New Hires to the Holodeck: Fidelity Investments Tries Collaboration Via Virtual Reality

As coronavirus lockdowns drag on, IT leaders are feeling hard-pressed to keep collaboration fresh among their remote workforces through video chat and other digital tools.

So some are turning to virtual reality. Fidelity Investments Inc., the financial services firm, has been exploring how virtual reality could be used to build workplace relationships among new employees working remotely. In May, it shipped brand-new virtual reality headsets made by Pico Interactive Inc. to more than 140 employees in its operations division. The workers were either new to Fidelity, or had recently moved into an operations role.

The goal was to replicate some aspects of a new-employee training program that would normally have happened in person in Boston over two weeks.

“We were able to use that visceral and collaborative element of virtual reality,” said Adam Schouela, head of emerging technology at the Fidelity Center for Applied Technology, which tests and evaluates cutting-edge

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