Distributed and hybrid work is here to stay. But will Metawors technology make the reality of future work better or worse for employees and their employees? Nick Rosier, a member of the Drum Network at 2 Heads of Content and Digital Director, is investigating.
The idea that creative teams can thrive online can feel more like a fantasy than a reality. Most boarding packages are full of digital tools and platforms, but the sad fact is that too much creativity hinders rather than opening up.
Financial instruments, time trackers, CRMs, CANBAN boards – the digital landscape of business today focuses on production, efficiency and measurement. Where does culture come from? Where are communities formed? Microsoft teams and intranets have their place, but can we do better?
Maybe Metavers is the answer.
As the cost of office rent decreases, how far can investing in the virtual world take us?
2022 will be the year businesses invest in virtual and physical space for their teams.
The average cost of an office space in London is over £ 500 per person per month. A 50-person office may cost more than K 300K per year in rent alone. What would it look like if businesses invested half in virtual spaces to create culture and happiness?
The opposite of creativity is unity. The current trends in digital tools for teams bring us to a flat (or Swiss) design unit, with a plethora of design rules and limitations drawing images from a narrow pool. We effectively create 1960s office cubicles for our online work life: very functional, but far from what makes us happy and creative.
The environment is fundamentally related to creativity. The seeds of insight and ideas are born out of immersion in nature or new experiences and environments. Can we simply create a passive walking experience for a virtual walk in the woods, or fly along a mountainous landscape, as a setting for stand-ups, workshops or focus time? This type of virtual reality (VR) drowning is increasingly present in health care settings for patient recovery and rehabilitation. Could it also help burn teams and stressors?
Platforms including Mozilla Hubs and Spatial are leading the charge in creating collaborative virtual spaces. They tested the water with some success and proved the use case. The tools used to create spaces on these platforms are still in their infancy and require much development to allow the quality and immersion of the 3D environment to come to life. To become an integral part of our working life, they need to integrate with apps from Adobe, Microsoft, Autodesk and other everyday business tools.
Connected virtual spaces as a force for good in hybrid workplaces
Health & Wellness has long had an online foothold on YouTube with care, mindfulness apps, learning materials and mental health support. Comfort is important for production. Without time to think, we run the hamster wheel of work and end up being “consumption idiots”.
Digital wellness facilities help teams stay or stay in a positive state of mind between activities at work. It’s important to eliminate the value of spaces on our calendars and see and celebrate free time, not just tireless gatherings.
The style and location of the virtual environment is a reflection of values and brand. Extensively teamed venues give new appointments and possibilities a strong sense of corporate culture from day one. We need to go beyond the traditional zoom background to give our teams a sense of identity and shared purpose.
While the visual environment is an important part of the puzzle, we must not forget the power of sound. Music can create some strong memories and associations. A track can bring back crystal clear memories or keep us in a certain frame of mind. As a creative business, music is key to capturing ideas and creating strong emotional responses.
Music is a powerful part of experiences such as going to sports, watching TV shows or even turning on your computer. Repetition creates strong memories and associations. Designing music as part of a work-based metavers can be used to create better mental conditions for collaboration and innovation.
Access and privacy
We need to think about democratizing access to these places. Creating experiences aimed at different senses helps in the overall inclusion of places.
Beyond physical access, workplace metaways should be relevant and accessible to non-digital native peoples, and avoid creating age or culture divisions. Even fundamentally, we need to consider hardware investments. While wearing a VR headset for eight hours a day may be far from ideal, we can at least look at monitors, headphones and even stereoscopic screens as starting points.
Concerns about being over-followed, over-connected and unable to shut down should be addressed in advance. Here, perhaps, a privately managed corporate metaver has some advantages over data selling public metauruses such as meta.
Working hybrids have a lot of potential, and we are now at the forefront of this initiative. Technology exists, and it’s up to the business to take its potential seriously and invest. Natural selection will set the stage for change experiences. Which do you think will survive?