In many industries, businesses are turning their backs on traditional ways of working post-pandemic and have adopted hybrid working principles, replacing physical meetings with virtual calls and permitting employees to work remotely.
However, experts predict that it won't stop here. In the not too distant future, we are likely to find ourselves spending an increasing proportion of our time in a virtual reality called the "metaverse". We will access the metaverse by wearable technologies and assume virtual identities – avatars - which will shop in virtual shopping centres, play games, socialise in virtual forums and, importantly, work. Already, businesses at the forefront of technological development are encouraging their staff to assume avatars and to collaborate in virtual environments – and this is creating unprecedented challenges, particularly for employment law.
As stated in this interesting BBC article, we may be waiting a while before we are all working in the metaverse and the jobs that will exist there are likely to be very different from those we do in the real world. But the fact that people are already working in virtual reality worlds suggests that the metaverse could well have a future as a workplace - and companies would do well to start considering whether, at some point in the future, the metaverse might be an appropriate place for their business.