Metaverse is talk of the town since the time Facebook changed company name to Meta and invested $10 Billion in it. While we are excited about the way hybrid work will shape up in next 10 years but one thing every HR should consider is, will metaverse world come at a cost of employee mental health?
What is Metaverse?
The metaverse is a virtual world that incorporates elements of social networking, online gaming, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and cryptocurrency. Augmented reality enhances the user experience by superimposing visual components, music, and other sensory input onto real-world environments. Imaginary reality, on the other hand, is wholly virtual and enriches fictitious realities.
Lets Imagine how?
You will send your virtual self shopping, examine a food item, and decide whether or not to purchase it.
You will send your virtual self to shop for clothes and try on numerous outfits while sitting in the comfort of your own home. Clothes that you like would be sent to your physical address.
You’ll be able to do practically everything you can imagine in the metaverse, including meet up with friends and family, work, learn, play, shop, and create, as well as wholly new experiences that don’t match how we think about computers or phones today.
We will live in two worlds and own assets (land, art, furniture, etc.) in both the worlds- virtual and real.
Even countries will grow up in this virtual world.
In other words, get ready to meet your digital twin, and the digital twin of your house, your country, your office, and even your life.
Why Facebook and Microsoft are investing in it?
According to Facebook updates The metaverse is the next evolution of social connection. 3D spaces in the metaverse will let you socialize, learn, collaborate and play in ways that go beyond what we can imagine. Listen to Mark Zuckerberg share vision for bringing the metaverse to life together.
Microsoft Teams is also gaining 3D virtual avatars and landscapes as part of the tech giant’s drive into the metaverse. As hybrid work becomes more prevalent throughout the world, Mesh for Microsoft Teams will enable users in various regions to join collaborative and shared holographic experiences using the video-calling application’s productivity capabilities. People will be able to participate in virtual meetings, exchange chat messages, work on shared documents, and much more. According to Microsoft, the Mesh technology will allow users to connect in virtual space without having to turn on their webcams
Post Pandemic, every organization is thinking Hybrid and it is believed that Metaverse will bridge the physical and digital world.
- Working in a cubicle is a story of past decade. Now in Hybrid world you can work anywhere
- Employees will be free from daily commutes, choosing to wear professional attire
- In a metaverse world, there will be no question of transmitting illness and employees safety can be taken care.
- Metaverse will make collaboration and idea sharing more accessible than ever.
But 1 Big question is – Will Metaverse impact Employee Mental Health?
Metaverse announcement has re-ignited debate around mental health and the internet. Metaverse might have a terrible impact on people’s already deteriorating mental fitness.
Without a question, the creation of the internet has caused a revolution in every part of the globe. However, it is also a confirmed reality that this digital growth has been tremendously harmful to people’s mental fitness all around the world. Furthermore, as a result of the pandemic, Depression, as well as the suicide rate, has risen to worrisome proportions. The globe’s mental health infrastructure is far from adequate; in such a circumstance, the last thing the world needs is a new social media reality.
According to psychologists, there are studies underway that will reveal the impact of a Metaverse on mental fitness. A great quantity of virtual engagement can be exceedingly harmful to a person’s brain.
These are 2 critical questions that must be answered if hybridization is to be the way we will operate in the Metaverse World.
Will the metaverse cause tremors, hallucinations, visual or auditory delusions, and other Mental Health symptoms?
Should Organizations need to be extra cautious about employee mental health?
5 ways Organizations and HR Leaders can support employees mental health?
- Recognize the significance of mental wellbeing on your workforce by constant sentiment analysis: We at MonAmI has been helping organization with employee sentiment, concerns, issues and taking feedback how can we improve mental health. Here is a glimpse how sentiment capture is done in Microsoft Teams. We can do it similarly in WhatsApp, Slack, Hangout etc.
2. Make use of communication to minimize stigma and enhance access to mental health resources.
3. Promote Wellbeing by making employees aware of the mental health issue, accept that it is okay not to be okay, and act on it by necessary steps:
4. Human Intervention by connecting to Counsellors at the right time when needed
5. Make Mental Health part of your Wellness Package.