depo consulting ltd have appointed Marissa Meltzer as their first virtual consultant, and possibly the world’s first. She will be working from depo’s office in Second Life, the virtual world that has been attracting a lot of interest from businesses worldwide.

Marissa will be running the depo office from 3 to 5pm each day, providing a point of contact to visitors to the consultancy. She will also be helping business people find their feet in the new environment with advice and even free clothes.

She is employed in Second Life and will be paid in the local currency – Linden Dollars. All her work for depo will be in the virtual world.

The appointment of virtual staff has raised some interesting questions for both human resources and finance. It is far from clear as to where a virtual employee actually works – and which country’s employment law and regulations apply to the contract.

depo are occupying a temporary office whilst their new building is being designed by a real-life New York Architect whose portfolio includes an apartment for Michael Stipe of REM fame and a private cinema for Woody Allen.

Says Peter Dunkley of depo, “Although large businesses are moving onto Second Life in increasing numbers, we feel that they are missing a real opportunity by not actually manning their offices and shops. Second Life is not the Internet, it’s a social environment and to make the most of the opportunities you have to be there.

We are hoping to extend the office hours, but we want to make an absolute commitment to regular opening hours in the short term.

We mentioned on our website that we were looking for virtual staff, and were thrilled when Marissa got in touch. She has experience in consultancy as well as a great background in customer service, so she is ideal to be the face of depo in the virtual environment.

Says Marissa Meltzer of depo, “I’ve found Second Life to be fascinating and am thrilled to be one of the pioneers. As a mother, working in a virtual office has real benefits – and I’m really looking forward to meeting the visitors to the depo office and working with them to develop this new world.”

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About depo consulting ltd
Founded in 2001, depo consulting has offices in South Northants, the Cotswolds and now on Second Life. It is a consultancy that focuses on the commercialisation of websites and the use of the Internet to drive revenues and profitability.

Peter Dunkley
07713 795563 ||

Published on: 12:00AM on 5th December 2006