According to a report by Gartner, by 2026, about 25% of people are expected to at least spend an hour every day in the Metaverse. The report identifies that along with education and retail, a diverse section will be utilizing the Metaverse to establish and enhance their professional network, while a certain section will simply use it for recreation or spending leisure time such as for shopping, entertainment, etc. The Metaverse is already a serious business, and if anyone is having an ounce of doubt, the trend is such that the Metaverse will witness about 58% of businesses adoption in the next two years according to a report from World Economic Forum.  

When Meta, Microsoft and other tech giants introduced their Metaverse worlds as Horizon Workrooms, Mesh etc, the idea of leveraging the Metaverse in the Human Resource (HR) sphere was arguably only nascent. With the pandemic, the idea has accentuated further. Companies are leveraging the Metaverse to conduct meetings, engage communities and even hire professionals in the alternate reality. The impact in the HR space is something almost everyone is awaiting to explore with bated breath, quite literally. A study conducted by ExpressVPN across employers in the US suggests 66% of employers and 3 out of 5 employees are keen and interested to explore immersive technologies and having a workforce inclined to it.  

The impending challenges & how the Metaverse can help!  

1. Hiring & Onboarding amid remote working conditions are challenging as both employees and employers get to know very little about each other while interacting virtually. In recruitment, it is imperative that both parties get engagement with each other before they start working together.  

  • The Metaverse offers a great platform for candidates to go on 3D virtual tours of the place they would work in. Employers/HR managers can facilitate such initiatives and enthral employees as they get a glance of the office, the culture and the people inside. Deloitte has facilitated a virtual tour for its candidates by letting them take a tour of their Deloitte workplace.  Hyundai and Samsung have already conducted their virtual recruitment fairs in the Metaverse.  

 

2. Inaction - About 49% of HR leaders are rooting for innovation to be their go-to mantra for success, and 46% of them have expressed inaction from their respective organizations towards being creative or innovative. According to Emily Rose Macrae, Senior Director, Gartner HR Practice, an organization’s action and initiative will have a greater impact and is considered significant when it comes to driving employee creativity.  

  • Organizations can leverage the Metaverse to encourage employee interaction and communication through avatars of employees and task them at taking tests, partaking at training centers with 3D learning models, indulging in social recreation across various curated spaces and doing much more. The possibility of planning and reinventing day-to-day activities, starting from organizing immediate meetings, attending conferences, etc., will now become a reality owing to the Metaverse’ character and sheer ability to drive seamless communication, and collaboration.      

 

3. A Dispersed Workforce in today’s scenario requires a collective platform to ideate and execute creative activities. A stable workforce at physical locations will get involved in unprompted, informal exchanges, a scenario often underplayed and unsung that helps organizations progress. Over the past two years, with the pandemic, such a situation almost feels like a bygone era.  

  • The Metaverse can help HR leaders acquire and pool talent cutting across geographies, and organizations can reimagine and reinvent a collective imaginative workforce remotely with the Metaverse. For instance, Solar Panels Network USA is leveraging the Metaverse to drive its training and development programs for employees. The firm is critical and concrete in its planning as it looks forward to onboard fresh talent with VR and AR expertise. It is also engaging those employees who are comfortable working in the virtual world and are ready to explore the potential of the Metaverse.     

 

4. Shift to Hybrid has without doubt contributed to limited associations and interactions among the workforce. New joinees often find it difficult to collaborate and mix with the existing team which hampers organizational growth and cohesion between teams.  

  • The Metaverse can amalgamate those who haven’t worked with each other on to one single space and make way for deliberate shared and learning experiences among them. New joinees can benefit from induction programs and meet colleagues, employers and peers and get the feel of a real-world activity as experienced in a physical space. The Metaverse can help establish new connections and create a platform to harness abundant knowledge, strategies, and ideas regularly.  

 

5. An Unfair Workplace is often the case with various scenarios occurring each day at physical workplace locations. Safety and well-being of the workforce are a crucial part of an organization’s functioning. This is of-course a real-world problem that all of us are witnessing day in and day out, and needs addressing.  

  • Is this an excuse to move to the Metaverse? Certainly not! A social interaction with challenges and struggles is always welcomed above non-socialising scenarios. However, the Metaverse helps in being more diverse and open to inclusivity. HR managers can take the call and educate people participating in the Metaverse about integrity, diversity and appreciation towards each other despite diverse backgrounds. HR managers can easily define workplace policies, form anti-harassment units and employee protection cells in the Metaverse to promote social wellbeing and a secure, worry-free workplace. Owing to immersive experiences, the Metaverse can better ensure the implementation of stronger policies and propagation of a positive work culture, even remotely. 

 

6. Stale Environments – More often a certain office environment may become redundant and sometimes uninspiring with absolutely no or less creativity. A conventional setup is what begins and ends a day at the office for most of the workforce. 

  • HR managers can use the Metaverse itself to design creative, collaborative and imaginative workplaces and environments for employees’ convenience. Such set-ups can not only help boost creativity leading to a happy workplace, but can also prove productive and drive positive business outcomes.   

The impending need today is to make the move with the will to welcome and strengthen the Metaverse world. It is certainly a concept that is coming to fruition at various levels especially for HR that focuses on recruiting and retaining talent, training and developing existing employees, and much more to develop and nurture the most important company asset – the employees. The mantle is now with the departments of HR to steer this wave in the right direction with the right leverage to stay ahead of the curve amid changing circumstances.   

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