While you sip coffee slouching on a bean bag in your living room, your virtual avatar walks up to your colleague to discuss the latest project report. Welcome to the multiverse for work.
Covid-19 disrupted ways we live and work. It has permanently altered reality and expectations. Most of us do not want to go back to the pre-pandemic normal.
In a study by Owl Labs, 74% of workers say that having a remote work opportunity would make them less likely to leave a company. 69% of millennials would give up on certain work benefits for a more flexible working space.
Welcome to the Multiverse for Work
The growing affinity for remote work has made borders and distances non-existent. You could share your screen, voice and video with a co-worker working from her home in the next lane or next continent.
The multiverse for work is taking this to a different level – why not walk up to your colleague, to the meeting room, to the break room.
As you can’t literally while working from your living room or a beach, it’s the virtual you in the metaverse that mirrors what you would have done in a real office.
Metaverse will gamify remote working
While some may question the need and even mock, this indeed is an interesting twist and start to the future of work.
Knowledge workers have put in demands for a multiverse of work. After being forced to work remotely for more than a year or two, most are yet to return to office full time.
The multiverse is likely to be a marriage of online with offline work – means both the flexibility to work remotely and a place to gather with coworkers, not either one or the other.
This however is not a single prescription, but a concept that boosts the power of flexibility.
While most employers favor return to office full time or for a majority of work hours, research and surveys have shown that working from home has been a positive experience for many employees.
Employees have been able to improve work-life balance while maintaining same or even higher levels of productivity and work output. They certainly would like to retain the flexibility in the future.
But the longer people have been away from offices, the more they have missed their colleagues. For some, lack of a dedicated working space and frequent work at home disruptions have been an ongoing trial. There is also the problem of missing out on networking and perceptions of productivity.
Employees want the best of both worlds.
The flexibility to work from anywhere and a place to gather with their colleagues. The multiverse of work thus looks like one of the most likely solutions to this conundrum.
The next few years will see a great deal of experimentation with various workplace models. The frequency of remote versus onsite work will vary by industry, function, and geography, not to mention personal circumstance and preference. Clearly, no one solution will be universally applicable.
The possibilities and twists is going to be interesting as both employers and employees look to find the right balance. This makes for an interesting watch.