Work in the Metaverse?

Modis Posted 24 March 2022

The metaverse was always intended to be more than just a virtual reality application. Amid all the uncertainty about virtual reality, one thing’s for certain: the metaverse is here to stay. Here’s how it might deliver a hybrid blend of virtual and in-person experience at work, and beyond, to shape the future of work. Are you ready?

If you’ve been following the news, you’ve probably heard about the metaverse. This trendy buzzword describes a future of work in which our day-to-day lives include an entire world online. It seems like the type of reality you might see in a futuristic science-fiction movie, not real life – right?

The global pandemic, now entering its third year, has forced most of us to shift the way we think about connectivity, experience, and collaboration—or at least the way we do these things. In some ways, this has been difficult: We have missed celebrating with our families, spending time with friends, working out with fitness buddies, and brainstorming face-to-face with colleagues.

In other ways, the pandemic has presented an opportunity for us to find new and, in some cases, improved ways to go about our lives: While FaceTime happy hours may not replace the real thing, many have found working from home rather than gathering in a physical office with team members has made way for better work/life balance, a quick improvement of digital skills and no cost to performance in the job.

In our 2021 whitepaper, Resetting Normal, we found for employees working in technology, digital or IT the shift to a remote and hybrid world of work has been more positive in general than in other industries. Furthermore, tech workers have felt significantly more improvement than workers in other sectors in areas like their professional learning and development, their ability to collaborate, the pride in their company, and their understanding of company culture.

Yet as the end of the pandemic begins to appear on the horizon, we face the choice of how much of the old ways we want to return to and how much of the new ways we now value too much not to preserve. However, one thing is clear – hybrid working has been cemented as the new normal, and flexibility is key for the next normal.  

With this in mind, we find ourselves open to new ways of connecting with one another socially, professionally, in groups as audience members, or opponents in a game—which is exactly what Mark Zuckerberg asked us to envision when he announced in December that Facebook would be changing its name to Meta and focusing its energies beyond applications to the broader ambition of the metaverse.

In a presentation video that lasts nearly two hours, Zuckerberg explains that “the feeling of presence” is the “defining quality” of the metaverse. It is a place in which we, existing as 3D avatars, through the powers of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), can move about freely, interacting with others, experiencing real-life scenarios but in a virtual world that can be quite parallel to our own, actual world. We will not engage in this metaverse in a basic 2D capacity, but in a way that gives the feeling of actually being there.

The Metaverse is coming – but what is it?

The clearest way to begin thinking about the metaverse is to think about what it is not. It is not a new technology, app, or tool. The metaverse is a way of thinking about and combining many technologies to experience how we use tech and interact with it across our lives in an entirely new way. If this sounds vague, you’re not alone. Some have compared defining the metaverse today to discussing the Internet in the 1970s: the technology brings the ability, but we must creatively determine its applicability.

The technology sector is already making progress on digital transformation and many big tech organisations have begun embracing and working in the metaverse with 72% of tech workers in our Resetting Normal report saying their company is ready for greater automation through areas such as digital transformation and AI.

To learn more about the advantages of working in the metaverse, how it is shaping the future of work, and understand from our experts what this means for you, check out our next blog!

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