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HOW TO USE META’S HORIZON
WORKROOMS FOR BUSINESS
© 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
HOW TO USE META’S HORIZON WORKROOMS FOR
BUSINESS
Horizon Workrooms is Meta's virtual working platform. In this post, we explore how
businesses can use it and discuss whether it’s time to move our meetings from video
calls to the metaverse.
© 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
We’ve heard a great deal about what the metaverse is, or will one day be, over the
past year. But there are already a number of ways to engage with this potentially
world-changing technology today.
Horizon Workrooms is Meta’s (formerly Facebook) virtual office and meeting room
environment, designed as the first step towards building an “enterprise metaverse”
where teams can collaborate and work together in immersive, virtual reality (VR)
environments.
© 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
But what is it actually like to use, and what can you do there? In this post, I take a look
at the features and functionality that are available through this early attempt at
creating a metaverse working environment.
Before we start, I’ll say that it will probably come as no surprise to hear that not every
company is ready to jump feet-first into Meta’s vision for the future of work.
And it’s equally true that Meta isn’t ready for every company to jump onto its
platform, either. But if you’re interested in getting a sneak peek at one vision of how
we may be working and collaborating in the near future, then read on.
© 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
WHAT IS HORIZON AND WORKROOMS?
The simplest way to describe it is that Horizon is Facebook’s (as the company was called when it first
launched) first attempt at creating a VR metaverse environment based around the Oculus range of
headsets. When Facebook purchased the headset maker way back in 2014, it was seen as the first
indication that it considered VR to be the future of social media.
If the metaverse concept is built around the idea that we will be able to do everything we can do in
the real world, but online, on one platform, then Workrooms is where we will go to do our jobs. While
most of the Horizon platform is currently focused on socializing, events and gaming, Workrooms is
where Mark Zuckerberg hopes we will go when it’s time to get our heads down and do some work.
© 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
Another fundamental idea behind the metaverse concept is that we will move smoothly from one
activity to another within the same platform. This means that whether we are working in
Workrooms or taking in a music or comedy show in one of the other areas of Horizon, we will be
represented by our Meta avatar and will navigate the experience with similar environmental rules
and user interfaces.
Having said that, Meta has stated that it plans to soon allow users to segment their online identity
between work and play – so we will, for example, be able to identify ourselves by a different user
name and potentially different avatar depending on what activities we are taking part in.
© 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The first thing to note is that Meta’s Horizon Workrooms is very much a "work in
progress," with many of the features still under development or not implemented in a
final form.
In other words, if it’s still around in five years’ time – which is heavily dependent, I
would assume, on how many businesses decide to work with it now – it will probably
look and act completely differently than it does today.
© 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
WHAT DO I NEED TO USE WORKROOMS?
To use most of the functionality in Workrooms you will need a Meta Quest 2 VR headset,
although some basic functionality, such as joining video calls, is now available on desktop.
Meta has said that users will be able to access Workrooms (and Horizon) through mobile
and desktop clients sometime soon.
You will also need a Meta account – originally, users were required to log in through a
Facebook account, but the new Meta accounts launched this summer mean we can now
keep our Facebook data and our VR (including Workrooms) data entirely separate, which
of course is a good thing from a privacy and data protection point of view.
© 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
If you have all of that, all that’s left is to log into your Meta account on your Quest 2
headset, download the Workrooms app and jump in.
© 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
WHAT CAN I DO THERE?
Within the Workrooms environment, everyone gets a personal virtual office, where
they can access their actual real-world computer within a VR environment using the
Meta Quest Remote Desktop app.
They can also host and join virtual meetings, by inviting other users to form groups.
Within meetings, users can share their computer screens with each other – to share
presentations or any projects they are working on, for example.
© 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
They can also collaborate via a persistent virtual whiteboard. This means that when
users leave the meeting room and return to it, they will find it as they left it unless the
host deletes it.
It's also possible to arrange and schedule meetings via familiar office tools like Microsoft
Outlook and Google Calendar and to host people without VR headsets in meetings by
inviting them to log in through a web app.
© 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
WHY SHOULD I USE HORIZON WORKROOMS?
To many, this is probably the big question.
Firstly, the immersive nature of VR is designed to help teams that work remotely from each
other to communicate and collaborate more effectively than is possible using traditional
remote working tools, such as video conferencing.
© 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
VR headset tracking features mean that avatars are able to express themselves with
hand movements, body language, and facial expressions. Even a simple factor, such as
the ability to see who someone is looking at while they are talking in a group
environment, makes the conversation more immersive. As a result, the theory goes
working as a team on collaborative projects becomes more intuitive and productive.
