If you’re a business owner or leader thinking about hitting the “metaverse” button, you’re in luck.
New research seems to suggest that many workers are ready to embrace the concept, although they often aren’t able to say why the metaverse at work should exist, how it will improve their working lives, or even exactly what it’s about. acts.
A report (opens in a new tab) published in late September 2022 claims that more than three-quarters (78%) of “business professionals” – presumably at all levels – want to “embrace the metaverse”, which is certainly a phrase normal people use.
The majority (71%) of respondents said they could see the Metaverse being integrated into their work lives, and 40% saw the Metaverse replacing “static collaboration environments” – presumably like Slack, Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Microsoft Teams. ‘one of online collaborative tools become common since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This is despite Deepak Agarwal, project manager at GlobalData, admitting that “the metaverse is still largely conceptual” following the company’s latest report. report on the gargantuan size of the metaverse market. It doesn’t exist yet, but the firm says there’s $23 billion in it.
For me, metaverse is several words with an asterisk at a time that I can’t write because I’m still in a trial period. I hope that Mark Zuckerberg loses $71 billion (opens in a new tab) has a buggy mess nobody can be bothered with (opens in a new tab) (even in his own company) will be a wake-up call for everyone else.
“Conceptually,” using the Metaverse to sit in front of a virtual representation of your desktop, trying out virtually any task with these ergonomic controllers, seems rancid. And if I ever suffer from prolonged exposure to my superior as a Playmobil man, I will sell my earthly possessions and live in a cave. Give her legs (opens in a new tab) is not the point. Instead, it’s a condescending, exclusive diktat on all the functional limbs you need to be “normal.”
Because the most compelling reason I’m tired of reading about the metaverse at work isn’t that it’s some boring, weird power fantasy, it’s that I won’t be able to participate anyway.
End of August 2022, The conversation published a article (opens in a new tab) by three university researchers in England discussing the potential benefits of the metaverse for people with disabilities.
Except that the article bases its arguments on a reductive vision of disability which amounts to “locking oneself in a wheelchair”. This is not my experience of disability. I can walk, but I can’t even hold the controllers, and so all virtual reality is a failure for me.
He also concedes that virtual mobility (opens in a new tab) – the idea that technology can give disabled people with limited physical mobility more autonomy and independence – is already being realized through the Internet.
I can agree with that. The Internet allows me to earn a living, socialize, and absorb information and culture. It’s literally the pinnacle of human existence, and that includes the Sistine Chapel ceiling – which the internet allows me to look at anytime.
Computers have been around for so long that accessibility solutions – voice recognition, text to talk, on-screen keyboards, eye tracking, and more. – make working life accessible to almost everyone. Is it really progress if we tear it all up? That’s a rhetorical question, Mark.
Worse still, we haven’t reinvented the Internet once, but at least fourteen times (opens in a new tab). Geekflare keeps increasing that number, and I keep lamenting that God is dead. You can’t expect accessibility standards to be enforced on so many platforms.
We need the solutions that already exist, especially in a time of massive upheaval like – oh, the one we’re going through right now. If the latest version of Microsoft Work Tendency Index (opens in a new tab) report is to be believed, 85% of leaders do not believe that their employees are productive in a hybrid work environment.
This is nonsense, of course. But I’ll tell you what – some of your employees with disabilities won’t be productive if you put them in an environment where they literally can’t work. And you’re going to fire them, aren’t you, because of “the future”? It should be an interesting day in court.
Forcing the metaverse into a work environment is going to disenfranchise so many people. If you really want to recreate Ready Player One or Snow Crash, this is how you’ll get there. Oh, you haven’t read them? You just thought their Wikipedias were cool? OK.
It is irresponsible to push for “the metaverse at work” without considering these implications and ensuring that there are alternative work environments. And we have these environments, because a plague forced us to make – a-ha – progress.
And if your trap here at the MENSA meeting is “well, you can always tune in on video conference», it is a tacit admission that we have already passed the high bar of invention. It also ignores my steadfast religious belief that metaverse contact of any kind will make my heart explode.