INTERVIEW: The combination of human ingenuity and technology will define the future of work. So says Gastón Carrión, Managing Director – Talent & Organisation lead at Accenture in Asia-Pacific.
As part of an exclusive interview with Chief of Staff Asia, he predicts artificial intelligence, automation and other technologies will augment work and, in many ways, raise the bar for what people and businesses can do.
Carrión says the hybrid work model is appealing for many reasons, the main one being its ability to bring together the best of both these worlds.
Citing Accenture's Future of Work Study 2021, Carrión noted that hybrid work was most preferred because it gave people the choice to work remotely and go onsite whenever they are needed.
"The combination of the metaverse within the hybrid work model will help augment the virtual working experience for employees, creating more avenues for organisations to engage with their employees even on a virtual front," Carrión told Chief of Staff Asia.
The combination can ultimately lead to firms fully embracing the advantages offered by hybrid work, while minimising perceived drawbacks of the model by augmenting the ability to seamlessly meet, collaborate and network even when working remotely.
Metaverse and remote employees
Carrión believes that the metaverse will enhance virtual experiences for remote employees.
"Take Nth floor, Accenture's mixed reality platform as an example," Carrión says. "It is an experience that enables people to interact with each other in person, regardless of geographic separation. Employees can opt to use it to host virtual coffee breaks, conduct trainings, or host important all-hands meetings.
"It has become a versatile, customisable, and scalable solution for bringing a geographically distributed workforce together. In short, it helps our people to be there without physically being there."
The Nth floor is a virtual campus that Accenture uses as a virtual space for employees to gather and participate in community events.
"At the end of the day, working in the metaverse brings us one step closer to helping employees be productive anywhere. Organisations will need to start creating a work environment that is able to move with agility and flexibility," according to Carrión.
Carrión stressed the importance of building digital fluency across the organisation. He said everyone should undergo tailored skilling and learning paths to equip them with the needed digital skillsets to make the most of the metaverse and flourish in a new work environment.
Firms also need to consider whether their cloud and information technology infrastructure is adequately equipped to support the adoption of the metaverse.
"Businesses would also need to carefully consider the metaverse platform they will leverage, does it have the capabilities they are looking for, is it flexible, scalable, and adaptive? The journey towards leveraging the metaverse to its fullest potential can be daunting, we would recommend working with trusted consultants who have demonstrated capabilities in the space as doing so can help simplify and hasten the transition," Carrión said.
Metaverse and security
Privacy, safety and security are some challenges that firms must pay particular attention to in a metaverse environment, where people can meet and interact and where digital assets can be created, sold and purchased.
"Some of the technologies that help support metaverse environments such as 5G are more secure than their predecessors, but ultimately the user experience, safety, integrity and security offered differs based on the specific metaverse platform being used," Carrión said.
"The onus is on metaverse builders to address these concerns, and on companies to do their due diligence and testing prior to committing to leveraging metaverse solutions and platforms."
This feature was extracted from Chief of Staff Asia's exclusive interview with Gastón Carrión, Managing Director – Talent & Organisation, Asia Pacific lead at Accenture. For further coverage, please see any of the below links: