HR and Metaverse – Real World Benefits in a Virtual Space

Metaverse is a convergence of two ideas that have been around for many years – VR (virtual reality) and Digital Second Life. As a technology, Metaverse is already having a monumental impact on industries like gaming, EdTech, fitness, among others. Needless to say, it’s a rapidly growing investment ground for global tech giants like Facebook (or Meta), Microsoft and Apple. Right now it’s a bit of a chicken and the egg thing because people are excited that the tech giants are excited, and the tech giants are excited that the market is buoyant. But is the euphoria real?

Keeping all the hype around Metaverse aside, it is certain that Web 3.0 is about to have a massive impact on almost every industry, including human resources. Although employees are getting used to working from home, the fact is that a majority of them still miss the real interactions they had with their colleagues. We sorely miss the conversations about water coolers.

A recent report published by Gartner projects that 1 in 4 people are expected to spend at least one hour a day in the Metaverse for work, shopping, education, social activities and leisure by 2026. Although the Metaverse does not replicate the real environment, it is sure to create a new world of communication and interaction that employees would cherish. Just imagine a team meeting of employees held in the Metaverse where all attendees are seen in different avatars – this will drive much more engagement since the whole experience will be much more immersive.

HR teams looking to capitalize on the Metaverse wave must first provide a employee experience with technology. Although there may be a learning curve in getting to grips with Metaverse, the learnings will help build a more human organization. Water cooler gossip will finally make a return to hybrid workplaces with Metaverse. Metaverse will undoubtedly lead to a more collaborative environment where employees can engage, bond, and collaborate over a virtual cup of coffee. But it is advisable to start small, experiment and evolve.

Another area where HR can benefit from Metaverse is employee integration. We will all agree that onboarding employees via Zoom calls or GMeet is not an exciting experience. Additionally, there is no going back (yet) to the old style of employee onboarding process. Metaverse can be an intuitive solution where employee onboarding and engagement will be more connected and fun.

Recruitment (or hiring) has always been one of the concerns of HR teams. Finding technically and culturally suitable candidates is another problem! Metaverse could help solve this persistent problem for HR teams to a great extent. Imagine an interview simulation without a computer/mobile screen where the avatars of the recruiters can interact directly with those of their candidates. The ability to sense each other’s presence will be mutually beneficial for both. Recruiters will be able to perform tests without a hitch on the spot while candidates will show their skills more transparently.

Training sessions have undergone a major transformation as a result of the pandemic. What used to be done face-to-face in the field has turned into more or less one-way communication where candidates are often passive recipients. It will be extremely useful to have a realistic digital space where employers and trainers can not only talk, but show their new hires everything they need to know while onboarding an organization.

But is everything fine?

Coming to terms with this sci-fi type technology still takes time. Choosing the real deal among common 3D rigs can seem overwhelming to many. Therefore, awareness on Metaverse is crucial at this time, as it is imminent. Educating people about what Web 3.0 does not involve is equally important.

Although there is no doubt about the technology’s potential, we are currently at a nascent stage in its life cycle. As we move towards wider adoption, we will continue to see more opportunities and challenges. Technology has significant potential to create a more engaging and collaborative hybrid workplace!



The opinions expressed above are those of the author.


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Richard V. Johnson