Why and How AR helps with remote onboarding and training of employees?


Rachita Jain


Word Count
Augmented Reality (AR) in employee onboarding and training has emerged as a life-changing technology for businesses. AR provides immersive and interactive experiences in the form of virtual or digital worlds for enhancing job recruitment and talent acquisition. As AR simulates real-world activities, it allows for more efficient screening and assessment of potential candidates. Before we explore the immense benefits and uses augmented reality offers, let's first understand the meaning of AR.

What is the meaning of AR?

AR or augmented reality is a digital technology that superimposes digital information, such as images, videos, 3D models, or other virtual elements, onto the real-world environment. Unlike Virtual Reality (VR), which creates a completely simulated virtual environment, AR enhances the real world by overlaying digital content, allowing its users to interact with both the physical world and the virtual world simultaneously.
In employee onboarding and training, AR creates a cutting-edge and highly engaging experience for candidates during the remote recruitment process. It enables recruiters to assess candidates more fully and accurately. With the help of sophisticated tools, AR allows recruiters to interact with a virtual environment to determine a candidate's personality, aptitude, and work ethic. Let's further explore the benefits and uses Augmented reality offers in the process of employee training and onboarding.

The role of augmented reality in remote employee training and onboarding

Enhanced engagement and retention

  • AR-based training modules can make learning much more engaging by introducing interactive, visual elements that enable trainees to absorb information quickly.
  • Studies have depicted that retention rates are much higher when employees learn through AR, as opposed to traditional methods like reading handbooks or watching videos.
  • The immersive experience grabs the user's attention, fostering a deeper connection with the material being taught.

Real-time support and guidance

During remote onboarding and hiring, new hires may feel isolated using conventional training documents or videos. Sometimes, they find it quite challenging to comprehend the data, which leads to misunderstandings. However, AR allows experts to provide real-time guidance by overlaying step-by-step instructions directly onto a trainee's workspace. This collaborative approach helps the new employee feel supported during onboarding and training while reducing the need for physical supervision.

Increased safety and compliance

One of the major uses of augmented reality is in safety training.
  • With AR-enabled devices like smart glasses, trainees can learn how to operate equipment through simulations without encountering any physical risks.
  • The technology can detect if a process is being performed incorrectly and provide instant alerts or prompts to correct the mistake.
This leads to fewer accidents during training and encourages compliance with safety regulations.

Cost-effective solutions

Adopting augmented reality solutions for remote training can save businesses considerable time and money by eliminating travel expenses, reducing on-site training costs, and decreasing downtime due to employee unavailability. Additionally, AR content can be easily updated whenever there are changes in processes or regulations, ensuring that the training materials stay up-to-date without incurring additional costs.

Measurable learning progress

AR technology can collect and analyze valuable data throughout the employee training and onboarding process, offering insights into the progress of individual employees. By tracking the performance of each trainee, managers can identify areas where additional support may be needed, thus tailoring the learning experience and ensuring a higher rate of success.

Benefits of AR in remote employee onboarding and training

1. Reduced risk in hazardous environments

In industries where on-the-job training involves hazardous environments or high-risk scenarios, AR can simulate these conditions safely, allowing employees to learn without endangering themselves or others.
For example, in a chemical manufacturing plant, new employees can undergo employee onboarding and AR-based training to learn about handling hazardous substances. Using AR headsets, they can engage in simulations that replicate dangerous scenarios without actual risk. This will enable them to practice safety protocols, understand emergency procedures, and gain valuable experience in a safe virtual environment before working in a real setting, reducing potential risks to themselves and others.

2. Immersive learning experience

By superimposing digital data on the actual world, augmented reality (AR) produces immersive and captivating learning experiences. These experiences facilitate the learning process of the new joiners. They leave a visual imprint on the minds of the learners, which is why this interactivity facilitates better understanding and retention of the training materials.

3. Real-time support

With the use of smart glasses, smartphone apps, or other AR-capable gadgets, real-time assistance and guidance can be provided. To enhance their learning process, remote workers can get live support, visual cues, or step-by-step instructions. Such instant and authentic support builds trust in the heart of the new employees, which later becomes their grounds for improved performance.

4. Enhanced engagement and retention among the employees

Augmented Reality (AR) technology revolutionizes traditional training methods by offering an interactive and immersive learning experience for employees. Unlike conventional training, AR-based training engages employees by integrating digital information into their physical environment, allowing them to interact with virtual objects or scenarios in real-time.
The immersive nature of AR enables employees to visualize complex concepts in a practical, hands-on manner. For instance, instead of simply reading about a new product or process, employees can use AR to manipulate 3D models, simulate real-world scenarios, and interact with virtual elements. This interactive learning approach fosters a deeper understanding of the subject matter as employees actively engage with the content.

5. Remote collaboration

AR facilitates remote collaboration among employees by enabling them to share experiences, solve problems together, and collaborate on tasks in a virtual space, fostering teamwork and communication.

6. Offers hands-on training

Augmented reality allows remote employees to access hands-on training experiences, even if they are not physically present at the company's location. This can include equipment simulations, virtual walkthroughs, or practical demonstrations, aiding in skill development and comprehension.
Nowadays, remote software engineers at many tech companies get AR-based training on a new programming framework. Through the use of augmented reality headsets, they gain access to virtual representations of coding environments, enabling them to engage with code and conduct practical experiments. Not only do they not physically attend the company's office, but they also take part in virtual walkthroughs of intricate algorithms and hands-on demonstrations that improve their skills and comprehension of the new framework.

7. Adaptability and customization

AR technology can be tailored to meet specific training needs and individual learning paces. Employees can progress through modules at their own speed, focusing on areas they find challenging, thereby personalizing the learning experience.
For instance, AR modules in a sales training program let representatives learn about the features of products at their own speed. They can explore various aspects of the product through interactive modules accessible through AR-enabled devices. They can adjust their learning experience to suit their unique needs and preferences by going deeper into difficult sections, practicing sales pitches, and reviewing particular content.

How do you use augmented reality for employee onboarding and training?

1. Identification of the employee onboarding and training needs

The first step of how to use augmented reality for employee onboarding and training is to ascertain which particular domains or competencies in your onboarding and training procedures could benefit from AR. Determine the areas where AR can be most useful, whether it is in product knowledge, safety procedures, equipment operation, or complicated processes. This will depend from industry to industry.
For example, A valuables manufacturing company can integrate AR technology to train new hires in equipment handling and maintenance. By utilizing AR, new employees can receive step-by-step guidance and simulations on operating machinery, enabling them to grasp intricate processes and safety protocols effectively without making any losses.

2. Develop AR content

Once you are done with recognizing the needs, the next step on how to use augmented reality is to create interactive and engaging AR content tailored to your employee onboarding and training objectives. This could include 3D models, simulations, tutorials, or interactive guides. Collaborate with AR developers or software providers to design content aligned with your training needs. Seeking a professional opinion will help in developing the best-of-the-best AR's.

3. Choose AR devices or platforms

Select suitable AR devices or platforms that align with your training goals and the accessibility of your remote employees. This could range from AR-enabled smartphones and tablets to specialized AR headsets or glasses.

4. Implement AR training

Include augmented reality components in your training courses. Permit employees who work remotely to access AR-based modules via specific applications, websites, or training portals. Make sure the information is simple to use and readily available from a variety of devices.
For example, a graphic designing company can implement AR-based training to enhance their employees' skills in using new design software. They can create a dedicated online platform accessible via web browsers and a mobile app specifically designed for AR modules. These platforms will host your interactive tutorials and simulations, guiding designers through the advanced features of the software. Remote employees, regardless of location, will log in to the platform or app and access these user-friendly AR modules.

5. Hands-on learning experiences

Utilize AR to offer hands-on learning experiences, even in remote settings. This could involve simulations, virtual walkthroughs, or interactive scenarios that replicate real-life work situations.

6. Remote guidance and support

Leverage AR technology to provide real-time guidance and support to remote employees. Incorporate features such as live demonstrations, step-by-step instructions, and interactive feedback mechanisms delivered through AR devices.
Let's say a remote team of field technicians for a telecommunications company utilizes AR technology for on-the-job support. When encountering a complex installation or troubleshooting scenario, technicians wear AR glasses equipped with remote assistance capabilities. If a technician faces difficulty setting up a network component, they activate the AR glasses and connect with an off-site expert. Through the AR interface, the expert provides live demonstrations, overlaying step-by-step instructions, diagrams, or 3D models onto the technician's field of view. This allows the technician to follow along with detailed guidance while performing the task.

7. Assessment and feedback

Implement assessment tools within AR modules to evaluate employee understanding and progress. Collect feedback to improve the effectiveness of the AR-based training and make necessary adjustments.

8. Measure effectiveness

Track the effectiveness of AR-based training by analyzing engagement metrics, knowledge retention rates, and the overall performance and proficiency of employees post-training.

9. Continuous improvement

With augmented reality, learning doesn't have to stop after initial training sessions. AR platforms can host a wealth of digital resources that your employees can access whenever they need support or want to refresh their knowledge. This just-in-time learning method ensures employees are always equipped with the latest information and skills required to excel in their roles.

Challenges you may face while implementing AR-based employee onboarding and training

1. Cost of designing and implementation

Developing AR content and acquiring suitable AR devices or platforms can be expensive initially.
  • Software development expenses arise from creating interactive and immersive AR modules that are customized to align with specific training objectives.
  • Additionally, procuring compatible AR devices such as headsets, glasses, or smartphones capable of running AR applications contributes significantly to the expenses.
  • Moreover, ongoing costs related to maintenance, updates, and technical support can add to the financial burden.
These upfront expenses might strain the training budget, necessitating careful planning and consideration of long-term benefits when integrating AR technology into training programs.