However, there are certainly downsides.
© 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
Critics have pointed out that the graphical environments currently used in most metaverse platforms,
Workrooms included, are not exactly sophisticated. Currently, they lag far behind the state-of-the-art
in computer graphics, which users may be used to experiencing in video games or movies. This can
certainly have the effect of dampening the immersiveness.
It can also be impractical and uncomfortable to expect people to work for lengthy periods of time with
large and fairly weighty plastic headsets strapped to their faces. However, headsets are evolving fast,
and within a decade, I expect most of them to be as comfortable as wearing a pair of glasses.
© 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
Taking everything into consideration, I would say that all of this means that Horizon
Workrooms is certainly not for everybody or for every organization right now.
Those most likely to benefit are those with a real and defined need, in line with their
core business objectives, for enabling remote, collaborative working.
© 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
Looking beyond that, it may simply be that you are interested in preparing yourself, your
team, or your organization for the future of work.
As a way of researching what work might be like in five or ten years’ time, tools like
Workrooms provide a fascinating glimpse into one possible version of the future. If you
want to be prepared, then now is certainly a good time to start familiarizing yourself with
the tools, technologies, and principles of the metaverse – even if it probably isn’t quite
time for most of us to move our offices there full-time, just yet.
© 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
To stay on top of the latest on new and emerging business and tech trends,
make sure to subscribe to my newsletter, follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, and
YouTube, and check out my books ‘Tech Trends in Practice’ and ‘Business
Trends in Practice, which just won the 2022 Business Book of the Year award.
© 2021 Bernard Marr , Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
Bernard Marr is an internationally best-selling author, popular keynote speaker,
futurist, and a strategic business & technology advisor to governments and
companies. He helps organisations improve their business performance, use data
more intelligently, and understand the implications of new technologies such as
artificial intelligence, big data, blockchains, and the Internet of Things.
LinkedIn has ranked Bernard as one of the world’s top 5 business influencers. He is
a frequent contributor to the World Economic Forum and writes a regular column for
Forbes. Every day Bernard actively engages his 1.5 million social media followers
and shares content that reaches millions of readers.
hello@bernardmarr.com
www.bernardmarr.com

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How To Use Meta’s Horizon Workrooms For Business

  • 1. HOW TO USE META’S HORIZON WORKROOMS FOR BUSINESS
  • 2. © 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved HOW TO USE META’S HORIZON WORKROOMS FOR BUSINESS Horizon Workrooms is Meta's virtual working platform. In this post, we explore how businesses can use it and discuss whether it’s time to move our meetings from video calls to the metaverse.
  • 3. © 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved We’ve heard a great deal about what the metaverse is, or will one day be, over the past year. But there are already a number of ways to engage with this potentially world-changing technology today. Horizon Workrooms is Meta’s (formerly Facebook) virtual office and meeting room environment, designed as the first step towards building an “enterprise metaverse” where teams can collaborate and work together in immersive, virtual reality (VR) environments.
  • 4. © 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved But what is it actually like to use, and what can you do there? In this post, I take a look at the features and functionality that are available through this early attempt at creating a metaverse working environment. Before we start, I’ll say that it will probably come as no surprise to hear that not every company is ready to jump feet-first into Meta’s vision for the future of work. And it’s equally true that Meta isn’t ready for every company to jump onto its platform, either. But if you’re interested in getting a sneak peek at one vision of how we may be working and collaborating in the near future, then read on.
  • 5. © 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved WHAT IS HORIZON AND WORKROOMS? The simplest way to describe it is that Horizon is Facebook’s (as the company was called when it first launched) first attempt at creating a VR metaverse environment based around the Oculus range of headsets. When Facebook purchased the headset maker way back in 2014, it was seen as the first indication that it considered VR to be the future of social media. If the metaverse concept is built around the idea that we will be able to do everything we can do in the real world, but online, on one platform, then Workrooms is where we will go to do our jobs. While most of the Horizon platform is currently focused on socializing, events and gaming, Workrooms is where Mark Zuckerberg hopes we will go when it’s time to get our heads down and do some work.
  • 6. © 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved Another fundamental idea behind the metaverse concept is that we will move smoothly from one activity to another within the same platform. This means that whether we are working in Workrooms or taking in a music or comedy show in one of the other areas of Horizon, we will be represented by our Meta avatar and will navigate the experience with similar environmental rules and user interfaces. Having said that, Meta has stated that it plans to soon allow users to segment their online identity between work and play – so we will, for example, be able to identify ourselves by a different user name and potentially different avatar depending on what activities we are taking part in.
