Companies Are Getting Serious About the Metaverse for Hybrid Working
- By Winston Thomas
- August 22, 2022
The Metaverse is becoming an increasingly popular topic of conversation among businesses as the world adapts to a new way of working in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. With many employees working from home, companies are looking for ways to facilitate hybrid working arrangements — and the Metaverse is a potential solution.
A new study by Regus has found that half of the business leaders in the U.K. are considering renting or buying office space in the Metaverse to enable hybrid working. Of those surveyed, two-thirds said they believe the Metaverse is inevitable and will become a part of everyday working life within the next five years.
The possibilities presented by the Metaverse, such as the ability for workers in different locations to interact via 3D avatars, are seen as having a significant impact on the workplace. With the Metaverse allowing staff to work from anywhere in the world, 70% of respondents believe it will increase demand for flexible working arrangements.
Furthermore, business leaders believe that the Metaverse will bring a wide range of other benefits, including more diverse workplaces (62%), improved mental health (57%), reduced presenteeism (54%), and better relations between remote and office-based staff (54%). More than 70% also hope the Metaverse will open up new business opportunities.
However, not everyone is convinced. Just 6% of workers think their company will enter the Metaverse in the next 12 months, and many are concerned that businesses are moving too slowly in adopting this new technology. Employees also think companies will not be brave enough, with nearly two-thirds (63%) believing businesses will wait to see how other companies fare before investing themselves.
“Change in the world of work is almost always driven by technology. In the 90s, email transformed the way we did business, while the onset of the pandemic led to millions around the world permanently adopting web-based tools and platforms like Zoom and Teams to enable more effective working," said Mark Dixon, IWG founder and chief executive officer.
“This latest research shows that business leaders expect the Metaverse to have a 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," he added.
Despite the concerns, it is clear that the Metaverse is on the radar of U.K. businesses and other businesses around the world — and it is likely that we will see more and more companies dipping their toes into this new world in the months and years to come.