2. Technical complexity

Because AR technology is so complex, it requires specialized technical knowledge to implement.
  • Creating AR content requires the ability to create and develop 3D models, augmented environments, or interactive simulations that are customized for a given set of training objectives.
  • Integrating these elements seamlessly into existing training systems while ensuring compatibility across diverse devices and platforms can be a complex endeavor.
To effectively navigate these complexities, you need to surround yourself with skilled professionals who are proficient in software engineering, compatibility testing, user experience design, and AR development. Their knowledge is essential for reducing difficulties with interoperability, performance enhancement, and UI design, guaranteeing a seamless and integrated AR training experience.

3. Compatibility with hardware and software

Achieving compatibility and seamless integration of AR applications across a diverse range of devices and OS (operating systems) poses a significant challenge. Remote employees often utilize various devices such as smartphones, tablets, or AR-specific hardware, each with different specifications and capabilities. Ensuring uniform AR functionality across these devices can be complex, as not all devices support identical AR features or offer consistent performance. Disparities in processing power, sensors, display resolutions, and operating system versions can impact the AR experience, potentially leading to inconsistencies or limitations in functionality.

4. Development of the AR content

Creating captivating augmented reality content that meets specific training needs can be a time-consuming and labor-intensive process.
  • It takes a team effort from instructional designers, content producers, and knowledgeable AR developers to create engaging AR content.
  • While content creators make the instructional materials, instructional designers lay out the learning objectives and instructional strategies.
  • By incorporating interactive features, 3D models, simulations, or animations into the AR environment, AR developers bring these ideas to life.
  • The development phase of AR content can involve significant coordination and iterations among multidisciplinary teams due to the iterative process of conceptualizing, creating, and refining content to ensure efficacy and alignment with training objectives. This can add to the time and resources required for the procedure.

5. Issues pertaining to accessibility

  • Limited internet connectivity in remote or rural areas can hinder seamless access to AR modules, causing disruptions or delays in training sessions.
  • Moreover, disparities in device compatibility and technological infrastructure might impede the uniformity of training experiences, as not all devices may support the same level of AR functionality.
These challenges can hamper the consistency and effectiveness of AR-based training experiences for remote employees, highlighting the importance of addressing connectivity issues, ensuring device compatibility, and providing alternative solutions to facilitate equitable access to training resources across diverse locations.

6. Employee adaptation and training

Employees may require time to adapt to AR technology, especially if they are not familiar with using it. Adequate training and support systems need to be in place to help them navigate and utilize AR tools effectively.

7. Security concerns

The use of augmented reality applications may collect and process sensitive information, raising apprehensions about data storage, access, and potential vulnerabilities to breaches. Ensuring robust data security measures, encryption protocols, and adherence to stringent privacy regulations becomes imperative to safeguard confidential employee information and training data.
  • Therefore, you must implement stringent policies and procedures governing data collection, storage, and access control within AR systems.
  • Regular security audits, encryption practices, and compliance with data protection laws are essential to instill trust among employees and stakeholders, mitigating the risks associated with potential data breaches or unauthorized access to sensitive training-related information.

8. Scalability and maintenance

Scaling up AR-based training programs across a large workforce or updating AR content regularly can be challenging. Maintenance of hardware, software updates, and content refreshes require ongoing efforts.

9. Resistance to change

Resistance from employees who prefer traditional training methods or are hesitant to adopt new technologies can pose a challenge. Overcoming resistance through education, demonstration, and showcasing the benefits of AR is essential.

The Future of Remote Employee Training with AR

1. Enhanced immersive experiences

Even in the future, Augmented Reality (AR) will persist in providing training experiences that are more realistic and immersive. Remote employees will be able to interact with virtual worlds, lifelike simulations, and 3D models, making learning more exciting and memorable.

2. Customized learning paths

Every employee has unique learning styles and preferences. In the future, augmented reality will cater to this diversity by offering tailored content delivery throughout training programs. From selecting different levels of difficulty to accessing supplementary resources, AR will pave the way for personalized learning experiences that accelerate skill development and boost employee engagement.

3. Remote collaboration and social learning

AR will facilitate enhanced remote collaboration among employees, fostering social learning experiences despite geographical distances. Team members will be able to virtually collaborate, learn together, and solve problems in real-time.

4. Wearable AR devices for training

Wearable AR devices like smart glasses will become more prevalent, offering hands-free training experiences. These devices will provide on-the-job guidance, access to information, and real-time assistance, improving productivity and learning efficiency.

5. AR for complex job training

Industries requiring specialized training, such as healthcare, manufacturing, and engineering, will increasingly rely on AR for complex skill acquisition. Simulations and hands-on experiences will prepare employees for intricate tasks remotely.


In conclusion, augmented reality is poised to disrupt conventional employee training and onboarding by providing captivating, immersive experiences that ensure trainees fully comprehend and retain information. Implementing AR-enabled solutions results in improved safety, cost savings, personalized learning, and increased productivity for organizations, making it an essential tool for businesses looking to future-proof their processes.

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