How the pandemic has changed our relationship with work

Posted on February 17, 2022

With the great wave of resignation sweeping the United States, the French people’s relationship with work has changed due to the Covid-19 virus. The centralization of work has been called into question in favor of a better balance between private and professional life, which notably includes telecommuting. To reconcile employee expectations without losing social connections, some companies now rely on the metaverse.

What if the metaverse is the way the future works? If our offices, our colleagues, find themselves transported into this virtual world? This is witnessed by Florent de Lecluse, Technical Director of Zetoolbox, a company that supports VSE and SMEs in their digital transformation. “At our company, we have fairly scattered employees, in many cities or countries. We did not find it acceptable to hold Teams or Zoom meetings in 2D. So we experimented with 3D with the metaverse. We created a virtual world, somewhat similar to Sims, with Avatars, office space, coffee machine, chairs, poker tables… This allowed us to find the casual exchanges we’d been missing‘, explains this no-code specialist.

Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, is also convinced that our professional exchanges will pass through the metaverse in the future. And so he announced last December that in two or three years, most of the meetings would take place around this virtual world presented as an extension of physical life. “There is still work to be done, but we are approaching the threshold as technology begins to replicate the experience of being together in the office.”, It is to explain. Tech giants are getting in on that, too. While Facebook recently renamed itself Meta in reference to this new form of the Internet, Microsoft is gradually introducing keys to Metavers in its Teams software, particularly via avatars.

“If we cancel remote work, I’m resigning”

Thus these offices in the metaverse could be the answer to the new expectations of employees. The latter now require the employer to take in certain subjects. “To avoid future departures and disengagements, companies and organizations must promote mental health policy and quality of life at work. The link between declining mental health and the risk of leaving is clear.,” notes Christophe Nguyen, President of Empreinte Humaine.

By quality of life, employees are specifically referring to remote work. If the pattern of full-time work imposed during confinement is having detrimental effects on their mental health, nearly 40% of employees say that once the health crisis is over, their employer requires them to be in the office every day they can leave work. .

“I have gained rest in life. I have time to go to sports or to cook. Eliminating travel time allows me to better reconcile my personal life with my professional life. Obviously, if today we suppress my 2 days of remote work, I will have a lot of trouble in accept it”, Attested by Juliet *, Executive in Real Estate. If Juliet’s impression is shared by many employees, others fear that remote work, especially after experiencing forced confinement, will disrupt their relationship with their colleagues. 6 in 10 employees find that team rituals are gone. Hence the idea of ​​many entrepreneurs to turn into the metaverse.

“Employees questioned the centrality of work”

Since the pandemic, it is clear that the relationship with work has been completely turned on its head. In the United States, this translates into a wave of resignations dubbed the “Great Resignation.” In 2021, 40 million people quit, which is a record. The precursor was already mapping out this movement. In December, in a poll, a quarter of American employees said they wanted to quit their jobs. However, the latest measure of human footprint and opinion method evokes the same phenomenon in France. Thus 31% of employees questioned in this survey actively want to look for another job after the crisis.

“There is a difference between intention and action.”Relative Christophe Nguyen. “But it does mean that there is a problem. The pandemic has been long and traumatic. Nearly 60% of respondents have changed their priorities in life. They have questioned the centrality of work.”The occupational psychologist explains. If the wave of major resignations does not sweep France, economist Philippe Crevet points out two surprising signs: the increase in traditional terminations and vacancies in many sectors.

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