What if the hybrid office isn’t real?

I’m sitting with three other people in a meeting room — warm wood-effect walls, scooped white leather chairs around an oval-shaped white table — next to a bank of floor-to-ceiling windows. We’re high up, although I couldn’t say what floor; the windows face a coastal city, all high-rises and sunny skies, beaches in the distance and turquoise blue water. Looking down at the cars and streets far, far below, I’m momentarily swayed by vertigo and decide that it would be better if I backed away.

Which I do with a click of the trigger on the handset connected to my Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality (VR) headset, my avatar landing in a safer spot on the other side of the table.

I am, obviously, not actually in an office high-rise somewhere sunny. My physical person is alone, sitting in my kitchen, in my house, in not-so-sunny Surrey, England. This meeting room, from the dust motes glinting in the sunlight to the vertigo-inducing view, is generated entirely in VR, the work of the virtual events and meetings platform Mesmerise.

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