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How AR can help dealing with the rapidly changing workforce


Workforce in the US is changing fast. Many industries today are facing challenges in developing and retaining skills.

Take a look around your workforce. You will notice that it is increasingly getting older, more diverse and more educated. Let’s look at some data.


- By 2020, 25% of the American workforce will be over the age of 55 and approaching retirement. The US workforce is aging, and it will continue to age.

- Of the current workforce, 38% are actively looking for a different role. ~45% are millennials who are now the largest workforce generation with an average of only 2 years tenure on a job.

- Americans continue to become more educated. More and more young people are going to college, and many workers are increasingly trying to improve their educational background mid-career. Another related trend is that ~80% of workforce are exposed to modern technology and think it is important to help their future jobs.


All of these trends, directly resulting pipeline and knowledge gap issues, present challenges to companies and organizations. On average, U.S. companies across industries spent thousands of dollars and 6-12 months in training per employee. Training is not only time consuming but also expensive.


Beside the development of skills for workers’ current roles, it is also important for organizations to develop skills for workers’ future roles and opportunities to solve organizations’ pipeline and knowledge gap issues.

There are three key strategies organization need to follow to face the challenges of the future workforce:


1. Grow pipelines with diverse and multi-generational talent.

2. Develop talent strategies for all ages at different stages of career.

3. Provide opportunities for life-long learning.


Regardless which area above you need to tackle, one of the most fundamental focuses is how to train people faster and more effectively.

Traditional training formats like seminars and classes, online training modules that mimic that experience, and memorizing textbook, manuals, SOPs, can no longer meet the need of the growing younger and modern workforce. With vast information easily accessible, learning paradigms have shifted to understanding why information is important and how it relates to our world.

For example, for a factory worker, it is important to make faster connection between the Standard Operating Procedure and the equipment to operate on. For field maintenance personal, it is important to relate visual signs and cues to necessary process steps in a timely fashion. For a nurse, it is important to become familiar with and understand thoroughly the operating procedure of the medical devices so s/he can offer service accurately without human errors.

Augmented Reality (AR) is poised not only to address these issues, but to fundamentally increase training efficiency and productivity. The market growth for immersive technology used for training is now projected to reach $2.8 billion by 2023. On-demand, personalized and contextual learning is part of the learning habits in the future. In the coming years, machine learning and augmented reality will likely take education and training to the next level by empowering workers to have the latest, most accurate information available in context, when and where they need it most.

Whether it is a factory worker, a service / maintenance personal, or a nurse, AR can deliver clear instructional information at the point of operation in the real physical environment. Less time is wasted on reading manuals or written documents. More time is utilized on gaining critical understanding and learning in the actual environment. The impact here is not only hours of man hours, thousands of dollars of cost, but also better employee satisfaction with the training and on-boarding process that their employers provide.


To discuss how AR can help your organization’s technical training strategy and achieve ROI mentioned in this post, or to experience a real demo yourself, please contact info@distat.co.