Tech & Space
June 10, 2024
Less than
min read

From Furniture to Avatars: Ikea Explores Employment in the Metaverse

Ikea's recent announcement to hire salespeople to work exclusively in the virtual world of Roblox raises questions about the future of work in the metaverse.
From Furniture to Avatars: Ikea Explores Employment in the Metaverse
Jueun Song - Unsplash

Ikea's recent job posting for salespeople to work exclusively within the virtual world of Roblox has raised eyebrows and sparked curiosity. The Swedish furniture retailer is offering a competitive salary of 14.8 euros per hour for ten fixed-term positions, mirroring the income of employees in physical stores.

This unconventional move has led to speculation about the emergence of a job market in the metaverse. While some see it as a potential trendsetter, experts believe it's primarily a marketing ploy. Ikea, known for its innovative approach, is leveraging this opportunity to showcase its brand and experiment with new technologies in the virtual realm.

Ikea's foray into the virtual world isn't entirely surprising, given its history of embracing technological advancements. The company was an early adopter of augmented reality, integrating QR codes into its catalogs to allow customers to visualise furniture in their homes.

However, the prospect of a massive influx of jobs into virtual worlds remains uncertain. While the metaverse is evolving, widespread adoption and a flourishing job market are still years away. Experts predict that significant growth in virtual employment opportunities won't materialize for at least a decade. The metaverse needs to achieve seamless integration with the real world and offer compelling value propositions to attract users and businesses alike.

Within Roblox itself, a vast array of virtual worlds exists, each with varying degrees of popularity. Some worlds are sparsely populated, while others boast hundreds of thousands of users. Interestingly, the most successful virtual spaces aren't always those created by well-established brands. Companies like Walmart and Gucci have launched experiences on Roblox with limited success, while Nike has managed to leverage the platform effectively.

Ikea's strategy of targeting the predominantly young demographic on Roblox is a clever way to engage with its future customer base. By offering paid positions in the virtual world, Ikea is not only testing the waters of virtual employment but also garnering valuable insights into the preferences and behaviors of its target audience.

The success of this initiative remains to be seen. Whether the response is overwhelming or underwhelming, the interest in these virtual job offers will shed light on the potential for employment within the metaverse. Ikea's experiment may be a small step, but it could pave the way for a future where virtual work becomes a significant part of the employment landscape.

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