The Metaverse is a virtual reality platform that allows users to connect and interact with each other in a three-dimensional space. Some refer to it as a 3D internet.
While there are many ways the Metaverse can be used, one of the most interesting applications is how it is shaping the modern workplace. Here are five ways the Metaverse is changing the way we work. But you might wonder, what is the metaverse in the first place and why everyone is talking about it?
What is the metaverse?
What is the Metaverse, and how does it work? The Metaverse is a persistent 3D virtual world network that will eventually serve as the doorway to most online activities, as well as supporting much of the physical world.
The metaverse, according to science fiction writer Neal Stephenson, was first conceived as a metaphor for the real world, an embodiment of the internet, and an escape from it.
Virtual worlds have already been here. Think of Second Life, online games like Minecraft, Fortnight or the online gaming platform Roblox. But the Metaverse will be different. It is not a single software platform, but a complex digital environment that relies on several distinct layers.
The key to making the Metaverse a reality is decentralization. Decentralized virtual worlds are not controlled by any one company or government. Instead, they are built and run by the community that uses them.
The Metaverse will not only be a place for entertainment and socializing; it will also be a platform for commerce, education, training, and much more. It will be a place in the virtual world that feels just like real life. You can interact with other people and objects just like you would in the real world.
In this 3D virtual world, people can explore and interact with, using avatars. It's similar to a video game, but it's designed for social interaction and user-created content.
So, let's take a closer look at these points and see how the Metaverse is shaping the modern workplace!
1. New jobs
The global AR and VR market is projected to grow to more than $209.2 billion by 2022, and this is only one promising statistic about virtual environments. That means, that there are plenty of opportunities for those seeking employment in the metaverse. It's not just game developers - think of metaverse services, UX and interaction design, robotics, artificial intelligence, 3D design and more.
First, keeping up with the newest technological advancements is a must for digital marketing professionals. Understanding the metaverse and its full potential is one of them. Additionally, they have to recognize the value of millennials and Gen Zs as a target market. Millennials and Generation Zs are already frequent players of certain kinds of metaverses, such as games like Roblox, Fortnite or other VR environments. So that target group will be the first moving into the metaverse at a large scale.
The metaverse is all about the community. Metaverse marketers must become great in community building and therefore need to engage with them on platforms like Discord or Twitter. Here, they act as the bridge between the physical company and the virtual reality. Let’s go back to Travis Scott and his Fortnite concert. The event was only 9 minutes long, and grossed $20 million USD. That is the power of community.
Metaverse Fashion Designer
In a virtual world, the possibilities are virtual infinite. And that is especially true for fashion. Within a few years, we'll all be avatars. We can wear clothing that may be based on our mood, the occasion, or the event which we are attending.
Since it’s all about the community in the metaverse, brands have now the opportunity to shape selected target groups and how they want to represent and identify themselves. And identification is huge for the Gen Z generation – 73% of Gen Z believe they need to express themselves more to live a happy, healthy life (Decoding Gen Z Identity).
Metaverse Cybersecurity Expert
Security is one of the challenges in the metaverse. Because it is in its early stages, information security experts can already predict security issues which will arise here. Fraud methods like phishing will continue to be a threat in the virtual universe. And because cryptocurrencies and NFTs will be at the heart of the metaverse economy, stealing money in these areas will become a centrepiece of fraud in that virtual world (and this is already happening outside the metaverse).
The counterpart of the metaverse cybersecurity expert will be the metaverse conman. The list of possible metaverse fraud work is long. From influencer and affiliate fraud over fake reviews and volatility and market manipulation to data breaches – unfortunately, the possibilities are also expanding in this area.
Metaverse Planner / Architect
Moving as a business into the metaverse will be an impactful shift. Many things have to be organized, redesigned and made approachable for the people in the metaverse. At first, a lot of functionality won’t be available. The metaverse will be most likely like an almost blank canvas. So be prepared to build infrastructures or interfaces to make things work.
The metaverse planner / architect will need to drive a strategic portfolio of opportunities from proof-of-concept to pilot to deployment. That furthermore entails identifying market possibilities, creating business cases, influencing engineering roadmaps, developing crucial metrics and establishing the metaverse revenue vision and strategy. That’s right. There is a lot to do.
2. Virtual meetings, conferences and events
One of the main ways that the metaverse is shaping the modern workplace is by providing new opportunities for networking and business interactions, and for collaboration and communication. In a virtual world, employees can connect with others from all over the world. This is because the metaverse is a global space that is accessible to anyone with an internet connection. Employees can collaborate on projects and communicate with each other without having to be in the same physical location. That means that employees can network with others and build business relationships without having to travel.
Virtual events have become more popular during the pandemic. People use virtual reality to make events feel more real. This is useful for people who want to go to events but can't because of where they are currently living or working.
One of the most prominent examples to illustrate the possibilities of metaverse-based business interactions is Fortnite. In Fortnite, popular musicians such as Travis Scott and Ariana Grande have performed in virtual concerts.
In April 2020, Travis Scott became a digital avatar for Fortnite as part of an event with almost 12 million fans in the audience. The concert was so popular that it caused the game to crash for some players. These events are a clear sign of how businesses can take advantage of the metaverse for conducting virtual events and what is possible regarding outreach.
Next to the sheer size of an audience, even people with disabilities can use avatars to help them do things that are difficult or impossible for them in the real world. For example, someone who can't walk can use an avatar to walk around in the metaverse. Also, these people can participate in events that they might not be able to attend in person. Businesses should consider the benefits of accessibility in the metaverse when planning their next virtual event.
