Metaverse and work: How to bring work environments to virtual reality?

The virtual reality universe, known as the metaverse due to Meta’s strong commitment to this technology, it is also part of the future of work And it’s already transforming aspects of the world of work like meetings, training, and recruiting.

In the next two years, 51% of the centennials and 48% of millennials waiting work in the metaverseaccording to Labor Trend Index from Microsoft WorkLab. Only 16 out of 100 people consider that virtual reality will not have any impact on their work.

The metaverse is a set of digital spaces, which include immersive 3D experiences. Those spaces are interconnected and it’s very easy to move between them, that way we can do things in the metaverse that we cannot do in the physical world. We will be able to meet with friends and family, work, learn, play, buy and really new categories”, detailed Caroline Souza, client partner of Workplace from Meta for Latin America, in a webinar of the firm BW Internal Communication.

The metaverse, named after the reconversion of the Facebook conglomerate and Mark Zuckerberg’s commitment to virtual reality, is a digital environment in which people can carry out various activities. In this virtual world there are not only glasses for immersive experiences, but also bank transfers, the use of avatars to interact and the purchase and sale of NFTs, among other elements.

“A question that has recently arisen for us is where we will work or if we will work in the metaverse. We come from a pandemic that has not discovered trends, but rather has accelerated trends, especially in digitization and the way we communicate. All this has generated a new series of processes”, said Jaume Sués, partner of Emerging Technologies and Intelligent Automation of EY for Latin America North.

In that sense, the virtual reality in the world of work is allowing teams to interact with avatars regardless of where each person is, it is also recreating situations of daily life that allow workers to train through immersive experiences, remote supervision and spaces of welfare.

“The new way of working and interacting with employees and companies will allow them to attend meetings, work meetings, present projects, among other activities. Any task can be done from any corner of the planet”, highlighted the Melt Group firm.

For Jaume Sués, technological change in companies is already a reality and will have a greater impact on office jobs. “Very soon, if not now, we will have to live with these new technologies as a model that will evolve our organizations.”

Some of the companies that are developing special digital environments for the world of work are Pixel Max, which offers the construction of virtual workspaces with avatars and even with the possibility of other people walking around the workplace, and Next Meet, which is betting on immersive solutions for the workforce with the creation of 3D environments where all the staff can interact.

The metaverse in the world of work

“The avatars and the metaverse they bring us one step closer to making people feel like they are together even when they are physically apart,” said Mar González Franco, principal investigator at Microsoft Research. According to Labor Trend Indexthe 52% of the workforce global is willing to use digitally immersive spaces in the metaverse for meetings or team activities in the coming year.

Although it is difficult to predict everything that will happen with the metaverse in the world of work, Caroline Souza assured that virtual spaces will help build more connected work environments. “By working in the metaverse you will be able to have a much stronger connection because we will have a stronger sense of belonging than ever before.”

According to Meta, virtual environments will generate Work spaces with more connected people, with greater collaboration and flexibility, as well as being accessible and inclusive.

“It will be possible to have more collaborative environments with a greater presence. We have the potential to boost new ways of working together and this seamless collaboration will help improve our productivity and manage our time much more efficiently. We also believe that autonomy will be key to new ways of working in the future, by freeing ourselves from the physical world we can choose when, where and how we want to work and that brings an aspect of extreme flexibility to the world of work”, pointed out Caroline Souza.

Metaverse and Human Resources in Mexico

In our country there are also examples of the metaverse applied to talent management with solutions for the development of soft skills, training against work risks and even the creation of wellness spaces.

In 2016, the Mexican startup Hapinnss began its operations to offer the market a solution for immersive experiences in workplaces that allow people to walk along the beach or a forest, without leaving the office. The organization’s goal is to reduce burnout levels in the workforce with the help of virtual reality.

“We seek to help people decrease stress. It’s just a plugin that helps people. We do not want them to live connected to a viewer, but to develop the ability to keep in mind the greatest number of moments in the day that give them peace of mind”, commented Rodrigo Padilla, CEO of Hapinnss.

Gamelearn and Binnakle solutions also operate in our market, developers of special video games for worker training, in virtual environments people can develop soft skills such as teamwork, effective communication, resilience, critical thinking or leadership.

Ludus Global recently arrived in Mexico, the first Spanish startup specializing in training for prevention of occupational hazards through virtual reality, which recreates real situations such as a fire in a digital environment, allowing people to learn in a practical way, without exposing their physical integrity.

Mikel Cearsolo, CEO of Ludus Global, explained that the immersive experiencesof training they offer are not a substitute for face-to-face training, but it is a good complement to recreate environments that are more complex than traditional training.

“If the pilots have flight hours in a simulator, why when a person goes to work on a bridge crane that carries very large loads, some with hazardous materials, and that an accident can cause a catastrophe, does it not take a few hours of simulation before entering such a risky job. What we do in the simulations is to represent risk situationssituations that in a practical training are more complicated to represent”, explained Mikel Cearsolo during the presentation of the platform.

From the point of view of the entrepreneur, a pending subject of the job training for risk prevention, and where virtual reality can help, is to familiarize workers with real situations so that they have a better response to an accident and better understand prevention measures.

BBVA estimates that by 2024, millions of people in the world will use the virtual reality on a regular basis, so in 10 years we will see 2022 as the key year for the metaverse and its impact on the different aspects of daily life.

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