Mark Zuckerberg Announces Plans To Make Metaverse Maybe More Useful In The Workplace

Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ: META) chief Mark Zuckerberg has a solution to address proximity bias in the workplace and it sounds about as baffling as investing $10 billion in building the metaverse.

At the Meta Connect 2022 event last week, Zuckerberg introduced new features to Meta Horizon Workrooms, the platform’s virtual reality space “for teams to connect and collaborate.” One of which is bringing avatars into video chats where Zuckerberg said, “you can still express yourself and react, but you’re not on camera, so it’s kind of like a better camera-off mode.”

At the event, Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella joined Zuckerberg to announce that apps for Microsoft Windows 365 and Microsoft Teams would be available on Workrooms beginning next year. The partnership doesn’t only bring Microsoft work and productivity tools to the new VR headsets Meta Quest Pro and Meta Quest 2, it also brings metaverse avatars to Teams meetings — or does it bring Teams meetings into the metaverse where the avatars are? 

The partnership brings forth a potential new tool for employers, particularly those who still prefer seeing their workforce in person, to monitor remote workers, especially those who prefer joining meetings with their cameras off. 

The reality is, metaverse adoption in the workplace is not going to be as simple as Zuckerberg makes it sound. To meet in the metaverse via Workrooms, employers will need to get their staff the VR headsets — the Meta Quest 2 starts at $399.99 and the Meta Quest Pro will set them back $1,499.99. And if they do, employees who can’t even be bothered to turn their cameras on will need to wear these headsets for an average of 30 minutes to an hour a pop

Employers have gone to ridiculous lengths to monitor the productivity of remote workers — from tracking total time online, to taking screenshots, to the frequency of keyboard pauses, the time it takes to write an email, and even movements as minute as individual keystrokes. Would it be worthwhile to make a pivot into the metaverse just to engage employee avatars in meetings?

Meta last traded at $126.35 on the Nasdaq, down over 62% year to date.

Information for this briefing was found via Fortune, Meta, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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