A Functional Metaverse and the Future of Work

“Meta-optimists” are convinced that as we move into 2023, it will be a time when the Metaverse will gain acceptance and wide adoption. The Metaverse itself is composed of a cocktail of technologies that included blockchain, gaming, crypto, and VR. Indeed, Covid pandemic has confirmed that remote working is not just a possibility, but it is the future.. In this article, we state what working in the metaverse entails and the benefits of doing that.

Accessing the Metaverse

Getting into the Metaverse will require some headsets such as VR headsets and access to the internet. One can also access it using their desktop or mobile devices. Companies are working to develop solutions that can give one access to the metaverse without the need for a VR headset. Some innovations around this include the use of holograms to project images and avatars into real space. Meta is also working on special gloves that enable its users to have a sense of touch while in the metaverse

The Metaverse seeks to bring a paradigm shift in the way we interact. Avatars will be used to teleport from one location to another, with enhanced experiences giving you a feel of your surroundings. Employees can also pop into each other’s workstations for a quick chat and catch-up. You can navigate the metaverse, in the same manner, you do in the physical world. If you would like to have a chat or live call with a colleague, then your webcam is activated automatically. Once done with the call, the webcam turns off and you can proceed with your stroll. Companies have already started working on avatars that can move from one virtual company to another- mimicking the physical world.

An employee can choose an avatar that they can use to navigate the metaverse. One that will act as their digital twin. This digital twin will act as their representative in the metaverse, with emotions and a sense of touch. These digital twins can be assigned to perform mundane and recurring tasks. In the event that you are busy and would not have time to attend to certain obligations such as meetings and conference calls, you can send your digital twin to go and represent you in these meetings. This frees you up for other tasks.

Organizations can also set up areas where employees can go hang out and relax with experiences such as music and scenic views such as hills and forests. This is meant to boost employee productivity while in the metaverse.

There is also the option of making orders while in the metaverse. Employees can either order for virtual goods/food and get them delivered to their houses. You can be working on the metaverse, make an order on McDonalds and get the physical food delivered straight to your door without leaving the metaverse.

Employees also have the chance to create and customize their virtual environments in a way that is unique and suits their personality- spurring creativity. Virtual work spaces will not be similar to conventional office spaces. Each employee can have their unique work environment that can be changed intermittently with minimal cost. Companies can also offer trainings with ease from the metaverse and then deploy their staff into different virtual locations. Imagine a situation where you have 10 employees that need to be inducted into the company. Instead of hosting meetups and sending them writeups, a company can organize for a virtual tour while in the metaverse to take them through their work places, with the employees moving around in their avatars- ensuring have a detailed and first-hand experience of their workplace . We shouldn’t be shocked when we see companies created and operating purely on metaverses such Sandbox and have employees that report and work on different shifts just like in physical work environments. Such a scenario will cascade and affect different industries such as ecommerce and fashion as avatars will need different clothing to attend various occasions and office spaces will need to be spruced up.

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Benefits of working in the Metaverse

Promotes equity

Being in the metaverse provides an equal playing field for all employees. You can work from anywhere and interact with ease. Additionally, having virtual work spaces ensures that staff have access to the same digital resources regardless of their physical location.

Working as an avatar may also help prevent workplace prejudices such as discrimination on skin color, gender or even accent. Imagine going to work as an avatar and choosing the skin color or gender you may want to identify as. It can also help during interview sessions as you may not be anxious because of your physical attributes.

An upgrade from conventional video conferencing

The metaverse will be an upgrade from the normal video conferencing calls such as zoom, skype and Google meet. It offers a richer, enhanced and more immersive experience. For example, if a company wants to test a new product or even open a new location, the CEO can take the employees on a virtual tour to this new location.

Enhances productivity

With the metaverse, company staff have the chance to work from anywhere- something that may have been hard to achieve with physical workspaces. For example, an employee may be working while immersed underwater in a submarine or even in space shuttle. This helps boost productivity as you can choose to work in an environment where you feel most at ease.

Better demarcation between work and Home

Working remotely is stressful. In most instances, employees cannot switch between being at work and at home. While working in the metaverse, it is easier for employees to demarcate between their home and work environments and can easily switch from one environment to another. You log in to your workspace in the metaverse environment and when you are done you can switch off and get back to the physical world.

Granted, we are still in the nascent stages of this technological development. However, companies, especially mega tech companies, are convinced that pivoting into the metaverse is worthwhile as the physical world is due for a digital twin. Companies like Facebook( Meta) and Microsoft have already started experimenting with the metaverse, spending billions on product development. It isn’t far-fetched to envisage that in the next few years, working in the metaverse will be the norm.

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