Businesses have started to look for office space in virtual technology, paving the way for workers in different locations to interact via 3D avatars.
Meetings in the metaverse could become reality for workers, after a new study by Regus found that close to half of businesses surveyed (48%) are looking for, or building, office space in virtual technology.
This is because two-thirds (66%) of business leaders view the metaverse as the natural progression for hybrid working.
The research team polled 2,000 office workers and 250 senior executives in May 2022 by Mortar.
With the expectation of letting workers in different locations interact via 3D avatars, 70% of leaders expect it to increase demand for flexible working, as it will reduce the need for staff to work from the same office location.
Other benefits possibly expected from the flexibility offered by the metaverse include more diverse workplaces (62%), improved mental health (57%), reduced presenteeism (54%), and better relations between remote and office-based staff (54%).
Despite the enthusiasm, nearly two-thirds (63%) of workers surveyed think their employer will wait to see how other businesses fare before investing themselves, while less than half (46%) think their company will be an early adopter of the metaverse.
Just 6% think their business will adopt the tech in the next 12 months, with most (33%) expecting it to take three-four years.
Mark Dixon, IWG Founder and CEO, said: "In the 90s, email transformed the way we did business, while the onset of the pandemic led to millions around the world permanently adopting web-based tools and platforms like Zoom and Teams to enable more effective working.
"This latest research shows that business leaders expect the metaverse to have a transformative effect on hybrid working."
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