Virtual Desktop Lets You Work From Anywhere

Offices are better in virtual reality

Key Takeaways

  • Virtual Desktop lets you easily connect to your PC to play games or get work done. 
  • A new wireless streaming feature allows you to use PC VR titles on the Quest if you have a compatible PC. 
  • Virtual Desktop was an incredible escape from the everyday confines of my home office.
Someone using a VR headset in a home office.
Guido Mieth / Getty Images

Sprawling on my couch, I admired the view of a spiral nebula galaxy out the window while working on three giant monitors at once.

Working from home could be worse, I thought to myself. This setup was not on a spaceship, but instead came courtesy of the newly updated Virtual Desktop app ($19.99) for the Oculus Quest 2. Read on for more details, but here’s the takeaway: Just go out and buy it if you have an Oculus.

This isn’t Virtual Desktop’s first rodeo on the Oculus. In 2019, the app arrived on the Quest allowing wireless PC streaming, but the feature was later removed.

The PC streaming feature is now back and can be purchased through the Oculus Quest store without sideloading. The new wireless streaming feature allows you to use PC VR titles on the Quest if you have a compatible PC. 

“My favorite thing about Virtual Desktop is the ability to choose different environments.”

More Space, Even if It’s Virtual

I spent my time working rather than playing on Virtual Desktop, and the productivity boost is reason enough to buy the app. Having the freedom and space to work on different monitors is an incredible achievement, and shows virtual reality’s potential to allow you to do more than just gaming.

Setting up the app was simple. I simply downloaded it from the Oculus store and also was prompted to download a companion app on my MacBook Pro. From there, it was a matter of just typing in my Oculus username on my Mac, and I was immediately connected. 

My favorite thing about Virtual Desktop is the ability to choose different environments. Like many people, I’m getting bored with the inside of my real-life apartment after nearly a year of lockdown.

It was exciting to choose between different workspaces. I spent quite a while flicking between homey offices and exotic outer space scenes. 

Screenshot of a virtual office in the Virtual Desktop app for Oculus 2.

But it was time to work. So, I opened up some documents on my Mac and was able to view files quickly. Typing was another story. There’s a virtual keyboard in the app that worked well enough, but it wasn’t fast enough to get a lot of drafting done.

There supposedly are ways to connect a real Bluetooth mouse and keyboard, but after several hours of fiddling, I wasn’t able to accomplish this goal. 

Despite the snafu with the keyboard, I can’t overstate what a difference being able to work in virtual reality made to my routine. There was something magical about being able to see all my files on the Oculus headset.

It opened a whole new world of possibilities for what I could see doing in VR. I’ve never been a multiple monitor person in real life, but it was great to be able to use different monitors virtually. 

New Perspectives on My Work

Virtual Desktop was an incredible escape from the everyday confines of my home office. One bonus is that I found that looking at my documents in virtual reality gave me a whole new perspective on my work.

In previous years, I might have had to take a break from my laptop or go for a walk around the block to get this distance. Being able to slip on a headset and view my work from a different angle was invaluable. 

"It was exciting to choose between different workspaces."

As much as I enjoyed using Virtual Desktop, I’m not sure how much I will end up using it. The fault isn’t with the software. but with the limitations of the Oculus headset.

I found myself constantly adjusting the headset, and it started to get hot and uncomfortable using it after less than an hour. The display quality isn’t what I’m used to versus the razor-sharp screen on my late-model MacBook.

I can’t wait until more advanced virtual reality headsets hit the market. Once headsets get more comfortable, and include better displays, I could easily see myself using Virtual Desktop or a similar app for hours at a time. Who needs a home office when you’ve got virtual reality?

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