Volunteers experimented by spending a week working in the metaverse, using virtual reality!
18 university staff logged into the metaverse for an entire working week.
Two of them had to drop out due to nausea, while the rest reported feeling more frustrated, anxious and said their eyes hurt by the end, New Scientist reported.
The study lays groundwork for subsequent research into the potential of the metaverse for work.
The concept of the metaverse has been hailed by evangelists as the future of work, meetings and even the way that companies recruit workers, the very future of work
*Meta tweet on latest from Metaverse
As we build toward the metaverse, we're researching how to develop a virtual reality display system where what you see in your headset is as vivid and detailed as the physical world. Mark Zuckerberg just shared the details here https://t.co/jinbBB4stF pic.twitter.com/toxEcYABT8
— Meta Newsroom (@MetaNewsroom) June 20, 2022
Yet the results of a recent experiment suggest that could still be a long way from reality.
At its most basic,
the metaverse is the physical version of the internet, where people interact through avatars and virtual reality technology.
For the experiment,
outlined in a paper titled ‘Quantifying The Effects of Working VR for One Week’ researchers wanted to understand the effects of working in VR for extended periods, and how this compared to work in a physical environment.
They asked volunteers, who were all either university staff or researchers to spend an entire working week in recreated virtual reality office. It amounted to 8 hours a day, with a 45-minute lunch break.
Afterwards they spent the same time in a real-world work environment.
The participants weren’t given set tasks to complete, meaning they could control their own work day.
Two of the participants dropped out within hours, complaining of nausea, anxiety and migraines, caused partly by the weight of the Oculus Quest 2 headset, they both said. Nausea is a common side effect of virtual reality.
The remainder lasted the week, but reported some negative consequences.
Compared to the physical work environment, participants reported on average a 42% increase in their frustration levels and 48% increase in eye strain.
The researchers note that many of the problems could fade with improvements in technology and as people get used to using the tech.
“Overall, the study helps laying the groundwork for subsequent research, highlighting current shortcomings and identifying opportunities for improving the experience of working in VR,” the researchers were from Coburg University , Cambridge University,University of Primorska, and Microsoft.