The global epidemic hastened the digital change of work and the workplace. Millions of employees throughout the world who were stranded at home switched to Zoom calls in place of their regular commutes, workstations, and water cooler conversations.
The metaverse, which is essentially a spatial computing application, is the next step in the virtualization of work.
We will use our avatars in the metaverse to work, network, learn, meet, trade, play and transact in completely realistic virtual environments.
Another technical revolution, known as the “Web3,” or “decentralized web”, is also currently underway. While decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) operating on public blockchains are already slowly bringing in a new and exciting way to reimagine how human communities, business, and government operate, cryptocurrencies and NFTs are perhaps the best-known applications of this successive iteration of the web.
The metaverse and a decentralized Web3 together have the power to fundamentally alter business practices and the labor market.
Arguably, new company forms that resemble cooperatives more than corporations will most likely develop when decentralized autonomous organizations become more extensively used, drastically cutting agency expenses.
Leadership in such decentralized organizations will depend on soft power and compassion, utilizing shared values and culture to bring divergent stakeholders’ interests together for a single goal and mission.
Since there are no officials, directors, or managers in a DAO, leadership positions are more movable and transient, providing members with greater chances to advance.
DAOs might choose to put social values like job security ahead of operational effectiveness.
Work will also be significantly impacted by this transition from hierarchical organizations to flat, widely dispersed networks and ecosystems governed by stakeholder groups rather than boards and CEOs.
An important metaverse implication for the future of work will be seen in the shift in work structure and in showing the significance of how talent in the work
In their book, Work Without Jobs, Jesuthasan and Boudreau outline three ways that talent is related to work (fixed, flex, and flow), all of which are part of a new work operating model for corporations that are set up within the framework of a corporate organization.
With the advent of decentralized autonomous companies, a fourth option with even less friction and even more agility is now available, one where work flows to talent.
The four choices and the profits that could be realized as we progress from left to right are illustrated in the accompanying graphic.
As more work is organized as decentralized autonomous groups, the traditional hierarchical mix of positions inside a corporate structure (founder, director/manager, employee, contractor, and vendor) and functions will dramatically change into a flatter design consisting of:
- A core team of people in charge of organizing the work and carrying out the DAO’s value offer.
- A larger number of contributors who offer particular services to carry out the DAO’s purpose. Other DAOs that regularly offer services like human resources, finance and accounting, and customer service are also covered, as are individual contributors (contractors or workers) who take on projects as they arise.
- A larger number of “members” who will support the DAO’s objective by promoting brands, continuing to crowdsource product innovation, or in some other way.
These groups will receive very different compensation. The value that the decentralized autonomous organization generates as a whole, less any payments made to the other two groups, will be split among the core group.
If a DAO is providing HR services, the wages to the contributor group will fluctuate between set payments for continuing services and more periodic payouts to individual employees as they take on and complete certain projects.
As members contribute in different ways to the DAO, they will be rewarded with the possibility of receiving money in NFTs through virtual-to-physical redemptions.
These are just a few punters to stress the impact of web3 and the metaverse on the future of work. By and large, this impact is already being felt in some workplaces and sooner rather than later, it will be felt across the board.
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