Following the transition to working from home (opens in new tab) during the pandemic it seemed as though hybrid work (opens in new tab) would be the future of work but now more employees are cozying up to the idea of putting on a VR headset (opens in new tab) and working in the metaverse.
According to new research from Lenovo (opens in new tab), close to half of employees (44%) are willing to work in the metaverse rather than return to the office. This is because they believe doing so can help boost their productivity (opens in new tab) and deliver other benefits.
Although it's still a relatively new idea, the metaverse (opens in new tab) is primarily defined as a shared digital space with digital representations of people, places and objects. One day, it could serve as a highly immersive extension of the physical world which would open up new possibilities for businesses to create a more viable and interactive workplace.
President of Lenovo's solutions and services group Ken Wong explained how organizations can prepare their businesses for the metaverse in a press release (opens in new tab), saying:
“Though the metaverse has yet to be ubiquitous, organizations can get a head start with improving productivity at work. They do not have to invest significantly more capital to achieve that. Everything-as-a-service or pay-as-you-go models offers the flexibility, cost efficiency, and scalability to adapt to each company’s unique circumstance. We are just scratching the surface of the metaverse, not to mention the new economics of Web 3.0. For now, metaverse opens a world of possibilities for businesses, which according to our research, almost half of employees are willing to participate. To grasp it, companies need to identify new ways to make the most of their technologies..”
Working in the metaverse
While some employees are prepared for the introduction of the metaverse, others think their employers aren't ready to make the transition as 43 percent of the 7,500 respondents surveyed by Lenovo believe their companies do not or probably do not have the knowledge or expertise to enable them to work in the metaverse.
At the same time, 20 percent of workers are unwilling to work in the metaverse, 21 percent said they are neutral and 15 percent say the are not sure if they want to.
The speed at which businesses adopt new technologies is seen as an indicator of their readiness to usher in the metaverse by half of working adults (51%). However, working adults in Brazil (53%), Singapore (51%) and China (54%) are split evenly with around half confident that their employers have the necessary expertise to enable a metaverse workplace. Working adults in the UK and Japan are less optimistic though with 30 and 18 percent respectively of the belief that their employers won't be able to set up the technology needed to work in the metaverse.
Even though the metaverse still might be far off, Lenovo suggests that adopting everything-as-a-service (opens in new tab) and pay-as-you-go models could be a way for businesses to prepare themselves for what could end up being the future of work.