Metaverse is an inevitable next step for hybrid working, according to two thirds of company bosses polled in a new survey.
Metaverse meetings could become reality for millions of UK workers in the near future after a new study found that hundreds of businesses are looking for, or building, office space in the virtual technology.
Research undertaken by Regus found that two thirds (66 per cent) of business leaders view the Metaverse as the natural progression for hybrid working, and that half (48 per cent) are exploring office space within the online world for their employees.
Enabling workers in different locations to interact via 3D avatars, bosses believe the Metaverse will have a significant impact on the way we work. 70 per cent expect it to increase demand for flexible working as it will reduce the need for staff to work from the same office location.
Business leaders also believe that the flexibility offered by the Metaverse will bring a host of other benefits, including more diverse workplaces (62 per cent), improved mental health (57 per cent), reduced presenteeism (54 per cent ) and better relations between remove and office-based staff (54 per cent ). Seven in 10 (71 per cent) also think it will present new business opportunities, welcome news amidst fears of a recession on the horizon.
Despite bosses’ enthusiasm for the Metaverse, there are fears among office workers that businesses will not be brave enough to adopt the new tech. Nearly two thirds think their employer will wait to see how other businesses fare before investing themselves, while less than half think their company will be an early adopter of the Metaverse. Just six per cent think their business will adopt the tech in the next 12 months, with most (33 per cent) expecting it take 3-4 years.
Employee enthusiasm for the tech to be adopted quickly is driven by its perceived benefits. Communication between team members (44 per cent), teamwork (41 per cent), remote working opportunities (40 per cent) and creativity (39 per cent) were identified by staff as the greatest advantages of working in the Metaverse.
When it comes to implementing the new tech, 56 per cent of business leaders say shared office space will be key. 61 per cent believe it will become crucial for communications between different company offices.
A separate study by Regus found that three times the number of FTSE 250 companies are looking to use a hybrid office model compared to those looking to carry on in the same way as pre-pandemic, suggesting that the appetite for working in the Metaverse will only increase.
Mark Dixon, Regus founder and ceo, said: “Change in the world of work is almost always driven by technology. In the 90s email transformed the way we did business, while during the pandemic we turned to video conferencing to enable more effective working. This data shows that business leaders expect the Metaverse to have a similarly transformative effect on hybrid working. It will enable better collaboration for people working all over the world, reducing the need to commute and allowing greater flexibility in people’s day to day working schedules.”