With the development of new technologies, namely virtual reality, the concept of metaverse emerged, by which is meant a virtual universe to which people connect through devices, and where they insert themselves in a virtual way, interacting as if they were in the real world.
This scenario, which may still seem utopian, is increasingly a possibility, particularly with the advent of devices capable of creating immersive experiences, simulating places, events, facial and body expressions, touch, and even smell.
With the pandemic and the consequent need to restrict contact between people as much as possible, humanity was forced to create and learn to live with the famous “means of communication at a distance” in the most varied areas of life. This change, albeit forced, led us to start looking at virtual reality as a possibility and not as a mere futuristic prediction.
The labor market in the metaverse
The labor market is no stranger to this evolution that has drawn the attention of companies to, among other metaverse features, the possibility of telecommuting with the help of the aforementioned virtual reality devices and holding remote events with greater realism in order to reduce the natural barrier interposed by the screen. In this sense, Bill Gates has already stated that he foresees virtual reality meetings two years from now, in which the participants will take part through their avatars, that is, characters created in a virtual context.
In the first stage, the main effect on the labor market is related to the fact that the construction of this new universe will require qualified labor, which will originate a great demand for professionals in the technology areas, as well as, the emergence of new professions that will also require adequate training that may not yet be available to the vast majority of the population.
How will these matters be regulated, in general as to the very structure and organization of companies (in a context where there may no longer be physical workplaces that foster the development of labor relations as we know them today) and, in particular, with the regulation of working time and its control by the employer, the processing of personal data in the applications to be created in the future and the guarantees of the employer and the worker in terms of health and safety at work, particularly with the likely emergence of new diseases related to the constant use of these technologies?
Is the legislation on telework sufficient to face this new reality?
Ultimately, are we facing a new labor market or an evolution of what already exists?
In short, this question is closer than we might imagine and it is urgent to think about how all this new reality will be legislated.
Rita Sequeira Marcolino @ DCM | Littler