The metaverse, a digital space for us to live and work, attracts plenty of criticism when discussing some of its more outlandish concepts. However, in the here and now digital working can be tied in with digital spaces, we see it already in products like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Slack.
In this climate, workspace provider Regus has spoken to 2,000 office workers and 250 senior executives to uncover whether the metaverse can actually help with hybrid work efforts.
Interestingly, 66% of business leaders said that they see the metaverse as the natural progression for hybrid working, and 48% are exploring office space within the online world for their employees.
Of course, leaders don’t want to give employees 3D avatars just for fun. Respondents claimed that they thought this digitization could help improve diversity (62%), positively impact wellbeing (57%), and reduce presenteeism (54%).
On top of that, 54% of people felt that the metaverse could improve relationships between home and office staff.
In the world of business, 71% of those surveyed said that the metaverse could also bring new business opportunities.
Making hybrid and the metaverse work
Despite these positives, there are concerns about whether the metaverse can actually make hybrid work more efficient. Notably, employees are concerned about a lack of investment in tools to make the setup work.
63% of those surveyed feel that their employer will hesitate to invest in metaverse technology until it is tried and tested. This is further reflected by the fact that only 6% believe that their business will adopt the technology to enable communications in the metaverse in the next 12 months.
One of the drivers for quicker adoption could be the financial implications of down-sizing offices and encouraging remote work. 56% of leaders told Regus that shared spaces will play a key role in the uptake of metaverse products. This is undoubtedly because of the prospect of digital meetings reducing the need for pricey real-estate.
Whether immediate investment happens or not, 61% believe metaverse will become crucial for communications between a company’s different offices.
Discussing the findings, Mark Dixon, founder and CEO of Regus’ parent group IWG, said: “Change in the world of work is almost always driven by technology. In the 90s email transformed the way we did business, while during the pandemic we turned to video conferencing to enable more effective working.”
“This data shows that business leaders expect the metaverse to have a similarly transformative effect on hybrid working. It will enable better collaboration for people working all over the world, reducing the need to commute and allowing greater flexibility in people’s day-to-day working schedules.”
Time will tell whether the metaverse is the future of work, but it is clear that plenty are convinced.
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