As virtual reality technologies become more pervasive, their use in the workplace is increasing. But how can these new technologies facilitate safe, healthy, and productive use?
Working in virtual reality can be a unique and rewarding experience. At least 82% of businesses expect metaverse plans to become a regular part of their business within the next 3 years. Maximizing the effectiveness of metaverse-based work comes with developing healthy work practices.
With the rise of the metaverse, it’s important to consider how we should interact and work in this new digital environment. From video conferencing to social etiquette, there are a lot of considerations to keep in mind when it comes to working in a virtual world.
What is “metaverse work” and why is it becoming popular?
The metaverse is a new type of remote work that takes place entirely in a virtual world. From the metaverse, a person can shop, work, socialize, and more, just as they would online.
The difference is the metaverse is an immersive 3D environment where people only exist through an avatar.
All a person needs are the right virtual tools. There are virtual reality headsets used to place a person in a certain environment in real-time.
Augmented reality glasses are also available, which display a layer of digital context. What’s more, now, a person can use haptic clothing to feel objects in the metaverse.
Working in the metaverse is growing in popularity due to its flexibility and potential cost savings.
Working in the metaverse is growing in popularity due to its flexibility and potential cost savings. It allows workers to collaborate in virtual 3D environments that replicate real-world practices.
From the metaverse, a person could attend meetings, hold brainstorming sessions, and even decorate the office.
Businesses everywhere are creating virtual workplaces for employees. From the metaverse, a company can perform relatively the same processes they could in real life.
Companies like Lowe’s and Kroger use the metaverse to improve their sales experiences. The metaverse is continuously developing ways to enhance work encounters and business procedures.
Identifying potential risks and the practices that prevent them
Working in the metaverse has its own set of risks. This is an entirely technology-forward system that takes place in cyberspace. Mitigating these potential issues can help enforce a healthier and safer workplace.
One of the first risks to take note of is the raised potential for cybercrime. As the world relies more on virtual workspaces, cybercriminals have more chances to steal data. Having business practices on an entirely technological platform with the use of AI can be a target for criminals.
Sensitive and personal data is at risk of theft and malicious use. Thieves can use this information for identity theft, financial fraud, and other nefarious purposes. It’s important to revamp current cybersecurity practices.
Employees should carry over vigilance and safe online habits to the metaverse. Training can happen regularly to help workers stay aware of the dangers of sharing personal information. Better safeguarding can also help keep important business data in the right hands.
Metaverse scenarios are different from in-person interactions. In the metaverse, a person has a digital identity. The problem here is that a person could pretend to be an employee. A malicious actor could use false information to manipulate users and the digital environment.
Each digital identity could contain personally identifiable information, like a person’s date of birth. Digital threat actors could use this information to deceive others into handing over private data.
This makes privacy and security essential to ensure metaverse access is properly authenticated. Continuously monitoring potential threats can help prevent this type of infiltration.
The metaverse is still expanding and finding areas of improvement. One area encompasses the legal issues of a metaverse workplace.
The legal foundations of a metaverse workplace are still considered by many companies. Unfortunately, this can create more issues as it pertains to employees and wrongdoing against them.
Legal issues highlight the importance of establishing and enforcing regulations for virtual workspaces. This can help legitimize the repercussions of malicious practices.
Businesses must work to ensure that they remain compliant with labor laws to protect their workers’ rights and safety. This is as it’s related to:
- Jurisdiction: The metaverse can be wherever a person decides the location should be. As a result, they are exempt from certain laws that would otherwise pertain to them in another area. If a metaverse workplace is international, employees should be careful to follow the laws and other regulations of that area.
- Harassment: Online presence is unfortunately not the end of harassment. Individuals with haptic gloves can still be illegally touched in the metaverse. Plus, explicit conversations can still happen. The metaverse implemented a “personal boundary” function that keeps other avatars from invading personal space. Still, certain policies must carry over to the metaverse to avoid the legal implications of bullying and harassment.
Standard operating procedures
Many policies and practices must change to suit the metaverse. For one, avatars in the metaverse are virtual representations of an employee.
So, if a business wants employees to continue following dress code procedures, they should be clear about that. Avatars have bodies, clothes, accessories, and more. Companies that want more coordination will need to write that in the policy.
Another type of policy augmentation comes with data collection. New developments require updates to standard procedures in many areas of a business. This may entail the creation of new datasets to analyze the use of digital hardware.
What are the benefits of healthy metaverse working practices?
Aside from being a part of futuristic technology, there are many benefits to running an efficient metaverse practice.
When employers control work practices, the metaverse can offer unique opportunities. Collaboration, growth, and professional development are all a part of the metaverse experience.
Working in the metaverse makes it easier to access resources from different locations or time zones. In the metaverse, workers can communicate with other colleagues located in different parts of the world. This makes it faster to access and share experiences without having to worry about time or distance limitations.
Healthy working practices can lead to higher levels of engagement and productivity. In the metaverse, this leads to improved collaboration across teams.
This is especially true when teams are geographically dispersed or when remote work is the norm. With the right tools, teams can work together in the metaverse to build trust and foster creativity. This helps keep them all engaged and satisfied in their work.
It’s important to take an active approach to the metaverse
Setting realistic goals and deadlines can help to guarantee prompt work completion in the metaverse. New technology like this could present a learning curve, and employers should be mindful of the time it takes to get used to new working practices.
To be successful in metaverse work, it is important to set achievable goals and determine the resources needed to complete them.
Taking an active approach to the metaverse is important to maximize its potential. Employers should encourage equal collaboration from all participants.
Available metaverse resources can be easily used to engage those involved. These actions will help create an environment of shared ownership and completed production.
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