Most business professionals feel the need to ’embrace the metaverse

An illustration of a man in a suit wearing a headset, using the metaverseA new study commissioned by Ciena claims to have uncovered just how ready business professionals are to collaborate in the virtual world of the metaverse. Ninety-six percent of the 15,000 business professionals surveyed across the globe say that they recognise the value of virtual meetings, and more than three-quarters (78 percent) say they would participate in more immersive experiences like the metaverse compared to current tools, such as videoconferencing.

Additionally, while appetites appear to grow for the new digital world, unreliable network performance was cited (by 38 percent globally) as the top concern holding organisations back. While the data reveals a significant push toward more digital and immersive platforms on a global scale, there are regional differences. On a global level, 87 percent of business professionals confirmed they would feel comfortable conducting HR meetings in a virtual space. At a country level, this was as high as 97 percent in India and 94 percent in the Philippines, and as low as 57 percent in Japan.

According to the respondents, the top two benefits of virtual meetings are: improved collaboration and convenience. And, when it comes to selecting their avatar for the virtual world, 35 percent of business professionals would choose an avatar that reflects their real-world self, 22 percent would choose an idealistic version and only 10 percent would pick a pop culture figure.

Globally, 71 percent of professionals can see the metaverse becoming part of existing work practices, and 40 percent think their business will move away from traditional/static collaboration environments to more immersive and virtual reality-based environments in the next two years.

Despite growing interest among working professionals, barriers to widespread business adoption of immersive technologies still exist. According to survey participants, network reliability is a higher concern than the belief that immersive applications/tools are not yet widely available.