Will Metaverse Workplaces Happen?
Are you ready for metaverse workplaces? If you’re under 34, you’re more likely to say ‘yes’ you understand metaverses so bring it on. Older generations have less enthusiasm and optimism that virtual reality workplaces will happen. They have valid concerns about surveillance and online privacy while in a metaverse workplace.
This business blog article delves into a survey that reveals employer and employee sentiment for metaverse workplaces with the following topics:
- Hybrid working
- The future of workplaces
- Working in metaverse workplaces
Looking at where workplaces have come from and what we are comfortable with now, did you know hybrid working is the new normal? You are hybrid working when you work part of the week in the physical workplace and the rest from home.
We got here with hybrid working with a quick transition from full-time in-office pre-Covid to remote working during lockdowns. Workers enjoyed working from home and were reluctant to return to the office.
Some brands publicly announced their plan to have staff back in the office full-time. Workers pushed back on that plan, with many choosing to resign. This en mass move was called the Great Resignation or the Big Quit.
Realizing a compromise was needed to retain workers, businesses chose a halfway solution called hybrid working. However, change doesn’t stop, and how and where we work will evolve into something else.
The Future of Workplaces
What does the future of workplaces look like? You’d be right if you guessed it would be immersive work environments, i.e., virtual reality workplaces. Younger generations are up for it; older generations need more information and assurances. They don’t want their privacy or their location and time online tracked by their employers.
Engagement and Connectedness
Irrespective of the perceived negatives of metaverse workplaces, what’s evident is the gap from using video conferencing to virtual reality for communication is not that wide.
According to ExpressVPN’s metaverse survey, there has already been a significant shift in sentiment about which type of communication works best for engagement and connectedness.
Video Conferencing Preferred
Employees and employers surveyed gave video conferencing top billing for engagement and connectedness. This is a remarkable outcome when you factor in decades of in-office meetings.
Humans communicate with their body language and vocally, which video conferencing fails to capture beyond facial movements. So why are people willing to forego vital body language feedback?
- Saves time
- More productive and efficient
- Flexible scheduling
However, video conferencing is just the being, and soon immersion workplaces will be our reality.
Working In Metaverse Workplaces
Is It much of a stretch of the imagination to visualize coworkers life-like avatars meeting around a table in a metaverse workplace? Not anymore. However, employers are keener on the move than employees, according to ExpressVPN’s survey.
Employees are more skeptical than employers about how metaverse workplaces will improve productivity, performance, and work-life balance. However, employees having experienced full-time remote working during the pandemic are more optimistic about metaverse workplaces allowing them to work the whole week from home once again.
If metaverses were commonplace and accessible by the masses, arguably, there would be many providers of immersion workplaces, and they would be our new normal.
What’s holding up metaverse workplaces?
There are a few threats to metaverses and immersion workplaces, including:
- Security and privacy concerns
- Trust of providers
- User fatigue and simulator sickness
Fatigue and Simulator Sickness
User fatigue with translating desktop tasks to VR will slow the uptake, but it’s not likely to stop VR workplaces.
Do you remember the initial move to video conferencing and Zoom fatigue? We got over it. More concerning is simulator or VR motion sickness caused by conflicting signals to the brain, causing headaches and nausea. Plus, the VR headsets are heavy and cumbersome.
Security and Privacy Concerns
It’s expected there will be more features for employers to monitor employees with metaverse workplaces, including:
- Tracking location and real-time screen monitoring
- Recording meetings
- Time and social engagement tracking
- App downloads and usage
- Data collection
Trust of Providers
Some providers will be favored due to their current brand reputation. Currently, it’s the big tech companies vying for top billing with user trust, including:
However, in time there will be more competitors, and cost will be a priority for businesses keen to be early adopters of metaverse workplaces.
Technology is the most significant barrier to fast-tracking metaverses and VR workplaces. Metaverse tech includes AI, 3D reconstruction, AR and VR, IoT, and Edge Computing with 5G networks. Users will need 5G phones to get the fast data transfer required to access and participate in a metaverse.
Transitioning to metaverse workplaces will be more challenging for employers and employees than digital adoption and hybrid working. However, with employers optimistic about it, employees must go for the ride. There’s plenty of time to get ready for virtual reality workplaces as metaverses as the technology to enable it is not expected to be fully available until 2040. Watch this space as we add more business-related articles on metaverses.
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