Storytelling, psychodrama and VR ‘could help Gen Z in workplace’

GENERATION Z has been posited as the most stressed cohort in the modern workplace.

According to Cigna International Health’s 2023 survey, 91 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds say they’re stressed — with almost a quarter admitting an inability to cope. A third of Gen Z workers say they’ve received no workplace training.

A young workforce of “tech-natives” needs support with one notable area: communication. Virtual health platform Rethinkly, headed by David Tinker and Andrew Jackson, is showing workplace communication can be improved by virtual reality (VR). Staff can anonymously express their feelings about a given situation using “neutral avatars”.

The tech can help to create an immersive learning experience for tasks that require a practical application, Tinker and Jackson believe.

The software “removes all real-world references” to create a neutral virtual space designed to inspire autonomy of expression. Users can employ avatars to express emotion and gestures, enabling detachment for reflection, and transparent communication.

Rethinkly combines the principles of storytelling, psychodrama and coaching to address the issue. The NHS has been using on the software as a tool to help patients express themselves when they otherwise couldn’t. Corporate firms such as IBM have integrated the software into employee development and coaching initiatives.

The software can be used under direction or individually after a brief training period. This makes it a scalable solution for teams, with insights from practitioners, academics and case studies.