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The Metaverse: Meeting Rooms of the Future?

Not too long ago, the metaverse was the stuff of imagination and science fiction movies. It then spread into the world of online gaming, and the likes of Fortnite and Roblox captivated audiences worldwide.

Then along came Covid-19, sparking a greater reliance on technology in the work place than ever before.

The effect? The digital realm seems to be moving beyond a recreational place to escape the real world… In fact, sci-fi fantasy is becoming Monday morning reality!

Before you start thinking it’ll take some time before this impacts you personally, the Luxembourg metaverse has already been created by a local tech entrepreneur! Yes, the Grand Duchy now has its own 3D virtual reality space, where Luxembourg-based companies and people will be able to “build” their online offices.

Hopefully the prices of property in Luxembourg’s metaverse will be more affordable than in the real world…

What impact will the metaverse have on business meetings?

Imagine looking slick, slim and perfect for every meeting and presentation, without even brushing your hair or spending a minute in the gym? Well, imagination seems to be becoming reality once again.

Meta, formerly Facebook, recently launched Horizon Workrooms, where coworkers (well, the nicely groomed and fresh-looking version of themselves) can have meetings in a virtual meeting room. Of course, Meta is not alone in this space, and similar virtual meeting places are being made available by numerous providers.

With the help of spatial audio and hand-gesture sensitivity, the experience is said to be much more life-like than a Zoom or Teams meeting.

image credit: Meta

For now, you can’t exchange as many non-verbal cues as in real life, which is a pity – there is nothing quite like catching a colleague’s eye and rolling your eyes or faking a yawn! But who knows, we will probably still get there.

In fact, if we let our imaginations run wild, the possibilities offered by the metaverse could be massive. What about real-time translation, enabling you to have a business meeting with someone speaking a different language – or even someone using sign language? This could be groundbreaking for people with hearing and speech impediments.

How far will metaverse office life go?

While there may be significant benefits insofar as business meetings go, what about day-to-day office life? What will that look like?

image credit: Pipo Saúde

Will we have virtual coffee areas where you can casually “bump” into other colleagues? Or a digital cafeteria where you can meet a coworker for a working lunch? (Not ideal if the virtual food looks better than what is on your real-life plate!)

While wearing a VR headset for 40 hours a week is not necessarily an exciting prospect, many people speculate that more and more work life will take place in the metaverse.

If they are right, you might want to start brushing up on your avatar-creating skills!

Where does this leave existing office buildings?

The metaverse offers the possibility to create rich virtual environments – which will probably be more visually stimulating than the rooms in our current office buildings! It could also allow businesses to structure and alter their work environments in accordance with their needs over time.

With these kinds of benefits, what does this mean for real-life offices? Will they become completely obsolete?

The first question will be whether the metaverse will actually be accessible to every business.

Some studies predict that the metaverse will mirror the characteristics of the real world, meaning that the price of virtual property, as with physical real estate, may indeed be significant sums. Not great news for those of us eyeing property prices in Luxembourg City!

However, even if the virtual land carries the same price tag as physical property, your digital office should in theory have lower overheads and maintenance costs. No furniture, cleaning, office equipment, general supplies, etc.

Given the significant maintenance costs in Luxembourg, largely associated with the high minimum wage, many companies might want to take advantage of the technological developments to downscale, or even get rid of their physical offices completely.

On the other hand, smaller businesses or those renting or sharing spaces might not necessarily be in the same position. For these companies, a permanent spot in the metaverse might still have to wait a while.

What about coworking spaces?

Will they become redundant, or more important than ever?


To function optimally in the metaverse, technological infrastructure like a strong Wi-Fi connection is obviously essential. Where this is not guaranteed at home, coworking spaces could become important support facilities for workers whose “offices” are in the metaverse, or people who have meetings there from time to time.

In addition, coworking spaces may in the future offer the rental of VR headsets and designated areas well suited for virtual meetings.

You don’t want to end up punching the wall (or an innocent bystander) if your real-life location is less spacious than what your mind is seeing!

Real life human contact

Perhaps the more fundamental question is whether the metaverse will be a true replacement for real in-person interaction.

It is said to be a solution for Zoom-fatigue and other screen-related ailments, but will it really tick the box for human connection?

As new as the metaverse may be in the professional context, as mentioned above it is not new in the recreational sphere.

In the gaming world, the idea of going to shared spaces to enter the portals to virtual worlds is well established.

So, why do gamers go to places like gaming cafés? Is there a reason other than a stable internet connection or access to the latest games?

According to a study from San Jose State University, “nothing can replace the essential human element of gaming. To experience true gaming, one must be able to interact with other people.

If this is true even for an activity so heavily based on imagination and alternate realities, surely it will be even more applicable to the working world?

If so, the human interaction that is offered through commuting and sharing physical coffee areas etc., may actually become even more important as the number of “real-life” meetings reduce. In this context, coworking spaces can become valuable, and even essential, resources.

Is the metaverse really here to stay?

Some people think it is just the latest craze, and that it will wear off. Others believe the digital world really is the future of “normal working life”. Bill Gates, for example, believes that within the next 2 or 3 years, most virtual meetings will take place in the metaverse.

At the speed the world is spinning these days, anything is possible! However, there is little doubt that the metaverse is likely to revolutionise working life, in one way or another.

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