VR headsets and virtual company hubs instead of one-way communication via email, video conferences and longer business trips for short on-site meetings: is this what our everyday working life will soon look like? What occasions are suitable for working in a virtual space– and when should we be sticking to the conventional way of doing things? The first companies are already using virtual applications to improve collaboration with customers and employees. We at T-Systems are doing it too.
Gaming, shopping and concert – everything is possible in a virtual room. But how does it work in the metaverse? The huge potential of amazing genuine experiences in new worlds which are brought to life via VR headsets, are being met with great interest in the entertainment and marketing sectors. Just recently, ABBA has demonstrated how hologram-like avatars could get an entire auditorium screaming. The curiosity for virtual experiences on the subject of the metaverse has also been awakened. But what do these latest developments mean for our future working environment in everyday work? One thing is clear: In the world of work, different rules apply than with gaming or when shopping in a virtual showroom. But it is also clear that in the virtual metaverse room, professional interactions are more intuitive, more flexible and innovative than via video conferences – we are standing on a threshold to a new way of collaborating. A kind of union of virtual realities – that is, a fluid virtual world in which we interact using our avatar clone, travel without any problem and of course pay in a digital currency – does of course not yet exist. But companies are already benefiting from the first metaverse platforms and virtual work rooms.
I've tried it out: If I smile at home and raise my hand, my avatar can greet my colleague with a friendly wink – like in the office, although she is a few hundred kilometers away working from her own home. Users discover a completely new technology which combines a virtual world with a digital experience. It permits significantly more interaction and identification then previously via Teams or Zoom, for example. A few examples: I can put a photo of my head on my avatar, transfer my office clothes to the digital room via body scan and, thanks to the spatial audio function, I can virtually withdraw to have a discussion in a small group without the other people in the room being aware. Without ever needing to switch on the camera, I am able to freely and intuitively move around like this. Digital facial expressions and gestures gain a completely new naturalness. If employees also have their own wardrobe or decorate their desk in the virtual company office, they can strongly identify with their metaverse alter ego – perhaps more so than with their video meeting ego. This might also be because the personal and creative freedom to create is simply fun for many. Monotone and tedious video calls are unlikely to be able to keep up with these new opportunities in the world of work.