How to Move Your Headquarters Into the Metaverse

While the actor became venture capitalist Ashton Kutcher tweet in November 2021: “#Metaverse is here, but so far no network can manage it.” It’s true that until high-speed 5G and large cloud storage networks come to the scene that truly immersive worlds become a reality.

Ultimately, technology makes it possible for anyone to work from anywhere, and many people are unlikely to want to return to a physical office after a pandemic. That’s why I moved our entire digital experience agency out of Baltimore and into the metaverse.

I know many of my fellow CEOs think about how to lead a long-distance team while maintaining the company culture, maintaining morale, and ensuring strong productivity. At Mindgrub Technologies, we’ve thought a lot about these issues, and I thought it would be helpful to share some of what we’ve learned here.

I am do not moving my company to the metaverse to be cool – I did it because non -world shared spaces are the future of knowledge workers. Static Zoom calls to view on a screen or Slack IM-based channels will no longer be interrupted. Widely distributed teams require a major invention of the world of work.

CULTURAL TRANSFER

The best companies I know always have a strong culture. You can feel it when you walk through the door: the volume hits you and is visible in the design, the names of the conference rooms, the dress code, the cartoon tchotchkes located on the monitors, and so on.

You know what I really miss about our office? Conversations that did not take place. The necessity physically to work with different teams. To take a walk. See the group of light-sensitive engineers scurrying into a corner with a game of Magic: The Gathering Arena after delivering a set of code, or providing VR headsets to hang out on our holodeck. Watch the creative brainstorming while sitting on beanbags, some dogs sleeping nearby, and our made-up robot picking up sodas.

Listen, I’m realistic. I knew the genie would never go back to the bottle. I know we will never go back to life like we used to. But I am really determined to bring back the culture we have in Baltimore in our new home in the metaverse.

My recommendation for CEOs thinking of moving into the metaverse is to start by documenting your company’s culture. What makes it good in terms of visuals, soundscape, feel, and execution? Map how people move in the office, because you want to copy the human flow. That’s what we did. In our various skunkworks, we sketched the physical manifestation of our way of working to move it into our new virtual environment and reconfigure our professional life there.

One caveat before you start: make sure you form a metaverse committee with representatives from all teams. It’s not just an internal technology project, it’s a company-wide transformation. Everyone needs a voice, or you can bet not everyone will be excited to dive into the new metaverse-based environment.

TESTING TECHNOLOGIES

In his Year in Review blog post, Bill Gates said, “The idea is that eventually you will use your avatar to meet people in a virtual space that mimics the feeling of being in a real room with them. To do this, you need something like VR glasses and motion capture gloves to accurately capture your expressions, body language, and sound quality.Most people don’t have these devices yet, which can weaken their adoption. »

I agree with Gates, but we have to start somewhere, and there are already a lot of metaverse-ready platforms to explore. I recommend CEOs try some of the following: Monday, Spatial, Horizon Workrooms, Minecraft VR, VRChat, and Mozilla Hubs.

Once you’ve mapped out your culture, visuals, motion flows, etc., you can quickly prototype 3D rooms, inviting a group of team members to manipulate their avatar, hosting a meeting, collaborating on documents, sharing files, launching a private conference. rooms and will be decorated with virtual booths. Everything is customized and some features can be more (or less) sophisticated than you need.

As CEOs, we need to prioritize history, showing others how they can benefit in this new world. Along these lines, I carefully planned my virtual office for our metaverse HQ. I want this to reflect my open door policy to show if I am available for a quick chat. I design virtual whiteboards so I can keep ideas in place, and widgets like the Pandora plug-in within digital radio on everyone’s virtual desktop. I want my office inside the metaverse to be a living lab, showcasing what we work on and inspiring others by giving them exposure to “inside my head”.

What kind of culture do you have at your HQ? I hope it will be difficult, if not impossible, to keep it going for everyone who has worked from home for the past two years. I know this is why many business leaders are desperate to get everyone back in office, but we need to be smarter than that. This is an opportunity to try something new.

I believe the Metaverse is a place where we can recreate the best part of our culture, where excitement, teamwork, brainstorming, friendship, and collaboration become possible. No, it’s not like it used to be. I think we can make it even better, more engaging and more innovative. In fact, I think we can stop the so -called big stop if we make work an exciting place.


Todd Marks is the award-winning founder and CEO of Mindgrub Technologies, the cutting-edge digital experiences agency.

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