While even experts have a hard time agreeing on a succinct definition for the current-generation metaverse that encompasses all its possible areas of use, it will likely remain one of the biggest tech buzzwords for the years to come, touching upon our daily lives in a variety of ways. Therefore it comes as no surprise that 51 percent of Gen Z respondents to the annual Work Trend Index survey by Microsoft thought that they would do at least part of their work in a metaverse environment in the next two years. Even the baby boomer generation sees this as a possibility, as our chart indicates.

28 percent of the age cohort born between the mid-40s and mid-60s of the 20th century agree that they'll work inside the metaverse at least in part in the near future, with 37 percent of Gen X respondents and 48 percent of Millenials sharing the same sentiment. Interestingly, only 16 percent of all 31,102 participants surveyed by Edelman Data x Intelligence for Microsoft don't see themselves working in the metaverse in any capacity in the future.

While some areas of society are still heavily based on physical presence and interaction, the road towards a virtual work environment is shorter than these 16 percent might think. With the advent of the coronavirus pandemic, a large number of office jobs shifted towards a remote or hybrid work model, further incorporating digital-first solutions like collaboration in the cloud or communication platforms like Slack or Microsoft's own Teams into their workflows. As data from the same survey shows, the latter has seen an enormous uptake across the board: Between March 2020 and February 2022, the number of meetings per person via its Microsoft 365 platform increased by 153 percent and the number of chats per person grew by 32 percent.

A chart showing the share of respondents envisioning partly working in the metaverse in the near future by generation

51% of Gen Z respondents envision partly working in the metaverse in the near future