Imagine looking slick, slim and perfect for every meeting and presentation, without even brushing your hair or spending a minute in the gym? Well, this idea might soon become the new reality with the onset of the metaverse.
The metaverse is one of the biggest ideas in tech right now. Back in October of 2021, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would be changing to META with the intention that AR (Augmented reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) was the future. Since then, it has left many wondering – what is the metaverse really?
According to Zuckerberg, the metaverse will be an even more immersive and interactive version of the internet. The metaverse is an online world inhabited by economies that incentivise a network of creators and infrastructure providers where users exist as avatars to explore different online and 3D worlds with the help of virtual reality.
The main aim of the metaverse is to create a perfectly connected world at all times, whenever you need it, especially in situations like global pandemics and lockdowns.
Many companies have hopped onto the metaverse bandwagon, including games like Minecraft, Roblox and even brands like Nike and Gucci have started embracing this virtual world. Companies like MetaHub have started creating virtual hangout spaces for conferences and business events. We also also saw Crypto games like Decentraland host its own virtual music festivals!
With so many activities and real life events moving onto a virtual platform, will our work life follow suit? More importantly, will the metaverse replace co-working models to emerge as the new form of remote work?
As VR technologies evolve, a new kind of workspace is set to evolve as well…
Businesses of all sizes have grown to depend on workplace communications like Zoom and Slack during the co-vid pandemic. In the metaverse now, we’ll be able to jump into a virtual room and arrange multiple screens in a configuration that’s perfect for the task at hand. Keyboards and other physical devices will sync with our VR platform and be rendered inside this virtual space.
Virtual co-working spaces have already started to take shape with start ups like Sophya World aka SoWork who aim to recreate digital layouts of physical offices for employees to gather, communicate and collaborate the way they would in the real world. In SoWork, teams can digitally recreate the layout of their physical offices for employees to gather and communicate. The users can customise their avatars and can select whether to keep themselves in a private room, allowing their avatars to move away from each other without breaking the video connection between them.
With all these possibilities unraveling, the question then arises – are we ready for this change and what are the key concerns?
The first concern is that the meta-verse is supposedly more well suited for the younger generations as by contrast, young people have a better grasp of digital technology, gaming and social media. Issues regarding privacy, identity theft and mental health were also brought to notice. Despite the pros of meeting in the meta-verse, it still can’t replicate effective face-to-face communication, not to mention the many interpersonal relationships that develop through the water cooler conversations, morning coffee runs and on site events – which are all part and parcel of the office and co-working experience.
CoWorking in the metaverse is merely an extension of what more it could be and the hybrid real-world/virtual world business model can be a powerful tool for attracting new members and increasing profits. However, the meta-verse may not completely replicate the co-working model as people still depend on, value and thrive on the human connection within a tangible space.
Only time will tell how this actually progresses, but for now co-working spaces in the real world, are here to stay.