So one benefit is that businesses can reach a wider audience. At the same time, they save money on costs for reaching a possible huge audience. The biggest stadium in the world can hold around 132000 people. Compare that to the 12 million fans in the Travis Scott concert.
Another benefit is that businesses can save money on costs such as travel and accommodations. And on top of that, when businesses host virtual events, it can save them money because they won't have to spend as much on things like food and decorations.
Furthermore, collecting audience data and assessment of audience behaviour in virtual business events in the metaverse is another opportunity.
Attendees to virtual seminars may be asked to provide their information to the firm. This is so that the business may gather more information about those who attended the event and how they behaved. The data can be utilized by businesses to enhance their products and services. They can also use it to develop more precise marketing strategies. Finally, this data might help a business to better understand their clientele and what they are looking for.
3. Immersive learning experiences and training
While already augmented reality (AR) enhances performance in the workplace, the metaverse takes training and development to the next level. Businesses can create unmitigated virtual simulations of work environments that can be used to train employees in a safe and controlled environment. This leads to improved employee performance and reduced training costs.
Let’s talk about learning. Learning in the metaverse is superior to learning in a classroom for many reasons. One of them is that it is a virtual reality in a 3-D environment. This makes comprehending what you're studying easier. Another benefit is that you may examine and learn whatever you like in this world, which makes it an effective method to learn.
In the next five years, we expect the metaverse to change how people learn. People will no longer just learn from books, pictures, and lectures that they can watch on demand. They will also learn from immersive experiences in the metaverse that are accompanied by digital records.
People can work together and share resources to help make learning better for everyone. This will help people of all ages and social classes get the education they need. VR-based learning could help in improving the way students interact with different concepts and ideas. At the same time, the metaverse can also help in detecting errors easily, alongside enabling faster updates in the curriculum.
Businesses can benefit from immersive learning experiences in the metaverse by being able to train their employees in a more realistic and hands-on way. This can help employees learn new skills more quickly and be more prepared for the real world after they finish their training.
Additionally, businesses can also use the metaverse for research and development purposes, allowing them to test new products or ideas in a safe and controlled environment before they are released to the public.
Similarly, when it comes to the cost of learning, immersive experiences in the metaverse can be a big help for organizations. By being able to create a digital space for employees to explore, learn and fully immerse into it, businesses can save on the costs associated with traditional learning methods.
Furthermore, immersive learning experiences can be tailored specifically to the needs of each business, meaning that the content will be more relevant and useful for employees. This can lead to increased engagement and motivation in the workforce, as well as improved retention rates.
Ultimately, this can lead to a reduction in the overall cost of training and development for businesses. In today's economy, businesses need to be constantly investigating options for reducing costs and improve efficiency. Immersive learning experiences in the metaverse can provide a real solution to these challenges.
4. The new Social Media
Social media will also be different in the metaverse because people can connect with each other in a more realistic and three-dimensional space. This will allow for a more natural and effective form of communication. Metaverse technology can create new, immersive social media platforms where users can interact with each other as digital avatars in different virtual spaces. As a result, social media will be more engaging and exciting in the metaverse. Facebook's plans for the metaverse present good prospects for the growth of social media platforms.
Another factor is, that the metaverse will allow people to connect with each other in a more anonymous way. This will provide more opportunity for people to communicate without judgement or preconceptions.
5. Manufacturing, production and fabrication
Like in the world of IoT (Internet of Things) and IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) there will also be an industrial metaverse.
The industrial metaverse is a digital space that allows businesses to connect with each other. This will help companies find new customers, share ideas, and make better products. If it includes cyber-physical systems, digital twins, 5G-powered VR, and AI computer vision, and real-time remote control applications with low latency, it will be possible to create vehicles and machines of all kinds. For example, Boeing has already stated that it will develop the next plane in the metaverse.
Also, carmakers could design, build, and test drive new vehicles in the virtual world before they are built in the physical world. It will also allow manufacturers to conduct virtual assembly line simulations to test out new processes and optimize production.
An industrial metaverse will improve communication and collaboration between employees, customers, and suppliers. This will lead to better decision-making, higher quality products, and improved customer satisfaction. Ultimately, an industrial metaverse will help manufacturing become more efficient, innovative, and profitable.
Customer insight and feedback, as well as pricing and packaging, may all be tested in a virtual environment before being translated into the real world for actual manufacturing. Another use would be for decision-making and outcomes to be recorded through the blockchain, serving as the foundation for assessment and auditing in both the virtual and physical realms.
But there are also some potential challenges that need to be addressed. One is the issue of data security and privacy.
It will be important to make sure that the virtual world is designed in a way that encourages collaboration and innovation, while still protecting intellectual property. And it will be crucial to ensure that the system is flexible enough to accommodate the ever-changing needs of the automotive and manufacturing industries.
If these challenges can be overcome, the potential benefits of an industrial metaverse manufacturing industries are almost unimaginable.
The Metaverse will no less than change the way we think about work altogether.
In a virtual world, work can be anything we want it to be. This is because the Metaverse is a blank canvas that allows us to create any type of work environment we can imagine.
And there is one more thing: In the future, avatars might be able to assist you in your job. “Doubling yourself” finally comes within reach. Imagine an avatar that knows everything about your job, what it can do for you and what it would mean in terms of productivity.
So, there you have it. These are five ways that the metaverse is shaping the modern workplace. As you can see, the metaverse is already having a major impact on the way we work. And it is only going to become more important in the years to come. Therefore, if you want to stay ahead of the curve, you now need to start thinking about how you can use the metaverse to your advantage in your business.