​The ultimate dream of Metaverse office workers

Last week, a16z founding partner Ben Horowitz wrote the latest article, announcing that in the future a16z’s headquarters will be located in the cloud, in the company’s new operating model, mainly in virtual mode, but can set up physical offices according to actual needs to help entrepreneurs more develop well.

For this news, it may be the virtual remote working method that touches the nerves of the general public. Isn’t this the Work-Life Balance that all migrant workers have longed for?

Think about it since the concept of the Metaverse became popular, the discussion around the application of the Metaverse has not stopped. The original intention of the Metaverse is not simply to be a virtual reality application. It may have a qualitative impact on the entire form of work in the future. Can we work in the Metaverse? Do you really want to work in the Metaverse?

The COVID-19 pandemic, which has been going on for several years, has forced most of us to change the way we think about connection, experience, and collaboration, or at least the way we do them. The pandemic has given us an opportunity to find new, and in some cases, improved ways of working: While telecommuting may not be a replacement for the real thing, many people find remote work With the rapid improvement of collaboration skills, for companies, employees can achieve job performance while reducing business costs.

However, when the epidemic stabilizes, we are also faced with such a choice: whether to return to the traditional way of working, and whether the way of remote work is worth retaining.

Previously, Lenovo Group commissioned a survey by YouGov, a market research agency. The results show that nearly half of Lenovo’s employees (44%) are willing to work in the “Metaverse” and believe that the “Metaverse” can bring many advantages such as improving work efficiency.

Employees remain skeptical about the company’s ability to achieve its goals for a “Metaverse” workplace. How to explore and optimize their own office mode, ensure the work efficiency of employees, and achieve effective management of the enterprise has become the core challenge.

Metaverse Office may be the most anticipated application in the Metaverse world. Based on the remote working trend triggered by the epidemic, the “face-to-face” contact experience and the freedom to work anytime, anywhere, provided by Metaverse Office, is a real change for the company and its employees. To achieve the above experience, you may only need a pair of VR glasses and motion capture gloves. The future of the Metaverse office is foreseeable.

The Metaverse and all its applications will definitely dovetail with everything we do in life, because that’s the root of its purpose: to coexist with our reality, to exist in this world with our bodies, to break through at work Time zone and geographic barriers create exciting possibilities.

On a very practical level, the Metaverse can change how, where, and in what capacity we work. Immersive work environments will allow us to create mutual spaces where people can come together anywhere. It will be a game-changer for how companies operate today. It will also help companies expand their selection of potential candidates for jobs or projects, and bridge the gap between the personal alienation caused by remote work and the real world. To sum up, working in the Metaverse has the following advantages.

Reduce the negative impact of remote work

So far, the mainstream way of telecommuting is mostly achieved by using instant messaging software. Although communication and interaction at work can be maintained, there is always a sense of estrangement from physical distance, and there is no actual copying of the face-to-face experience with team members.

Traditional telecommuting may appear to be easier for employees, but that’s not the case. Research by Nuffield Health has found that nearly a third of UK remote workers have difficulty distinguishing between home and work lives, and more than a quarter find it difficult to stop work at the end of the workday . A virtual Metaverse workplace can better differentiate between home and work life, creating the feeling of walking into the workplace every day, then leaving and saying goodbye to colleagues when work is over. In the Metaverse, your avatar provides a way to communicate your status, at a meeting, going to dinner, etc., making it easier to keep in touch with colleagues without feeling tethered to a computer or phone, which is traditionally The remote work environment is a common source of stress.

Accenture is a good example of the current experimental Metaverse office. According to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Accenture is basically building what they call the Nth layer in the Altspace (Metaverse social platform), allowing Employees from all over the world can visit Level N to meet colleagues at any time.

Visualize form and solve problems in 3D

There are many jobs in reality that need to solve problems visually. In fields such as healthcare, architecture, etc., using 3D models to visually engage and solve problems is a smarter way of working. In the Metaverse, anything can be modeled in 3D, enabling more precise evaluations, designs and decisions with less time and financial cost.

Reduced hardware requirements and no space constraints

Space is a no-brainer in the Metaverse, and you can easily expand your virtual workspace with less hardware to work on.Employees enter virtual spaces with holographic images, interact with other colleagues, and establish spatial relationships with others through audio. Metaverse opens up new possibilities for rethinking the office environment, where businesses can introduce elements of adventure, spontaneity, surprise and more into the Metaverse world. A virtual office doesn’t have to be a monotonous, unified office building in the city center, it can be an ocean, a beach, a universe or even another world? This vision inspired Gather, a Metaverse social platform that allows employees to set up their own offices.

Metaverse Office still needs development

While Metaverse Office has a bright future, it is still in its infancy in many respects. There are some urgent problems that need to be solved today that may hinder its future development. The computing infrastructure and power required for a mature Metaverse system is huge. In addition, the current Metaverse concept world is mostly proposed by different companies. These virtual worlds are not as unified as the original Internet. Finally, the Metaverse office also brings raised a range of regulatory and HR compliance issues.

As revealed by the forced remote working of some businesses during the pandemic, many have been lagging behind in adopting digital work, with outdated corporate policies and a lack of infrastructure. Businesses must avoid continuing these problems in the Metaverse Office and create an integrated work model that fits the Metaverse from the start.

Driven by the efforts of millions of developers, gamers, and designers, today’s Metaverse is largely open and decentralized.To take full advantage of these features, businesses should pursue open source standards and software where possible to achieve seamless connectivity by driving interoperability between different virtual worlds. Otherwise, as we have seen with the traditional internet, the Metaverse could soon be dominated by big tech companies, with fewer options and less potential for grassroots innovation.

The rise of remote and hybrid work has really changed expectations about where and how to work. But the story of corporate office transformation doesn’t end there.

While still in its early stages, the Metaverse offers businesses an opportunity to reset the balance of hybrid and remote work, regaining the spontaneity, interactivity, and fun of team-based work, while maintaining the flexibility, productivity, and convenience of working from home . But three principles need to be clarified. The speed of adoption in the first place is important. With most of the technology and infrastructure already in place, large corporations will need to move fast to keep pace with Metaverse technologies and virtual services, or risk being surrounded by more nimble competitors in the talent market. Secondly, the Metaverse office can only be used as a way of working, not a tool of supervision and control. Finally, the conditions of Metaverse-based office must match the expectations of employees, especially young employees, in the consumer field and in gaming. Guided by these principles, business leaders can begin to imagine and create their own future Metaverse workplace.

The development of the modern enterprise system has been relatively complete. Due to the epidemic, the domestic remote or online and offline mixed office model has gradually emerged, which has also made enterprise managers and employees begin to think about the relationship between the company and individuals. For those who are accustomed to 996, the Metaverse office may be their only way to achieve work-life balance and their ultimate dream.

But if the future is realized, who knows if the Metaverse office will be the beginning of a new life deprivation?

Reference article

YouGov survey: 44% of employees want to work in Metaverse

Why do domestic companies lag behind the development of telecommuting? – Answers from Future Work Research Institute

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