The company wants to use The Sims: office to make telecommuting no longer lonely


Ken Becher

Sep 29, 2021

In a blink of an eye, many people have been working from home (WFH) for more than a year due to the epidemic. However, even after the epidemic, a number of companies are ready to completely shift to telecommuting, abandon the traditional office culture, which gives employees the freedom to choose their office location and mode.

Telecommuting indeed saves many people’stime on commuting. However, not being able to meet and communicate with colleagues for a long time can easily lead to various psychological and physiological problems—which has become the reason why everyone misses the office. Recently, Amazon announced that it would continue to require employees to return to the office after the epidemic is over. For some people, this may be better news.

Is it possible that we can not only enjoy the convenience of telecommuting, but also feel that we are in the same environment with our colleagues? Recently, Spot, a start-up company in Seattle, began to think about how to do this, and their inspiration came from a famous game—The Sims.

Everyone who has played The Sims all knows that in this game, you can play the role of a nobody in the virtual world and complete a series of life experiences such as working, living, making friends, and even getting married and having children. Of course, buying a big house and then carefully decorating it has also become the reason why many players spend a lot of time to play the game.

And Spot’s idea is to build a virtual office like The Sims, so that employees can appear in the office in the form of virtual characters. In this way, even though you are in Seattle and your colleagues are in Sanban, London, or Singapore—in the virtual office, they are sitting next to you—just like a real office.

To be honest, this idea—cool as it is, but somewhat palliative. After all, a virtual office still cannot replace the feeling that everyone is working in the same room in reality, where you can whisper to each other at any time. But for those who suffer from loneliness because of telecommuting, it may be a comfort to see colleagues around them in the form of virtual characters. Maybe one day in the future, Spot's products can be added with VR functions. At that time, maybe it can really create an "immersive" feeling?

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