The metaverse is a way for everyone to virtually interact with family, friends and colleagues. Look at Decentraland. It lets users explore an evolving world, create artwork and even buy and sell land estates.
The metaverse also provides a way for consumers to interact with their favorite brands, especially in the retail space. By using the metaverse in retail, consumers experiences around purchasing are enhanced. They engage in new try-on experiences for clothing, but also products such as furniture and household electronics as well as cars.
That said, this is only the tip of the iceberg when it come to the metaverse in the workplace. Looking forward, the metaverse comes with significant potential for employee and workforce experiences,
For instance, viewing a retail floor virtually enables organizations to plan their retail store design without teams having to travel there. Training and education of medical professionals allows surgeons to plan, rehearse and carry out procedures using headsets and 3D scans of patients. Training is also utilized throughout various industries.
In the automotive industry, there is testing and digital prototyping where VR is used for design and engineering reviews. By reducing the number of prototypes built, organizations potentially save millions of dollars while enabling considerable environmental savings.
Again, the potential for enhanced workforce experiences is there. Organizations are developing immersive experience pilots and demos at a fast pace. According to Capgemini Research Institute, two-thirds of organizations have a one- to two-year roadmap for immersive experiences and 15% of organizations aim to have some metaverse presence within one year. Additionally, 45% believe the metaverse’s presence is to be mainstream within three years.
The thing is, though, there is a lack of strategic planning. A business can have a roadmap in place. But, without a proper strategy in place, the roadmap is not executed efficiently. For 40% of companies, immersive initiatives are considered one-off projects rather than one link in a chain of continuous improvement. Nearly two-thirds admit that there is no management commitment to immersive initiatives.
Those are only the internal challenges. Consumer safety isn’t factored in yet. There are concerns about the technology around sexual harassment, personal safety and privacy issues. Safety and ethical aspects are important to establish the sense of community that is central to its mass adoption.
Brands need to address these concerns before they create and deploy their virtual spaces. They also need a way to regulate them while balancing privacy and security issues.
“Early interest in the consumer-facing metaverse, propelled by investments from major players, needs to give enough thought to the real challenges around ergonomics, accessibility, safety and privacy,” said Charlton Monsanto, global immersive experiences offer leader at Capgemini.
The metaverse potential to enhance employee and workforce experiences is there. With a strategic plan, Monsanto said that “immersive experiences for internal use cases could be more impactful for organizations, certainly in the short term.”
Edited by Erik Linask