Should We Hope That The Metaverse Office Doesn’t Take Off?

From 2020 onwards, remote working has steadily become more popular, to the point where 27% of workers in the US now work remotely – with 41% embracing a hybrid balance, meaning they work both in and outside of the office.

While this ordinarily involves working on a PC or laptop, a new innovation known as the “Meta Office” has been growing more popular. In late 2022, there were as many as 300,000 total users, and that number is expected to rise over the coming years as office rental costs increase and the “need” to work in person becomes less certain.

What Is The Meta Office?

For those who don’t know about the Meta Office, this is a tech innovation by the company Meta, owned by Mark Zuckerberg. The full name of the platform is “Horizon Worlds”, which workers can use as a virtual social space. In terms of the office, all users need is a virtual reality headset, and they can plug into their own private office space, with the ability to interact and communicate with avatars of their colleagues.

The Advantages Of Virtual Offices

This gives businesses a lot of advantages. For starters, a recent study in the UK revealed that 51% of workers felt more productive when working from home, with a large number also citing better mental wellbeing and a stronger work-life balance. Tech innovations like this also lend to businesses hiring further afield and bringing together their strongest team regardless of location – a business in the UK could technically hire multiple people from home and in the US, and each would have the same working experience.

The Disadvantages Of Virtual Offices

There are disadvantages to this technology. However, just as there are disadvantages to any technology that integrates companies more completely into the online world, for B2B companies, for instance, b2b loyalty programmes are designed to formulate strong relationships with clients, but this can only be done if employees are engaged, and collaboration amongst the team is strong.

One of the drawbacks of a virtual office is that employees are no longer face-to-face, which means connections and relationships can easily be damaged. Purely remote working can also make employees feel more isolated and less valued as an individual – it is easier to feel more like a statistic than a human being, especially if you are represented as an avatar in a digital space.

What Should We Hope For?

In terms of the future, we should be hoping for continued development of Horizon Worlds, but we should also be hoping that it doesn’t replace the office experience entirely. The positives of in-person working are too strong to let go of. Not to mention, remote working is still in its infancy stages, and the long-term effect on mental health might not yet be realised.

For this reason, a hybrid experience could be the best route to go down, as businesses can take advantage of the convenience and practicality of the Meta Office but without eliminating the advantages of in-person work.

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