As businesses recover from “The Great Resignation,” a new trend has emerged to disrupt the future of work: the Metaverse.
What is the “Metaverse” trend?
In October 2021, Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of tech giant Facebook, announced that he had changed his company name to Meta. The re-branding of Facebook marked the company’s growing ambitions of building a completely virtual world called “Metaverse.”
The term “metaverse” has existed since the ‘90s, often traced to science fiction novels such as Neal Stephenson’s “Snow Crash.” Today, however, the concept is more than just the work of fiction and imagination. The Metaverse space combines existing technology, such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and social media to create a seamless overlap between our physical reality and digital experience.
Many people have already spoken about the benefits of the Metaverse in the realm of gaming and entertainment. However, you may wonder, “Can this technology also provide value in the workplace?” In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how the Metaverse and businesses can work together.
How Can the Metaverse Benefit Businesses?
The COVID-19 crisis led many businesses to temporarily cease in-office operations with employees working from home to prevent the spread of the virus. However, even now that the pandemic is slowing down, remote work is here to stay. What was once a necessity is now a preferred option for many workers.
According to Pew Research, 64% of employees worked remotely only because their office was closed during the pandemic. However, 61% say they prefer working from home even if companies asked them to return to the office post-pandemic. A separate study found that 66% of American workers want to continue working from home once the pandemic is over.
Read More: Top 7 Workplace Trends in 2022 That Decision Makers Should Know
Goodbye Zoom, Hello Metaverse
The shift in attitude toward remote work paves the way for the Metaverse virtual world to have a significant role in business. Many foresee this technological trend as the next evolution of social media and video communication platforms.
There would be no more laggy and tedious Zoom video calls. As employees work from home, they can improve coordination and collaboration by participating in Metaverse meetings and training. The Metaverse can allow for a hybrid work environment that combines the benefits of remote work with the opportunity for a more immersive workplace experience through virtual and augmented reality.
Top 5 Relevant and Fascinating Facts About Metaverse in the Workplace
Now that you understand what the Metaverse is and how it can potentially shape the future of business, let’s look at some crucial data and statistics on this technology. Here are a few relevant facts you should know about the application of Metaverse in business:
#1: Bill Gates predicts that workers will use the Metaverse for virtual meetings.
If you still aren’t convinced of the potential advantages of the Metaverse, don’t take our word for it. Listen to the insights of a man greatly revered in the world of tech, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. In his website, he predicted that workers would use the Metaverse space as an alternative to virtual meetings within the next two or three years.
To be clear, Bill Gates noted that there is still much work to be done before the Metaverse would become fully adopted by organizations. However, further advancements in technology make it possible to replicate the experience of being together in an office. He stated that 3D avatars and spatial audio could allow users to feel more connected in the virtual environment.
#2: Well-known and established enterprises are preparing for the Metaverse.
What do companies like Nike, Victoria’s Secret, McDonald’s, Louis Vuitton, and Walmart have in common? All of these well-known brands are preparing to enter the Metaverse.
- Victoria’s Secret has filed trademark applications indicating its intention to sell virtual undergarments, accessories, and footwear in the Metaverse space.
- McDonald’s is looking to operate a virtual restaurant featuring actual and virtual goods connected to a home delivery service.
- Walmart plans to launch its collection of cryptocurrency and NFTs in preparation for the Metaverse.
- Nike is acquiring a virtual footwear company.
- Louis Vuitton looks into creating a presence in the Metaverse space with its video game that allows players to collect blockchain-backed digital assets.
#3: Experts predict that the Metaverse space will be used for work in the near future.
Enterprise architecture and technology innovation leaders are starting to explore the potential of Metaverse technology for the future of work. According to Gartner’s research, 25% of people will be spending at least one hour a day in the Metaverse virtual world by 2026. The virtual space will be used for shopping, education, social media, entertainment, and, most importantly, work.
Gartner predicts that the Metaverse virtual world could create immersive e-commerce experiences for consumers. The technology could also be valuable for onboarding employees, customer service, and other business interactions.
#4: The total valuation of the Metaverse could reach a trillion dollars in the coming years.
The internet was a revolutionary innovation that changed life as we know it today, and the Metaverse looks to be another step forward in our digital evolution. The potential of this new virtual world is attracting Web 2.0 companies and investors, making the market opportunity for bringing the Metaverse to life worth over $1 trillion. For context, Web 2.0 companies are worth $15 trillion today.
#5: The legal parameters of the Metaverse are still blurry.
Now that many businesses are preparing to incorporate Metaverse technology into their operations soon, it’s also crucial to consider real employment law issues. For instance, experts have predicted that the Metaverse virtual world will be used in the workplace, mainly as an alternative to current digital communications platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams. However, unlike those platforms, the Metaverse will be using 3D avatars to represent users.
Although many workers may use avatars that resemble their real-life appearance, others may choose avatar characteristics that they don’t possess. How would this affect instances of workplace discrimination or racial bias? What steps must employers take to ensure workers feel welcomed and safe in the virtual environment? These are just a few concerns to consider with the Metaverse.
Read more: ‘The Great Resignation’ and the 32-Hour Workweek Act: How Offshoring Could Offer the Ideal Compromise
Prepare Your Business for the Metaverse and Other Emerging Trends
Ultimately, the Metaverse is still a work in progress. It’s too early to say precisely how this emerging technology will change the way businesses operate. However, the good news is that it’s never too early to begin future-proofing your company. And this can be done by partnering with a reliable BPO provider – like SuperStaff!
At SuperStaff, we are committed to helping businesses prepare for any possible disruptions that come their way. Utilizing top-of-the-line technology, we equip companies with flexible and scalable outsourcing solutions that allow them to adapt to the ever-shifting business landscape.
Whether you’re running a growing startup or a Forbes-ranked enterprise, you can trust our professional team to help you maintain your competitive edge in these uncertain times. SuperStaff has headquarters in the booming business districts of Angeles City and Clark, Pampanga. Reach out to us, and learn more about how we can help you navigate disruptions to the future of work!