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Workplace Trends: The Holographic Team Leader

Remember that scene in Star Wars where R2-D2 beams a holographic version of Princess Leia saying Obi-Wan Kenobe is her only hope?

Well, now your average trainer -- or even company team leaders -- can be beamed into the nearest conference room to walk your hopeless team through the new employee handbook or to badger you for random status updates! The age of the holographic leader is finally here, courtesy of a company called Digital Video Enterprises, Inc. (DVE). According to

Unlike common videoconferencing/telepresence, the DVE 3D CreateSpace(TM) brings trainers and team leaders from distant sites imaging them upon DVE's patented transparent holographic display system. Viewers see the floating images of these people standing at a real podium and they can look around and behind these imaged people. The amazing realism of their virtual presence ensures that group interaction completely replicates an in-person experience. According Jeff Machtig, Co-Founder of DVE, "No other solution in the world provides this level of life-like real-time interaction with people at remote locations and has been proven effectively used in corporations, universities and government facilities."

So now your boss, who might already think she can walk on water, will be able to virtually float and hover like some sort of ghostly presence. She haunts your dreams, and now she'll haunt the conference room, too. It's sort of like reporter Jessica Yellin being beamed into CNN's studio on election night 2008 to talk to Wolf Blitzer, which was weird and laughable and sort of WTF. Only you and your teammates will be sitting in conference room chairs rolling your eyes while texting. I may be wrong, but I think this was the first and last time CNN tried this holographic technology on air. Just saying.

You know, I have to wonder if these holographic technologies will be akin to my grade schooler's class having a substitute teacher for the day. You just know that some kids (not mine, of course...) will see an opening to goof off and test the teacher's limits. Will bored, restless employees faced with a holographic trainer or team leader do the same? Can a projected authority project authority? While the boss is away, the employees might play. Wow, two of my spitballs flew right through the team leader. Score! Or maybe the team leader will be able to see it all happening, and so much for that idea.

We might also see the first-ever holographic harassment lawsuit someday. Can an employee be harassed by a hologram? It's so very 21st Century, isn't it? And will team leaders decide to leave the conference room to float past cubicles or hover in the breakroom? Think of it as management-by-floating-around. Shudder. In any case, there are some employee management "issues" management teams should float up front if they're hoping to go holographic.


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