The changing nature of knowledge work creates demands for emerging technologies as enablers for workplace innovation. One emerging technology to potentially remedy some drawbacks of remote work arrangements are meta-verses that merge physical reality with digital virtuality. In the literature, such innovations in the knowledge work sector have been primarily examined against the backdrop of collaboration as a dependent variable. In this paper, however, we investigate knowledge work in meta-verses from a distraction-conflict perspective because independent, uninterrupted activities are as much characteristic of knowledge work as collaboration. Preliminary findings show that knowledge workers in meta-verses experience arousal from the 1) presence, appearance, and behaviour of other avatars, 2) realism, novelty, and affordances of the virtual environment, and 3) technological friction and navigation. This work has the theoretical implication that distraction-conflict theory must be extended to incorporate additional sources of arousal when applied to the context of knowledge work in meta-verses.
Marx, Julian; Rieskamp, Jonas; and Mirbabaie, Milad, "‘Just a Normal Day in the Metaverse’ – Distraction Conflicts of Knowledge Work in Virtual Environments" (2022). ACIS 2022 Proceedings. 86.