  • 7. © 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved HOW DOES IT WORK? The first thing to note is that Meta’s Horizon Workrooms is very much a "work in progress," with many of the features still under development or not implemented in a final form. In other words, if it’s still around in five years’ time – which is heavily dependent, I would assume, on how many businesses decide to work with it now – it will probably look and act completely differently than it does today.
  • 8. © 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved WHAT DO I NEED TO USE WORKROOMS? To use most of the functionality in Workrooms you will need a Meta Quest 2 VR headset, although some basic functionality, such as joining video calls, is now available on desktop. Meta has said that users will be able to access Workrooms (and Horizon) through mobile and desktop clients sometime soon. You will also need a Meta account – originally, users were required to log in through a Facebook account, but the new Meta accounts launched this summer mean we can now keep our Facebook data and our VR (including Workrooms) data entirely separate, which of course is a good thing from a privacy and data protection point of view.
  • 9. © 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved If you have all of that, all that’s left is to log into your Meta account on your Quest 2 headset, download the Workrooms app and jump in.
  • 10. © 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved WHAT CAN I DO THERE? Within the Workrooms environment, everyone gets a personal virtual office, where they can access their actual real-world computer within a VR environment using the Meta Quest Remote Desktop app. They can also host and join virtual meetings, by inviting other users to form groups. Within meetings, users can share their computer screens with each other – to share presentations or any projects they are working on, for example.
  • 11. © 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved They can also collaborate via a persistent virtual whiteboard. This means that when users leave the meeting room and return to it, they will find it as they left it unless the host deletes it. It's also possible to arrange and schedule meetings via familiar office tools like Microsoft Outlook and Google Calendar and to host people without VR headsets in meetings by inviting them to log in through a web app.
  • 12. © 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved WHY SHOULD I USE HORIZON WORKROOMS? To many, this is probably the big question. Firstly, the immersive nature of VR is designed to help teams that work remotely from each other to communicate and collaborate more effectively than is possible using traditional remote working tools, such as video conferencing.
  • 13. © 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved VR headset tracking features mean that avatars are able to express themselves with hand movements, body language, and facial expressions. Even a simple factor, such as the ability to see who someone is looking at while they are talking in a group environment, makes the conversation more immersive. As a result, the theory goes working as a team on collaborative projects becomes more intuitive and productive. However, there are certainly downsides.
  • 14. © 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved Critics have pointed out that the graphical environments currently used in most metaverse platforms, Workrooms included, are not exactly sophisticated. Currently, they lag far behind the state-of-the-art in computer graphics, which users may be used to experiencing in video games or movies. This can certainly have the effect of dampening the immersiveness. It can also be impractical and uncomfortable to expect people to work for lengthy periods of time with large and fairly weighty plastic headsets strapped to their faces. However, headsets are evolving fast, and within a decade, I expect most of them to be as comfortable as wearing a pair of glasses.
  • 15. © 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved Taking everything into consideration, I would say that all of this means that Horizon Workrooms is certainly not for everybody or for every organization right now. Those most likely to benefit are those with a real and defined need, in line with their core business objectives, for enabling remote, collaborative working.
  • 16. © 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved Looking beyond that, it may simply be that you are interested in preparing yourself, your team, or your organization for the future of work. As a way of researching what work might be like in five or ten years’ time, tools like Workrooms provide a fascinating glimpse into one possible version of the future. If you want to be prepared, then now is certainly a good time to start familiarizing yourself with the tools, technologies, and principles of the metaverse – even if it probably isn’t quite time for most of us to move our offices there full-time, just yet.
  • 17. © 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved To stay on top of the latest on new and emerging business and tech trends, make sure to subscribe to my newsletter, follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube, and check out my books ‘Tech Trends in Practice’ and ‘Business Trends in Practice, which just won the 2022 Business Book of the Year award.
  • 18. © 2021 Bernard Marr , Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved Bernard Marr is an internationally best-selling author, popular keynote speaker, futurist, and a strategic business & technology advisor to governments and companies. He helps organisations improve their business performance, use data more intelligently, and understand the implications of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, blockchains, and the Internet of Things. LinkedIn has ranked Bernard as one of the world’s top 5 business influencers. He is a frequent contributor to the World Economic Forum and writes a regular column for Forbes. Every day Bernard actively engages his 1.5 million social media followers and shares content that reaches millions of readers.