” By 2030, people will be able to teleport from one place to another without having to leave their couches, not only for games and entertainment, but also for work. This sentence seems to come from a science fiction movie and yet it is the statement of Marc Zuckerberg who has been working on this famous metaverse for a long time! Although the term “metaverse” was coined in 1992 by science fiction novelist Neal Stephenson, it didn’t enter the mainstream lexicon until after Facebook changed its name to Meta to reflect its strategic goal of making this vision of science fiction a reality.
Metaverses are immersive 3D digital worlds based on virtual reality and augmented reality experiences.
The Metaverse has 5 major features:
- It is persistent (exists regardless of user presence)
- It is real time (users can experience live events)
- It’s Infinite (supports unlimited simultaneous users and VR worlds),
- It is self-contained (users can work and pay for things in the metaverse)
- And it’s interoperable, you can easily navigate from one world to the next, as if you could go from your favorite artist’s concert to meeting your boss in seconds today.
Metaverses are bigger than closed online games – they allow people to come in with their real identities and use these platforms to shop, play, hang out and also work.
Since the Covid crisis, telecommuting has evolved to the point where working in the metaverse is clearly not science fiction anymore.
For organizations, metaverses promise to create more realistic and thus more productive, immersive meetings enabled by 3D virtual reality headsets. Microsoft is already rolling out Mesh for Microsoft Teams to make online collaborations more fun and efficient by helping people connect in less impersonal ways, such as sharing body language, having cooler conversations, and more participation in team meetings.
Another advantage of working in the metaverse is that there is no limit to the space available or the features you could use. You can invite anyone to a specific room, from one to billions of people. You can easily add accessories: don’t you have a whiteboard to take notes? Don’t worry, it’s there, you don’t have to go to the store.
However, the metaverse does not only have advantages. The first caveat probably has to do with the required basic technology. For now, life in the metaverse is complicated because technology hasn’t advanced enough yet to forget the boundary with reality. In addition, it requires high-tech equipment that is expensive. Second, there are data security concerns, as a persistent metaverse would need to capture and store user data to provide an intuitive experience. Finally, issues such as discrimination and sexual harassment in a metaverse workplace need to be explored in detail before being rolled out on a large scale.
For now, working in the metaverse is limited if you already have the equipment and the company is up to date. But be sure of one thing: if we could agree to spend our days for Zoom or Google Meets, make sure we’ll happily spend them in the metaverse.