At a time when remote working is so widespread, it’s important to stay in active contact and safeguard social interaction. This is the aim of the virtual space Audi has developed to support its employees all over the world in their work and training.
Remote working has become a very current topic –as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic – and digital platforms are increasingly important in daily workflows. That’s why Audi Akademie has developed "Audi spaces”: a virtual 3D ecosystem for work and training, which all Audi employees can use from their computers.
This digital tool can be used in a variety of ways: as a method for learning, as a means of coaching and consulting, and for digital collaboration and communication.
Skype, MS Teams and other digital tools have become vital for staying in touch during the pandemic. However, this can sometimes be at the expense of social interaction: meetings can seem impersonal, and participants’ concentration levels decline over time.
Audi spaces was developed with this issue as its starting point and offers a solution: interactive 3D worlds, which are real copies of the working environment, creating possibilities for social interaction. The participants communicate, learn and work with others via their own avatar – in real time and in a virtual space.
The avatars in Audi spaces are not mere “empty vessels”: they can make gestures, interact, and talk to one another as in the real world. “With Audi spaces we are using the opportunities presented by digitalisation and providing employees with a tool that supports them in a world of work that is highly dynamic and is becoming more and more complex,” says Sabine Maassen, Audi Board Member for Human Resources.
“Audi spaces enhances the collaboration of teams across the boundaries of departments and countries. In this way we are making a significant contribution to the digital transformation of Audi.”
Audi spaces is suitable for many applications, as it can be used for diverse groups independently of the topic. Participants describe it as more relaxed and less tiring than video conferences because they can make arrangements to meet colleagues in a space and interact together.
In this way, Audi spaces helps reinforcing the feeling of community – and that includes cooperation in an international context, given that the tool is available for all employees worldwide. Audi spaces also opens up new opportunities for training employees: it supports, conceptually and methodically, courses from the Audi Akademie.
Virtual and real
Audi spaces allows employees to carry out a range of actions in a way that is very close to reality. They include learning and training scenarios, workshops, coaching sessions, and consultations: complex processes and work situations that could otherwise only be recreated with a great deal of effort.
The virtual platform means a shared training space is available as often as desired, saving costs and resources. A great example of this is the training course on the decommissioning of e-vehicles: using a virtual self-teaching scenario, employees can even simulate errors without any danger to their health occurring.
Audi Akademie runs the Audi spaces project. Cooperating with IT specialists, it provides a comprehensive programme of courses, support and advice. The courses (or qualification modules) explain not only the functions of Audi spaces, but also help prepare consultants and trainers to use the platform.
“Thanks to its integration into our existing IT and media ecosystem, Audi spaces can be used by all employees worldwide and also by external partners,” explains Patrick Zöbisch, project manager for Audi spaces. “We are delighted that the tool has become more and more popular and that new application scenarios are added every day. More than 4,000 employees now use the tool in some 200 events per month. By doing so, they also contribute to the further development of the tool.”
Source: AUDI AG