While employers are excited about the new possibilities opened by immersive workspaces like the metaverse, the employees who work for them are significantly less so.
The survey, conducted by Express VPN, found that employers are more likely to say they are excited (66% vs. 46%) or optimistic (54% vs. 32%) about the metaverse than employees. Meanwhile, employees are much more likely to say they are confused (17% vs 11%), anxious (24% vs. 14%), distrustful (15% vs. 10%), suspicious (20% vs. 16%), or fearful (14% vs. 13%).
A big part of this hesitance comes from concerns over monitoring from their employers. This is not an unprecedented concern, as 55% of employees say they’re already monitored (many who believe they are not actually are, as 73% of employers say they monitor their workers). The survey found that 63% of employees are concerned their employers will collect their metaverse data, and 61% said they are concerned about their employers monitoring them there. While they were most frequently concerned about their time and website usage being tracked, many also expressed concerns about eye motions and body movement also being subject to employer scrutiny.
“Given the reluctance of many workers to accept further surveillance in the workplace, employers should tread carefully when planning to implement further monitoring activities in virtual workspaces and consider whether they’re worth the potential loss of trust and satisfaction among their employees,” says Harold Li, vice president of ExpressVPN.
However, not all employers were equal; while both those with over and under 500 employees believed participation would have a positive impact on creativity, motivation, productivity, stress, work performance and work-life balance, in general it was the larger employers who expressed more enthusiasm.