A virtual presence in an augmented workplace. Is this the future of hybrid?
Immersive technology is set to change the workplace•
The metaverse is the next step in workspace digitisation.
The majority of company leaders believe the metaverse is the next logical step in the hybrid revolution. But what will work look like when we spend much of our time plugging into, rather than commuting, to work? More than half of workers believe their company would embrace working in the metaverse, with this figure rising to nearly 65% for company leaders. In this white paper we look at how the world of work is set for another seismic change and what that means for collaboration and flexible workspace.
“Technology has long been the principal driver of change when it comes to the way that we work. In recent times, the advent of cloud computing, allied with online collaboration tools and communication platforms, has enabled a generational transformation, making it possible for people to work from wherever they feel they are at their most effective.
“And now the creation of a 3D virtual world, in the form of the metaverse, has the potential to take this revolution further still, enhancing the hybrid working experience that millions around the world have already embraced.” -Mark Dixon, Founder and CEO, Regus
In 1975, Business Week magazine’s cover declared the advent of ‘The Office of the Future’. In the accompanying article, George E Pake, then Head of Research at Xerox, prophesied a “revolution” in the coming two decades, which would involve a TV display terminal sitting on his desk. “I’ll be able to call up documents from my files on the screen, or by pressing a button,” he said. “I can get my mail or my messages. I don’t know how much hard copy I’ll want in this world. It will change our daily life, and this could be scary.”
So began the digitisation of our working lives. Later would come email and smartphones, cloud computing and videoconferencing platforms. Today, digital technology has given us work flexibility, allowing us to work when and where we choose. It has been the main enabler of the growth of the hybrid work model, in which people divide their time between working from home, a flexible workspace and a central HQ.
More than two-thirds of the company leaders surveyed by Regus said they believe that the metaverse is the future of work, while a similar proportion anticipate that their company will embrace working in the metaverse in the future. This sense of optimism fuels the exciting prospect of a new world of work that will expand still further the opportunities offered by the hybrid work model. The ability to work how and where we feel is best for us and makes us most productive will now extend into the virtual world, multiplying our options and letting us live the lives that we choose.
While it’s clear that a fully-fledged metaverse is still some years away from being built, the technologies that lie behind it are already allowing us to work in new ways. “It’s the beginning of a new working era and the next logical step in the growth of the hybrid work model,” says Dixon. “And it’s yet another nail in the coffin of the outdated nine-to-five concept of work, with its emphasis on pointless presenteeism. As we’ve seen over the last few years, visionary companies that understand how technology can transform work are likely to grasp this opportunity with both hands and use it to create even more efficient ways of working in the future.”
Read the full white paper here.
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