What impact will the Metaverse have on the workplace?

Andrew Walker, Senior Managing Director at Accenture, discusses the impact Metaverse technologies will have on the future of the workplace

Written by Harry Menear

How is the adoption of metaverse technologies set to transform the workplace? 

The last few weeks and months have brought a lot of attention to the idea of the metaverse and the direction we’re heading in. We are expecting to see a significant push towards the development of the metaverse as a place for people to go, create, and have experiences with each other in real time. 

This societal shift will extend to the workplace. The move to remote and hybrid working has, of course, already been a huge transition, and we are spending more time communicating with work colleagues from behind a screen. 

But the metaverse could present more immersive, collaborative, remote experiences – reducing the need to return to physical offices for human connection. 

What could the application of metaverse environments offer virtual workspaces that these solutions currently lack? 

The metaverse may help us get closer to the in-person experience we‘re used to — giving creativity, collaboration, and teamwork a boost. 

There is a lot of frustration and fatigue out there with today’s video conferencing technology, and new immersive experiences and metaverse environments have real potential to improve our working lives.   

Additional functionality will continue to develop in the years to come, creating richer and richer virtual workspaces. The metaverse environments will really take off in the workplace when the potential of 5G is unlocked.

So how exactly does 5G fit into this picture? 

Intelligent, cutting-edge technologies have really come to the fore during the pandemic, with digital transformation accelerating at an exceptional pace in the last two years out of necessity. So many people who may not have previously been the most tech-savvy have had to adapt to technologies like cloud and VPNs. 

The introduction of the metaverse will drive demand for greater connectivity and 5G too – this will be huge for telcos. For example, telecom and internet providers should be thinking about how the metaverse will require more bandwidth and connection points. 

Gig speed might be enough for some of it, but not all. This is where connectivity at the edge computing will matter to manage things such as latency, jitter, packet loss and so on. 

What kind of long-term effects do you see the COVID-19 pandemic having on attitudes towards remote work? 

Our working lives have already changed significantly, and so much is still uncertain. This makes it incredibly difficult to say what the bigger picture will look like in the years to come.

What we can say with some level of confidence is that a hybrid working model will continue to be popular for so many workers. Accenture research shows that 53% of people who never worked from home previously now plan to work from home more often in the future, even when the return to office following the Omicron wave occurs. 

Will 2022 be the “Year of the Metaverse”?

We still don’t know what the exact form of the metaverse will be. However, we can be sure that it will be the setting for a cultural and business model evolution that will alter relationships between consumers, employees, employers, and one another.

The people and businesses who engage in the discussion around the metaverse now, and play an active role in exploring its possibilities, will be most likely to reap the rewards of this new environment. 


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