Will Metaverse adoption be driven by the workplace?
There are a number of global trends currently driving us toward the Metaverse and widespread adoption, but none more so than the lasting impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the enforced move to home or hybrid working.
Analysis undertaken in September 2021 by the UK’s Office for National Statistics found that, between 28 July and 15 August, 40% of working adults reported normally working from home some or all of the time, with 52% working from home because their employer asked had them to work from home. Of those asked where they thought they will work when they were able to return to their usual place of work, 42% responded that they will mostly work from home and sometimes from their usual place of work. Only a small percentage (8%) of those questioned said that they will work all their hours from their usual place of work when they were able to return to their usual place of work. 72% cited an improved work life balance as an advantage experienced since working from home compared to their usual place of work.
The question is whether attitudes have changed since then or is working from home here to stay? More recent analysis by the Office for National Statistics between 19 and 30 January 2022, found that 36% of working adults reported having worked from home at least once in the last seven days.
If the Covid-19 pandemic really has accelerated the move to home or hybrid working and it really is here to stay then, much like personal computing before it, will the workplace help drive Metaverse adoption?
In the 1980s, the computer started to gain popularity in the workplace (PowerPoint was first release in 1987). This popularity and, more importantly, familiarity, led to people wanting computers in their home. If home or hybrid working really is here to stay, then businesses will need to continue to adapt and invest in technology that enhances this way of working.
Back in August 2021, Meta (then Facebook) released the open beta of Horizon Workrooms, a collaboration app targeted at teams managing remote-work environments. Since the first lockdown, Microsoft Teams has become a staple part of the office environment, and Microsoft’s Mesh for Teams first announced in November 2021, allows workers users to collaborate in virtual spaces and access Teams from their mixed reality glasses and VR headsets.
So, what comes next? If remote or hybrid working becomes best practice for business, will organisations accelerate the adoption of virtual working environments? If virtual and mixed-reality headsets become commonplace in the workplace, does it follow that this will encourage the uptake of Metaverse technologies in the home?