The Companies Building Virtual Offices

Metaverse

The promises of Metaverse and Web3 have companies and employees excited about the possibilities.

Covid-19 has opened the world’s eyes to the benefits of remote and flexible working. Emerging technologies have brought workers many convenient alternatives to traditional work. Zoom has transformed the remote and hybrid work environment, but conversations about the promises of Metaverse and Web3 have companies and employees excited about the possibilities. The metaverse could potentially use virtual reality, or augmented reality as we know it now, to immerse users in an alternate world. So the question is : Can or will metaverse replace the physical offices and why are companies so excited about the Metaverse?

Understanding the metaverse

The metaverse is often described as the next version of the internet — a shared, virtual space that is persistently online and active. So, how is that any different than an online chatroom?

The term metaverse comes from Snow Crash, a 1992 science fiction novel in which human avatars and software demons inhabit a parallel 3D universe. The Metaverse promises to solve roadblocks in the hybrid workplace — but is it really the silver bullet?

So why are companies so excited about the Metaverse?

Working in the Metaverse would permit employees to be 100% remote while still allowing for social interaction. For managers, this implies a limitless ability pool workers from Michigan to Mozambique who can collaborate with each other in a virtual, hyper-practical world. And for employees, this implies they get the opportunity and adaptability to work from any place.

A metaverse work environment could likewise guarantee a more equitable workplace, assisting with balancing the odds between the employees’ managers who need to supervise consistently and the individuals who need to work from a distance, if they are single parents, incapacitated or can’t afford to live near the workplace.

Wellbeing and security also play a role. A recent survey also found that 43% of office workers, either hybrid or full-time, are more worried about exposure to and transmission of COVID than remote workers. For employees of color, 21% lose sleep over it, compared to just 11% of their white counterparts. A Metaverse office implies anybody can come in, vaccinated, unvaccinated, immunocompromised, positive or negative.

And afterward, we can get to the actual offices. Envision a Metaverse office where land is less expensive and you can set it up on top of a high rise or in the stomach of a whale (virtually) – without a high price tag.

The desk area in the Metaverse is infinitely scalable. Increase or decrease size according to your needs. It’s the ultimate customizable space. Virtual meeting rooms or shared lounge areas are configured for the type of work employees do – brainwork or creative brainstorming.

Metaverse real estate companies like The Sandbox are already popping up to stake their claim on this new frontier, and companies like UK media outlet VCCP and Mediahub have already set up their Metaverse offices. At the end of the day, employees want flexibility, freedom, and the ability to connect and collaborate easily—and the Metaverse could potentially have it all.

The Metaverse isn’t going to replace the physical office anytime soon

Obviously, this is all hypothetical now. Until we really have long-haul business use cases, we will not have the option to quantify the valuable opportunities or understand the potential drawbacks. For instance, some questions we need to consider are: How long would you be able to truly wear a headset? Are there any adverse physical and/or mental health effects of spending your 9/5 in ‘The Matrix’?

Additionally, we’ve seen some interesting innovations in Metaverse gaming, but adoption is still low and whether this translates to the workplace is yet to be proven.

Three Virtual Reality experiments you can run now

Virtual environments aren’t affected by COVID-19 case rates. Trying out a virtual office could resolve a small part of the current uncertainty and establish a new routine.

Conduct training: This format may be more effective than others for certain topics, and this approach is a good way to get people to focus. There is no multitasking with a VR headset.

Host an event: This is another way to test the waters without committing to building a fully virtual space. Virbela, Gather, and Sophya all offer event services.

Open a lunchroom: Sophya used its platform to create a sort of mixed-reality experience. Employees ordered food in a virtual lunchroom, which was charged to the company and then delivered. People could mingle virtually and enjoy lunch in real life.

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