A global survey by Ciena examined the perspectives of business professionals regarding the use of more immersive and connected digital platforms at work.
The metaverse is anticipated to be a remarkably realistic 3D virtual environment where individuals can engage in activities.
Some individuals believe that the metaverse was designed for gamers, leading other businesses to believe that it has no relevance to their industry. In reality, it presents them with an entirely new opportunity. Consider that it is already essential for businesses to have a well-considered digital strategy and to seek ways to improve their online presence – the metaverse could be the key to expanding many business opportunities.
Even though the metaverse is still in its infancy, businesses have a wealth of opportunities to alter their customer engagement strategies, products and services, production and distribution procedures, organizational structures, and more.
However, everything also depends on the needs of businesses and their potential benefits. Consider several ways in which businesses can participate.
The metaverse promises to be a stunningly realistic 3D virtual environment where people can engage in activities such as buying and selling goods and services, signing and enforcing contracts, hiring and training employees, interacting with clients and communities, and so forth.
Using a virtual reality (VR) headset, individuals may be able to visit a factory on the opposite side of the globe, courtesy of the metaverse. Customers were able to switch between competing virtual automobile dealerships and take test drives at each location. Many younger consumers purchase virtual items for their virtual gaming environments or try on virtual clothing in virtual retail stores.
Others may be debating whether or how to participate in this new environment, whereas Adidas, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Nike, and a host of others have already established a presence.
Consider this: if a company has a presence in the metaverse, especially if they were among the pioneers, their name will be recognized globally, and they will be able to reach a significantly larger audience. On the metaverse, customers will discuss their interactions with the company's brand, and businesses can discuss the company's strategy, both of which can increase the company's visibility.
In short, this is brand promotion, and the business can provide its own virtual advertising within the metaverse.
The fact that business professionals are prepared for the metaverse, however, is encouraging. Recently, Ciena commissioned a survey to assess the readiness of business professionals for virtual collaboration. Ninety-eight percent of Singaporean business professionals value virtual meetings, and eighty percent would choose virtual meeting spaces over traditional video conferencing solutions for business meetings.
More than half (57%) of Singaporean business professionals agree that virtual meetings are more convenient than in-person meetings, and 44% believe that virtual meetings can foster a more collaborative environment. According to 33% of respondents, virtual meetings are less expensive than in-person meetings.
In addition, more than half (56%) of Singaporean business professionals believe their workplace will transition from static work settings to an immersive/virtual reality-based environment within the next three years, and 71% believe the metaverse will become an integral part of current work practices. Likewise, 88% of Singaporean business professionals say they would feel comfortable holding more HR-related work meetings online.
Despite a growing interest in adopting augmented reality tools, survey respondents identified virtual meeting fatigue (31%) and the inability to read facial expressions and emotions (35%) as the two most significant disadvantages of using virtual collaboration tools at work.
When asked to identify the greatest impediments to business adoption of virtual reality platforms, 39% cite associated costs, 43% cite the technology's inaccessibility, and 41% believe their companies lack the reliable network required to support these virtual experiences.
While network reliability is currently perceived as an impediment to working in the metaverse, Dion Leung, Regional Managing Director of Ciena ASEAN, noted that Singapore has made progress in bolstering its digital infrastructure to support the development of a digital economy, particularly by making significant strides toward achieving island-wide 5G coverage.
Enhanced reality tools will provide a whole new dimension for collaboration and innovation in the new world of work as businesses and employees choose to retain their current hybrid work arrangements. "However, its exciting use cases can only be realized with a dependable, always-on underlying network," stated Leung.