Businesses look to metaverse to enhance hybrid working

Two thirds (66%) of business leaders see the metaverse as the next stage of hybrid working.

An online space where people interact as 3D avatars, the metaverse could play an increasingly important role in the world of work in the future, according to research from business services supplier Regus.

Regus' survey showed half (48%) of business said they are also looking at office space within the online world for their employees.

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Mark Dixon, Regus founder and CEO, said the metaverse will force workplaces to change.

He said: "Change in the world of work is almost always driven by technology. In the 1990s, email transformed the way we did business, while during the pandemic we turned to video conferencing to enable more effective working.

"This data shows that business leaders expect the metaverse to have a similarly transformative effect on hybrid working. It will enable better collaboration for people working all over the world, reducing the need to commute and allowing greater flexibility in people’s day-to-day working schedules."

Businesses leaders thought the metaverse would bring more benefits to the workplace, including increased diversity (62%), improved mental health (57%) and a reduction in presenteeism (54%).

Employees were also excited by the prospect of the metaverse. Of those surveyed, 44% thought a metaverse workspace would improve communication, 41% anticipated better teamwork and 40% thought they would get better remote working opportunities.

Despite the excitement, almost two thirds (63%) of employees think their company will wait to see how others fare before making a definitive move into the metaverse.

A survey of HR magazine readers in January this year showed 38% thought that metaverse technology was suitable for business and that they wanted to integrate it into their working life.

Regus surveyed 2,000 office workers and 250 senior executives in May 2022.