Is the metaverse the answer to hybrid work’s engagement problem?

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Increase your contribution to the list of employer concerns for 2023.

Back in March, a Challenger, Gray & Christmas survey found that more than 80% of HR executives were concerned about talent leaving their organization. Many claimed that off-site employees lacked participation. a pain point.

Months later, a Conference Board survey found that Similarly lower engagement levels.Although organizations do notice slight differences between remote, hybrid, and on-site workers in this regard,

Whether performing on-site actually affects engagement. It is clear that many employers are thinking of ways they can improve customer retention. which participation is an important component — In a resilient environment driven by a pandemic

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and augmented reality technology company Reality Labs, believes the answer to that question may lie in the metaverse. which will include virtual reality Augmented reality and other technologies

The company has already shown possible use cases for its technology. perhaps most prominently through its Horizon Workrooms products. To the uninitiated, Workrooms can be thought of as a simulation of a face-to-face meeting like a video game. In which team members are represented by digital avatars.

earlier this month Meta publishes results From a targeted sample business survey It says it has operated with more than 2,000 employees and 400 business leaders across the UK and US. Among the findings, 74% of business leaders said they have a specific budget to invest in AR, VR, or the metaverse in 2022. Additionally, 65% of employees say they are likely to be at a job where they access AR or metaverse. VR Yes

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The results show that employees expect not only their employer’s technology investments, but their technology investments. But also in terms of building an engaged community within an increasingly virtual work environment, said Ade Ajayi, head of global sales at Reality Labs, in an interview. But today’s remote and hybrid workflows like video calling may not be enough

Ajayi said, “One of the findings is that we found that employees feel happiest at work. “They don’t experience the same feelings at work.”

Instead, teams can turn to applications like offices to experience virtual reality interactions in new ways. Ajayi said his team at Reality Labs meet periodically using the company’s Quest VR device. Completely video call Because users can interact with each other’s avatars. and use visual aids such as whiteboards to communicate

He compares the augmented reality of the 2020s to the cell phones of the early 2000s. Yours is most productive for what you are trying to do. The same thing will happen with virtual reality. [and] augmented reality”

HR reality

It’s important for employers to acknowledge the gaps that exist when it comes to collaboration tools that make remote and hybrid work possible, according to JP Gownder, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester. This may have a downside, Gownder said, as psychological researchers have found evidence of user experience fatigue related to video calls, for example.

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Moreover The birth of 3D spaces where employees can interact with the kinds of tools that Workrooms and similar platforms offer is a promise, Gownder adds.

But there are a number of hurdles that employers must consider before incorporating Metaverse into VR, such as: already employed In a handful of training-specific situations, Gownder says companies It’s often far from where employees should be turning to spending most of their day in a virtual space.

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