The metaverse replaces the office. The workforce of the future will be gamified

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For decades, video games have been an important part of our culture, creativity and connection. Some of today’s most forward-thinking leaders grew up in mall arcades, dreamed of becoming heroes in a movie like Tron, and competed around the family computer or their favorite console, from the Atari 2600 to the Xbox and everything in between.

Today, gaming now includes online, mobile, social, cloud, augmented reality, virtual reality and the metaverse – a market that is on track to exceed $200 billion in 2023.

For over 20 years people have been collaborating on games like The Sims and Second Life and more recently Fortnite, Roblox, Minecraft, Pokemon Go and more.

These are more than just games – they are shared virtual play spaces designed for users to meet, world-build, battle, buy virtual goods, dance and … jam.

But what does this trend mean for the future of work? Surprisingly, quite a lot.

The hybrid future of work

Companies can now embrace “work” in a variety of ways to create a sense of belonging and foster a culture of connection, community, creativity and productivity. In fact, those who want the most innovative, diverse and exceptional talent need to know how to collaborate and leverage technology for a multitude of employee arrangements and realities at any given time.

Balancing needs and interests has taken on new meaning in a world where 73% of teams will have remote workers by 2028. The challenge is accessibility, flexibility and continuous feedback to improve experiences and enable productivity while combating challenges such as those cited in the latest State of Remote Work report: poor communication/collaboration (17%), loneliness (19%) and difficulty maintaining motivation (12%).

Companies will begin to offer co-working spaces in cities where many team members reside, providing an out-of-home base to support team members in a way that works best for them. It will be important for companies to accommodate a mixed and merged workforce, creating safe spaces where companies can both set expectations and manage employee well-being.

A gamified workforce

According to a recent Deloitte study, the vast majority of Generation Z (87%), Millennials (83%) and Generation X (79%) play video games weekly on personal and home devices. While some may think Fortnite is a children’s game, over 60% of the Fortnite community is aged 18 to 24 – the same demographic entering the workforce. In another recent survey, over 50% of Gen Z participants plan to own their own business within the next 10 years.

This generation grew up buying virtual goods or power-ups for their mobile games – and are native to online engagement and collaboration, community building and problem solving. Not surprisingly, games are powering new business models and shaping the future of work across all contexts. The future of hybrid work is changing – and adding virtual reality to the mix of remote and in-office collaboration can create a new, dynamic workplace that gives businesses the best of both worlds.

Brands are exploring the creation of their virtual identities to help personalize their values and beliefs into a virtual entity that can be displayed live, in real time, on any channel. The behaviors of the emerging workforce will continue to drive these brand innovations and developments.

We are already seeing companies expanding their organizational structures to include new roles such as metaverse engineering manager, web3 lead, avatar creator, virtual architect, virtual builder and virtual real estate agent.

Mixed-merged worlds

The metaverse is not yet here, but it is near. The metaverse and the evolution of web3 are reminiscent of the early days of the internet: the possibilities are vast, and there is no set manual.

Every day we are creating the future of work. So far a multitude of collaboration platforms have been developed, each with its own expertise and characteristics. Some are only virtual reality, some are only augmented reality, some are only for events, some are inspired by retro games and others can even replicate a traditional office suite.

Immersive platforms are pushing the traditional work environment into mixed-media worlds with team onboarding, virtual exhibitions, virtual testing labs, gamified gatherings, corporate celebrations and more – all accessible from almost any device via laptop, mobile or VR headset.

With the rise of remote working, companies are looking for new ways to collaborate and create a culture of better connectivity. The sense of community that the metaverse brings is no longer limited to games: workplaces are evolving and employees will increasingly collaborate, create and communicate in the metaverse.

As workplaces explode into the future, the metaverse will help maintain the inherently human sense of connection and community that so many of us crave, while allowing for the kind of flexibility and balance we’ve also come to know.

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