Is the Metaverse coming now? – Human Resource Management

The year 2022, which is not frankly uneventful, really kicks things off in its final months. In addition to the Covid-19 virus, which still stubbornly criss-crosses the region, environmental disasters and war, two multi-billionaires keep the media in suspense and saw their thrones with the public. Shareholders and advertisers are flocking to Twitter, the potentially sinking ship recently acquired by Tesla founder Musk. And at Meta, formerly Facebook, a wind of misfortune is spreading: in early November, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that he would lay off around 13% of the workforce.

The Facebook founder needs money for what is currently the hottest hype in the tech world: the Metaverse. In such a computer-created world, people frolic in the form of avatars (see Personalwirtschaft 11/22). Of course, payment is made in cryptocurrency.

The concept is not new. Like so many tech visions, the idea of ​​meeting in a virtual room comes from science fiction. And like the Internet and artificial intelligence, it began to take shape around the 1980s with the advent of the first networks and the corresponding computing power. Nonetheless, Zuckerberg’s announcement that he was creating his own metaverse and fully orienting his well-renowned company into it caught the world’s attention. Many businesses are now being attacked by FOMO. The “fear of missing out” is the fear of missing out.

How important will the metaverse be?

Do we really have to think about the Metaverse now so as not to miss the boat? Of course, the suppliers of this technology say “yes!” – after all, it’s their business model. The basic technologies for the metaverse are already established in some large German companies. Instead of being there and on site, employees use data glasses to learn how motors are assembled or rails laid. There are already fully virtual sales rooms. Why not think about the next jump and move everything to cyberspace right away? Sounds wonderful in theory: bit-by-byte interconnection saves time, travel costs, and makes the employee experience look chic and futuristic. On the way to the marvelous new metaworld!

So what to do when the executive tier dreams of going to the meta level? As usual, facts help HR against FOMO management. Like any emerging technology, the Metaverse is still very limited by the hardware and software available. It starts with the graphical representation: even the working rooms of pioneering Horizon Worlds have the lifeless pixelated charm of an early 2000s video game.

So what’s the tentative unique selling point of the Metaverse? Perhaps, unlike video or face-to-face chat, the other person’s smooth, ironed face still seems attentive here.

Entrance not without material

Other than that, entry into the Metaverse currently only works with very large hardware, which of course is still expensive to purchase and maintain. According to market researcher Counterpoint, Meta takes 80% of the market with its own model of 3D glasses – and has dramatically increased prices during economic crises.

The recently introduced premium model for enterprise customers called Meta Quest Pro costs $1499 a piece. By the way: what is the purpose of the gateway to the metaverse for SMEs that reside in one of the many Internet blind spots in Germany? There, the HR has completely different projects, for example that the connection to the intranet does not fail.

If these arguments don’t work, then HR may be pointing to profit. According to Handelsblatt, Zuckerberg’s move to the Metaverse saw his shares plummet 60%. Critical voices are being raised for the group to focus on its core business before drifting into virtual worlds. An argument that HR can also use when the executive floor reaches for the still pixelated stars in the metaverse instead of pushing scanning the good old way first.

Everything about it

Our December magazine

This article first appeared in our December magazine, devoted to the main topic of international recruitment. Here is the output:

Is the editor of human resources management and, as project manager, responsible for planning the magazine. She also brings her core content areas – Agility, Technology and New Work – to the day-to-day editorial work.

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