There is a space, essentially constantly changing and evolving these days, that we call the metaverse. Although not universal in nature, it is rather a vast web of potential realities that users can experience. The metaverse is, in my opinion, here to stay and evolve alongside us humans in our physical world. It’s a space that seems to be growing at an exponential rate. It can never completely replace our physical world. But it will become a place of immense importance in the future, including in the way we work and earn our living.
Over a decade of working remotely has prepared me to accept working in virtual worlds
I’ve spent the past 11 years working remotely as a consultant and now an executive for software and technology companies in the US, Singapore, Thailand, Dubai, Brazil, and Israel. I’m in a unique position to talk about remote work, given that I was fully immersed in it long before it became prominent in many of our daily lives. However, this is what excites me the most. I think the metaverse is the next logical place for companies and employees to start a mass migration or transition. I recently joined a metaverse called eXp World through eXp Realty, where I am a licensed real estate agent. The entire business ecosystem is contained within eXp World, enabling team members and customers to collaborate and work together on a global scale.
What does the term metaverse really mean? What does mean?
The term metaverse was coined by programmer Markus Persson in 1994, according to some sources.
By using multiple technological elements, such as virtual reality, augmented reality, graphic and video games, users can live in a digital world. The metaverse will allow its users to work, play, and stay in touch with friends through everything from concerts and conferences to virtual trips around the world. Some metaverse apps offer a mix of physical and virtual spaces and virtual economies, sometimes with an emphasis on advancing virtual reality technology. In an essay on his website in February 2021, Matthew Ball, managing partner of venture capital firm Epyllion Industries, said we are on the cusp of the next Internet. The metaverse encompasses the Web 3.0 ecosystem that is being built today.
Try this exercise to get an idea of how vague the term metaverse can be: Replace the phrase metaverse in a sentence with cyberspace. Ninety percent of the time, the meaning won’t change much. Rather, the term refers to a general change in the way people interact with technology, not a specific type of technology. As the specific technology you described becomes mainstream, the term itself may become obsolete.
A more idealistic view of the Metaverse would make it interoperable, allowing you to bring virtual items like clothes or cars from one platform to another. You can buy a shirt at the mall and wear it to the movies in the real world. A metaverse could allow you to create a persona that can switch between platforms as easily as copying your profile picture from one social network to another. Today, most platforms offer virtual identities, avatars, and inventories tied to a single platform.
The Metaverse and Remote Work
Now that I’ve helped you visualize what the Metaverse is in a number of potential ways, I want you to think about it in terms of work.
I guess you have heard or seen the term remote work somehow and maybe even got into it these days. If you haven’t, that’s fine too. Remote work generally refers to the practice of employees working from a location other than their employer’s centralized office(s). This could be an employee’s home, a coworking space, a private office, or anywhere other than a traditional corporate office building.
Imagine being able to show up at your corporate headquarters in New York to give a presentation to your team while sitting on a beach in Barcelona. A metaverse allows this exact scenario to unfold, albeit in digital form, through an avatar that you create yourself. How about having to attend a company-wide retreat where your team members are geographically dispersed across all continents? I can say that I have now participated in these exact activities and it is quite a surreal experience! The metaverse allows you to join those immersive digital worlds that are created for these specific purposes and others that have yet to fully emerge. In short, the metaverse and remote work were made for each other.
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Here are five ways the Metaverse will influence and improve remote work
There is a distinction between remote work and telecommuting, which is the practice of working from home. Remote work is a workplace practice that involves employees working from a location other than the employer’s central office. As the metaverse becomes more popular, we will start to see a significant increase in virtual teams.
Virtual teams are basically groups of employees who work together virtually. This includes virtual meetings, virtual team members, and virtual assignments. Virtual teams allow remote workers to be more productive by eliminating many of the time-consuming distractions that come with physical proximity. In the future, virtual teams may be more widespread than traditional work environments. This is due to the increased time and cost savings that virtual team collaboration brings, as well as decreased employee burnout.
1. Promote team cohesion
In theory, a company’s metaverse should ensure that the team stays together while working together to achieve common goals. This technology will also allow team members to feel that they have contributed to the overall success of the group. Or more than likely the company itself, totally immersed in its digital universe. A company’s metaverse should go a long way to solving the downsides of remote work. Because, in my experience, people who are part of a cohesive team tend to focus more on the whole group than on themselves. And they are more motivated to work towards team goals.
2. Improve team collaboration
The metaverse will allow remote workers to improve their communication and emphasize teamwork. These digital environments should improve a team’s ability to innovate and achieve their goals more succinctly.
Working in the metaverse should help give team members a sense of accomplishment as part of a team, an issue currently plaguing many remote workers.
3. Allow remote workers to interact with all your customers
Imagine being able to invite your customers from all over the world into your metaverse and interact with them virtually? Talk about removing the biggest hurdles that employees sometimes have to overcome when dealing with their customers. With the advent of virtual reality, it will be possible for remote employees to virtually meet with their customers in ways they never could before.
4. Enable Virtual Desktop Environments and Custom Ecosystems
The Metaverse, with the help of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), will make working from home easier for employers and remote workers. A virtual office can be created and used to mimic the real world or the company’s existing real office setup. Employees and employers can work to complete tasks and jobs, albeit in digital form. Artificial world environments, suitable for the company, can be created for the workers of the company. If workers want the ability to work remotely and on the go, the Metaverse configuration can be optimized to meet those needs.
5. Allow the creation of virtual conferences, exhibitions and exhibitions
Virtual trade shows will be used to eventually replace in-person conferences and exhibitions, due to their efficiency and the fact that they will allow for greater participation. Wherever they are, remote attendees can access live interactive content and networking opportunities on their computers or smart devices. Virtual conferences are hosted entirely online and presumably in metaverse ecosystems. There is no need to travel, book hotels or order catering. Simply log in through the conference portal and you’re ready to go wherever you are in the world.
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The evolution of what we now consider metaverses is absolutely exciting. It is an emerging space with great potential for growth and expansion to all corners of the planet. The only limits of the metaverse from my point of view are our collective minds and imaginations. They will continue to build and evolve from ideas shared and collaboratively developed by all of us who interact with and use them.
However, I think the most exciting part of it all for me is discovering how we can use the metaverse to our advantage to improve our own personal and professional lives. While I don’t have the exact answers to these questions, I do have some general ideas that I’ll save for another time as we witness another milestone in this technological revolution.
Related: The New Wave of Web 3.0 Metaverse Innovations