Remote work: Using AR to improve Work-Life-Balance

DesignersBrett Johnson

My project centers around the paradigm shift in work culture brought on by COVID-19, and explores a future solution using glasses-based augmented reality to help alleviate issues highlighted by remote workers. This project specifically focuses on reducing remote workers’ anticipatory anxiety and tasks residue, which are suspected causes of being unable to “unplug” from work.

In the Fall 2022 semester, I studied what defines a healthy work environment as well as key issues brought up by remote workers. My research discovered very little material that centered the needs of the employee rather than the employer. Furthermore, there wasn’t a clear definition as to what constitutes a remote work environment, leading me to develop my own definitions based on W.H.O guidelines fora a healthy workplace structure.
Based off my research, my ideations centered around helping individuals track and complete their tasks. I decided to create a glasses-based AR personal task manager. The idea is to move the physical and digital home workspace into the AR space. The goal is to give the individual the tools and space to customize and store all aspects of their digital working environment to create a more productive remote workspace.
My final solution creates individual digital task environments for the user where they can store and access task-specific materials (programs, files, links, email, communication threads, etc.) Contained task environments give the user easy access to the materials needed to complete the task as well as limit non-task-related distractions.
The contained digital environments limit the need for the user to mentally keep track of each project’s progress and material, which; reduces task residue in the user. My solution to address the user’s anticipatory anxiety after work hours is to provide them with an overview of their day and prompt them to input their known task for the next day. I ultimately wanted my solution to carry some of the mental burdens that come with managing work tasks while also providing tools for users to work productively.