- 18 volunteers experimented by spending a week working in the metaverse, using virtual reality.
- Two dropped out within hours, while others reported feeling more anxious and frustrated in the end.
- This study forms the basis for further research on the metaverse potential for work.
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The concept of the metaverse has been hailed by evangelists as the future of work, meetings and also the way companies recruit workers.
But the results of new experiments show that it is still far from reality.
18 university staff entered the metaverse during the work week. Two of them had to go out because of nausea, while others reported feeling more frustrated, anxious and said their eyes hurt in the end, New Scientist reported.
At its most basic, the metaverse – better known since Facebook changed its name to Meta in 2021 – is a physical version of the internet, where people interact through avatars and virtual reality technology.
For the experiment, which is described in a paper titled Quantifying The Effects of Working VR for One Week, researchers wanted to know the effects of working in VR over a long period of time, and how it compares to working in a physical environment.
He asked the volunteers, who were all university staff or researchers to spend five days a week working in the re -created virtual reality office. A total of 8 hours a day, with a 45 -minute lunch break. Then they spend the same amount of time in a real work environment.
Participants were not given tasks to complete, meaning they could take control of their own work day. However, they were given the same equipment.
Two of the participants dropped out within hours, complaining of nausea, anxiety and migraines, caused in part by the weight of the Oculus Quest 2 headset, they said both. Nausea is a common side effect of virtual reality.
The rest remained a week, but reported some negative consequences. Compared to the physical work environment, participants reported an average 42% increase in frustration rate and a 48% increase in eye strain.
They also reported anxiety, almost five times, and generally experienced a 20% decrease in well -being between the weeks they worked out almost compared to the physical environment.
Participants also reported feeling less productive, highlighting how difficult it was to take physical notes while in VR, for example. He noted that it may work in virtual reality in a number of ways in the future.
Researchers note that many of the problems can disappear with improvements in technology and that while people have become accustomed to using the technology – the severity of eye strain also appears to decrease as the weeks progress.
He also noted that the results of the study were relatively small depending on the subjective experience of each participant.
“Overall, this study helps create a foundation for future research, highlights current shortcomings and identifies opportunities to enhance the work experience in VR,” said researchers from Coburg University in Germany, Cambridge University, UK, Primorska University, Slovenia and Microsoft.
“Hopefully this work will stimulate further research to investigate long-term productive work in VR.”