opinion | The Metaverse: our future workplace?

Posted on 23 Feb. 2022 at 06:13 PMUpdated February 23. 2022 at 06:17 PM

According to Mark Zuckerberg, who describes it as the future Grail of social interactions, the Metaverse, an immersive virtual universe, is set to change our lifestyles, beginning with our relationship with the world of work. And while it’s too early to say that Meta will host the company’s future chief executive tomorrow, one thing is for sure: the pandemic is already triggering profound organizational change at work. Telecommuting, Zoom meetings, flex-office, coworking… Both employees and companies seek greater flexibility and are switching to hybrid mode. In this context, office real estate professionals are reinventing spaces and experiences; today in the real world and tomorrow in the virtual world!

Headquarters moved to Metaverse

“Think about it. You’re sitting at Starbucks with your coffee, and with a flick of your fingers, your work screens are visible to your eyes as you leave it at home. Do you have a problem? Instead of calling someone companion, the latter ‘teleports’ to you ”. This is how, in July, Mark Zuckerberg described his vision of Metaverse (1), immediately applying this innovation to the world of work. Elsewhere, his group, dubbed Meta, launched Horizon Workrooms as its first application. .This virtual reality remote work service, accessible via VR headset, draws the contours of Future Work.

Pioneer companies have already moved to the Metaverse. Thus, PricewaterhouseCoopers recently acquired the virgin digital land of the video game The Sandbox, to “build” a consulting center there, to help brands unfamiliar with Web 3.0 take advantage of the bag the opportunities offered by this technology. In this regard, Prager Metis, one of the leading international accounting and consulting firms, was the first to officially open its mainframe on the Metaverse Decentraland platform.

A promise that will take time to fulfill

By presenting itself as an immersive world, more interactive than Zoom or Teams, but even more collaborative, Metaverse promises to enhance the virtual work experience. The distortion of time and space, thus positioning itself as the teleworking platform of the future, is the missing brick between remote and face-to-face.
Does this mean that tomorrow, m2 of offices will be replaced by cm2 pixels? There is nothing less certain! First of all because with technology we are still very far from the promise of Meta. Then, because if the crisis reassures managers about the performance of their employees in telework, it also carries a certainty: human interactions cannot be completely replaced by virtual tools. Body language, informal exchanges around the coffee machine, brainstorming in the meeting room, play an important role in team cohesion, encouragement and corporate connectivity, and promote creativity and innovation. In the same way that 100% teleworking is rarely the option chosen by managers today, 100% Metaverse is clearly not considered!

Experience the heart of new workspaces

To address this trend in hybrid work, office real estate experts have redesigned spaces in recent years to more closely integrate digital and physical experiences: offices powered as a service, co -worker … In these structures designed to offer the best. working conditions of all employees and meeting the new needs of companies, comfort and flexibility come first.

The gradual arrival of Metaverse in the business world today puts these professional development workspaces on the front line. The skill they acquire in the physical world can be adapted to the virtual world. Good news for VSEs and SMEs that don’t have the internal resources, nor the way to pay for a virtual land or a digital architect to design their Metaverse offices. Thus they can benefit, as they have already done for their service provision offices or their coworking spaces, from relevant turnkey solutions.

At this point, imagination is the only limit. And while it’s hard to predict the shape offices will take in the future, one thing is for sure: Metaverse or not, employee experience and well-being will be even more at the heart of these spaces.

1. Postcast The Verge, July 2021

Leave a Comment