The pandemic has already introduced and exposed everyone to remote working and hybrid models. The next wave of disruption in the way the global workforce interacts, and works is "Metaverse."
Metaverse is poised to have over trillion dollars in market value, which for obvious reasons will usher in an era of digital and immersive work environment.
Microsoft recently conducted a survey among the global workforce and published the Work Trend Index 2022 report. In that report it states, 51% of Gen Z and 48% of Millennials envision doing some of their work in the Metaverse in the next two years. Creating new norms for flexibility and a sustainable hybrid work model are mentioned as the key drivers for future work practices.
Metaverse opens the door for talent acquisition across the world without any geographical boundaries. VR can enable choosing the right candidates across the globe, helping them choose the candidates specific to the job internationally as per their skill set. Candidates are being interviewed and onboarded in a 3D world. This leverages them to have an immersive experience to know about the culture and values of the organization. New talents can easily build rapport and comprehend professional relationships with their colleagues right away, irrespective of their physical location. Employee bonding and workforce interactions will be changed radically.
Allowing a more engaged and immersive 3D environment using technologies like Holoportation, 3D Avatars, and virtually engaging with the avatars of employees creates more connectedness and has a measurable and positive impact on team productivity, while working across different time zones and different cultural and ethnic backdrops.
Heading unto such a radical shift in terms of our existing work practices to that of a futuristic work mode requires a strong work cultural ethos and well-balanced policies.
The adoption of hybrid workplace strategies by Organizations is rising by the day, where employees have the choice of working virtually for a few days and coming to the office for a couple of days in a week. Creating an immersive experience for remote and on-site workforce will improve the employee experience and will create a balance between both the sides of the workforce, who are present physically and virtually.
About a few weeks back, Airbnb announced that their employees can live and work from anywhere going forward, either from home or office with regular team gatherings. Flexibility was cited as the top reason for this change by Brian Chesky, the CEO of Airbnb. One of the important policy decisions that needs to be emphasized here is their decision to not change the salary and compensation structure, irrespective of their physical location or their work mode. The pay scale will remain the same across the spectrum of their workforce as per their grades and categories and operating locations or work mode will not have any negative impact on it.
These are the kind of important policy decision and the work culture that needs to be factored in while making the shift to a virtual or hybrid work model. Two things that are imperative in the Airbnb policy are the pay scale and their decision to have regular team gatherings physically.
Even though, the Metaverse and Virtual World enable a seamless remote working and provide all the necessary tools to conduct operations without much of physical intervention, having physical meetings from time to time, is as vital as moving to the virtual mode itself. Virtual Reality is definitely taking you closer to reality, but honestly speaking it can never eliminate the need for physical interactions and communications. It may sound a bit ironic, coming from a startup who's working extensively in the VR domain, but its more important to have a strong balanced future.
We are not being pessimistic or contradicting here, but we just want to play the role of a devil's advocate and enable in creating the best policies and practices for future virtual workforce. We have been predicting the decentralization of economy ever since the concept of Metaverse was introduced to the mainstream audience and we believe it's being realized with such announcements from companies like Airbnb.
All of our commercial hubs and downtown are revolving around our place of work. That's exactly the reason why, there are pockets of more developed neighborhoods with buzzing commercial activity and a mile away from that wears a deserted portrayal. Having a balanced work culture and policy will not just benefit the organization but will increase the overall economy of operating states and nations.
There can't be one single framework or standard playbook in terms of work culture and policies. We can't have a one size fits all standard for policies, as the companies are as dynamic and decentralized as the technology itself. But its crucial to have strong ethos and functionalities bearing the kind of future we are heading into, which is more focused on decentralization and flexibility. Organizations will face competition like never before because no single entity is local anymore and even the mom & pop store to local kirana vendors will face competitions from global behemoths and vice versa.
Competition is the bed rock of continuous innovation and this time it's taken up till the organizational policies and cultural values.
Let's create a decentralized and open-ended world in terms of both technology and the cultural principles and practices.