This virtual island isn’t a video game. It’s the offices of a $610 million company.
All of eXp Realty's 1,500 employees work remotely on a virtual island complete with meeting rooms, a soccer field and speedboats.
- The virtual island can host hundreds of visitors simultaneously and provides each person with customizable features.
- Visitors can select from various communication modes, including private meeting rooms.
- An increasing number of employees worldwide are working remotely, and most seem to enjoy doing so.
More employees are working remotely than ever before. A study published in May shows that about two-thirds of people around the world work away from the office at least one day a week. It seems they enjoy doing so; the polling agency Gallup "has found that flexible scheduling and work-from-home opportunities play a major role in an employee's decision to take or leave a job," it wrote in a report.
So, are brick-and-mortar offices destined to crumble if these trends continue? Maybe. Or they might be replaced by pixels.
A report from Business Insider shows how eXp Realty, a real estate brokerage company with 1,500 employees and a market cap of $610 million, has built its offices on a virtual island, doing away with physical spaces altogether, save for a legally required office in Bellingham, WA.
The company says its virtual offices bring some advantages, such as the ability to host 8,000 unique visitors per month and to hire full-time employees living in any part of the world.
Reporter Prachi Bhardwaj took a tour of eXp Realty's virtual island, which includes meeting rooms and offices modeled off traditional work spaces, but also the ability to meet and interact with colleagues on a beach, soccer field and speedboats. The program allows employees to interact in a variety of modes, as Bhardwaj described:
"Another small thing that I thought made a big difference was that, while we were in a virtual room, we were also in our own 'private room,' designated by that blue dotted circle surrounding us. That meant voices from other conversations didn't interrupt ours, and everyone's voices within our meeting could be heard equally clearly."
Surveys suggest that remote working brings some benefits to workers and companies, including increased productivity, lowered stress and decreased overhead. Of course, there are also drawbacks, such as remote workers feeling shunned and left out from the rest of the organization, as the Harvard Business Review reported last year.
What remains unclear, at least in the big picture, is what would happen if every worker of a company were remote. At eXp Realty, the results have been decidedly positive so far, at least according to CTO Scott Petronis. He might not have met one-third of his colleagues, but he said his colleagues are "more excited to meet one another in the real world—excited enough that they go out of their way to meet up during vacations when they're in a coworker's hometown or country."
- Inside The Billion-Dollar Virtual Brokerage ›
- A virtual reality: Remote workers reflect on life after the office | CBC ... ›
- eXp Realty's virtual island is an extravagant office campus for 8,000 ... ›
What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.
- Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
- Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
- Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
- Push Past Negative Self-Talk: Give Yourself the Proper Fuel to Attack the World, with David Goggins, Former NAVY SealIf you've ever spent 5 minutes trying to meditate, you know something most people don't realize: that our minds are filled, much of the time, with negative nonsense. Messaging from TV, from the news, from advertising, and from difficult daily interactions pulls us mentally in every direction, insisting that we focus on or worry about this or that. To start from a place of strength and stability, you need to quiet your mind and gain control. For former NAVY Seal David Goggins, this begins with recognizing all the negative self-messaging and committing to quieting the mind. It continues with replacing the negative thoughts with positive ones.
If you don't want to know anything about your death, consider this your spoiler warning.
- For centuries cultures have personified death to give this terrifying mystery a familiar face.
- Modern science has demystified death by divulging its biological processes, yet many questions remain.
- Studying death is not meant to be a morbid reminder of a cruel fate, but a way to improve the lives of the living.
- Master Execution: How to Get from Point A to Point B in 7 Steps, with Rob Roy, Retired Navy SEALUsing the principles of SEAL training to forge better bosses, former Navy SEAL and founder of the Leadership Under Fire series Rob Roy, a self-described "Hammer", makes people's lives miserable in the hopes of teaching them how to be a tougher—and better—manager. "We offer something that you are not going to get from reading a book," says Roy. "Real leaders inspire, guide and give hope."Anybody can make a decision when everything is in their favor, but what happens in turbulent times? Roy teaches leaders, through intense experiences, that they can walk into any situation and come out ahead. In this lesson, he outlines seven SEAL-tested steps for executing any plan—even under extreme conditions or crisis situations.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.