The idea of the metaverse has long existed before its current form, and the term was first coined by Neal Stephenson in his novel “Snow Crash.” Moreover, movies like The Matrix have explored ideas of a dystopian world, where people interact with each other in a virtual environment. Although the planet seems far from dead (albeit climate change appears to be pushing us in that direction), the idea of a shared virtual world is growing.
Although the current state of the world is still hardwired to physical environments, a virtual interactive space is not that farfetched. Additionally, people are already spending a lot of time in a virtual world with the advent of social media. However, the one area where the metaverse could have its first impact is how people work or the human workforce sector.
The COVID-19 pandemic has already ushered in a new model of working. Most people began working from the comfort of their homes, bringing innovative new ideas on how work could be conducted from a distance. Hence a virtual world to conduct business within is not a far-off idea. Facebook’s parent company, Meta, has revealed its virtual world where people can hold meetings. However, this brings in an important question.
How will the metaverse impact work culture?
Firstly, physical workplaces might become completely obsolete. Remote work and collaboration, where businesses may have entire office campuses in the Metaverse, will be one of the most impacted areas. Accenture already has a Metaverse office dubbed the Nth Floor in Microsoft’s Mesh platform. This hints at a future where office buildings vanish, and every company has a worldwide VR campus with a metaverse address.
Secondly, physical contact between people could be replaced with haptic feedback. People have already begun using the metaverse for social gatherings, such as weddings and parties.
Furthermore, specific jobs may be entirely replaced by the metaverse. Almost every technological advancement brings with it new opportunities for generating revenue. Users of Metaverses can also cause a consistent stream of cryptocurrency that can serve as a reliable source of income. This includes opportunities from games with pay-to-earn capabilities, Metaverse employment, XR (Extended Reality) business ventures, XR services, etc.
The shift to a virtual environment might not be as smooth for everybody—some people who are not as tech-savvy as the rest might resist the change. However, with time, all of this will seem completely normal. For example, people in the early 20th century would have never imagined that their descendants would communicate using a glass slab. To them, the 21st century would appear almost magical, if not scary. The same can be said about our future. Today’s generation might have a hard time imagining it, but it is still there, waiting, in the realm of zeros and ones.