In recent years, telework has become a standard in companies and some players, who are thinking about the next phase, are considering a migration of collaborative work modes into the metaverse. So realistic scenario or utopia?
Companies have transformed at breakneck speed in order to gain flexibility and meet the new expectations of French people, who today are 56% working in hybrid mode. Some actors, who go even further, are beginning to talk about a migration of collaborative work with the metaverse with a web 3.0 where you can move via your avatar in a fully virtualized universe. But is this paradigm shift, which could affect areas such as culture, e-commerce or even training, really realistic? …
Why make it simple when you can make it complicated ?
The metaverse allows you to become aware of your workspace and to immerse yourself in a virtual world with your collaborators by interacting with their avatars who communicate and act in real time. Knowing what others are doing at a given time is at the heart of the success of all remote collaboration solutions, but this asset is not unique to the metaverse, other solutions also offer it without the constraints and limitations of the virtual. as Renaud Ghia, President of Tixeo, a company that deploys the most secure videoconferencing technology on the market, points out.
“The metaverse requires a virtual reality headset in order to interact. Expensive equipment but above all heavy enough for a whole day of work in front of your computer. Its use is also problematic for people affected by cyberkinetosis, a physical ailment which manifests itself in the virtual world as motion sickness and which is relatively frequent, “underlines Renaud Ghia based on a survey by the National Agency. of food, environmental and occupational health safety (ANSES) published in June 2021. This phenomenon would indeed affect 30 to 50% of users.
“In addition, in this immersive 3D world, everything is heavier to manage than with classic collaborative tools,” he continues. “In the metaverse, it is much more complex to find a file in a folder since you have to move with your avatar and go to where the modeled object is. Whereas opening a computer window and clicking on what you are looking for only takes a second. Small remote collaboration actions here become large actions that also require a lot of machine memory. This immersion in the metaverse can be beneficial for a few minutes a day; but to go from there to imagining a day or even whole weeks of remote collaboration in a virtual world does not take into account the social problems that teleworking can generate”….
An avatar at the expense of the human
Can we really talk about being human in a totally virtualized world, disconnected from reality and in which we interact with 3D avatars? According to a recent study by Future Forum, the number of employees declaring themselves on the verge of burnout rose by 8% between May and August 2022 to reach 40%, these people are experiencing a malaise with fairly basic digital tools…. It is an illusion to believe that the metaverse would make it possible to break the isolation of employees and it would be a mistake to imagine strengthening the cohesion of a team without its employees being able to see and discuss directly. According to the 2022 multi-screen usage barometer, produced by the iligo research agency and published in May 2022, for 81% of French people questioned, the metaverse is above all a means of entertainment.
So what alternatives to the metaverse for a future of teleworking allowing innovation, productivity and employee well-being at the same time? If virtualizing our work environments at all costs is clearly not appealing to employees today, the virtual and Web 3.0 can however now be integrated into professional life in a more discreet way. Augmented reality and its fields of application can, for example, respond in a more discreet and lighter way to many business problems.
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