The concept of Metaverse has taken the world by storm in the past few months. Can it be a real game changer in terms of gaming, immersion, and engagement, or is it all just smoke and mirrors?
The way we connect and work is transforming as a result of the digital revolution, and a workforce gearing up for the Metaverse is in the making. The future of work will foster a hybrid setup for many, especially in the tech sector where almost half (49%) of UK businesses say they intend to use increased homeworking going forward. Those businesses choosing to lead with a virtual front, will find themselves generating new forms of creativity, collaboration and immersion.
Can the Metaverse fundamentally change how we work – or is it all smoke and mirrors?
Is the Metaverse a hyped-up marketing term or is it a long-term shift for organisations? The answer is yet to be defined but what we do know is new players such as Binanance and Tencent entering the Metaverse sector at record pace, offering organisation new solutions for their employees who want to work in a parallel universe as well as the real world.
The initial investment has to be factored into this next leap in technology to make it accessible to businesses as well as the majority of the population. Democratising the Metaverse is possible when R&D scales the solution, keeping prices competitive. This results in everyone reaping the benefits of the Metaverse, not just the lucky few. The more people join the Metaverse, the more connections and the better communications are created through this channel. And with costs becoming accessible, the Metaverse has much to offer companies. From higher employee participation (with no constraint due to physical limitations) to better and more efficient productivity thanks to specific tools offered in the Metaverse, that would otherwise take time and effort to implement or produce at the office.
Future of Work 2.0
The generalisation of remote working has made businesses and employees alike feel comfortable within the virtual environment, where the greatest innovations of our time are found. From Facebook (now Meta) to Microsoft Mesh, all the biggest players are betting on this new way of working, experimenting and connecting becoming ‘the norm.’
The past two years have greatly reshaped the way we work and how we collaborate with coworkers, managers, and teams. While platforms like Zoom and Teams offer easy communication, the Metaverse allows coworkers to collaborate and work in real-time on the same project via holographic experiences across different devices.
Additional benefits of the Metaverse at work:
- Optimised communication: The ability to integrate all six types of communication – verbal, non-verbal, physical, written, visual and listening – thanks to its immersive technologies and personalised Avatars mimicking every participant’s moves and actions.
- Effective tools at fingertips: There are so many possibilities, running out of resources is almost impossible. When discussing projects, brainstorming, or reporting to managers, every participant has direct access to a plethora of tools (boards, graphs, images) that can instantly elevate their message and illustrate with examples.
- Permanent connectivity: Coworkers aren’t restrained by time since everything can be accessed at any moment. This is not to say employees will be connected to the office day and night. However, in a hybrid work model where employees work from all over the world and over many time zones, it’s important each team member has equal access to information, virtual offices, and resources whether they’re at the physical office or not.
How to humanise the Metaverse
When talking about the Metaverse, it’s important to discuss the human aspect of the experience, and not only the benefits to the corporate world. This is where gamification plays a key role to connect and entertain, as it triggers real, powerful human emotions.
Each participant of the Metaverse can be part of a game in this virtual world. Customised avatars help anyone project without limits, so the immersion through this gamified experience is even more intense. Engaging puzzles, games, and challenges brings people together in a way nothing else can. Every Metaverse can integrate different activities. By cleverly designing gamification solutions, employees connect to their employer and its brands distinct values and company culture.
The real question is when does the Metaverse become something people are connecting with outside of the tech industry? The Facebook/Meta rebrand, by many, will not be enough to give people insight into what the future could look like. Time will tell on the future uptake, but one thing’s for sure – mass adoption of the Metaverse would be a game changer.