productive and creative than ever? Add a virtual world created just for you and your team to connect. How about a full stack display personalized for your performance? That’s Head Office.
Unlocking more freedom and flexibility through technology is at the core of the modern lifestyle we’ve always created for. The future we imagine has always included an eventual world where flexible working and having more control over our daily schedules is a reality for everyone, not just a niche population of tech or digital workers.
The past two (!) years of what started as forced working from home has already sped up that process more than anyone probably thought was possible. This initial period of pandemic-induced remote work is also when Guillaume – then student and Native Union intern, now our Industrial Designer in Paris – first approached Fabien about his project.
“The first ideas for Head Office came from my master’s degree subject, work from home. I was an intern at Native Union at the time, and started talking about the project with Fabien. I think he saw the connection with the brands’ vision, so we started to work on it together” says Guillaume, our then intern and now Industrial Designer in Paris.
“I was lucky enough to mentor Guillaume’s incredible work during his master’s degree last year” says Fabien, “I saw something in his vision that felt new and exciting, and felt there was an alignment with Native Union’s vision as well.”
Head Office imagines a future workspace to fully empower the modern worker of tomorrow.
Guillaume combines his belief in the power of technology and talent for innovative, beautiful design with Native Union’s vision of the modern lifestyle to propose his vision of what augmented and virtual reality could do for our working lives – “what we really wanted to study is the way people will work in 2030. What are our working lives going to look like then?”
Slip the ergonomic headset on. Flip the visor up to start the workday and plan out your tasks with an interactive AR interface set up right in your own environment. Customizable, engaging, and easy to navigate, you’re able to set priorities and focus on projects the way that works for you.
Flip the visor back down to enter an immersive VR space built just for you and your team. With no real-world distractions, it’s easier than ever to connect, collaborate, and brainstorm for that big campaign from anywhere in the world.
“We tried to develop a wide range of ideas for this project as it’s quite a relevant societal subject” says Guillaume, “the final product includes bits and pieces from our previous concepts, as well as from looking a lot at how AR and VR are being used already in various applications."
Created with all the insights and challenges from Guillaume and Fabien’s own work from home experiences, they were able to “understand not just the workers’ different needs for this kind of transition, but also the needs of companies”.
At the core of Head Office and our use of AR/VR in the workspace is freedom. Freedom from the limits of a 9 to 5 schedule. Freedom from a physical office and desk. Freedom to work from anywhere, on your own time, setting your own priorities and boundaries.
Even now, it’s inspiring to see that the trend of remote and hybrid working is proving to be anything but that. “Funny fact is that all this seemed super prospective during our conversations last year” notes Fabien, “it’s incredible how fast this digital movement has accelerated in just a few months, and that we can already see mixed reality being embraced in corporations like Accenture, or in the recent Mesh for Microsoft Teams opening up the metaverse for work.”
Everywhere around the world, modern works are already seeing this shift as more than a temporary coping mechanism or nice perk to have; it’s a justified demand for more flexibility and control over our day-to-day.
As Guillaume says, “there are so many possibilities for the future of work, but also many problems that need to be solved. A lot of different solutions could be imagined to fit different needs, but we think Head Office is one that can help deliver the workers of tomorrow’s jobs the flexibility and freedom they crave.”
“Guillaume’s Head Office concept is the perfect tool for the modern worker of tomorrow that will crave and thrive on the essential skills of critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration” says Fabien, “it’s hard to know exactly what the future of work will be as most of tomorrow’s jobs don’t exist yet, but we’re excited to keep exploring the space and see what’s next.”