Hybrid work continues to be a priority for businesses around the world, and Google Workspace is happy to oblige, as the tech giant has added even more hybrid work features to the productivity platform.
If you haven't heard the phrase “hybrid work” yet, you must be living under a rock with no WiFi connection. The growing trend of allowing employees a more flexible work schedule continues to gain traction, as the pandemic is still very much in the picture for everyday citizens.
Fortunately, many businesses have risen to the occasion, providing digital tools and online resources to ease the transition from office living to working from home, and Google Workspace represents one of the best.
Google Workspace Adds Hybrid Work Features
In a company blog post, Google announced that it would be adding a wide range of features to its Workspace platform, aimed at generally improving the user experience for anyone that may be working from home.
“Now, as many of our customers begin to embark on their own hybrid journeys, I wanted to share how we’re helping them bridge the gaps in this new way of working,” wrote Sanaz Ahari
Senior Director of Product Management at Google in the blog post.
With 77% of companies at least somewhat concerned about what employees want out of hybrid work, tools like Google Workspace continue to innovate in pursuit of the perfection solution. But what kind of features did the platform actually add?
What features were added to Google Workspace?
In service of a more compatible hybrid work environment, Google Workspace has added a wide range of features to its platform, including updates to Google Meet and Google Calendar, as well as the addition of a new “dedicated place for team collaboration” called Spaces.
According to Google, Spaces “are the central place for team collaboration in Workspace,” providing a simply way to stay connected, no matter where your team is logging in from.
From what we can tell, Spaces will be very similar to Slack, in that it will provide text and image threads throughout the platform that are easy to find and even easier to engage with. You'll be able to create specific threads for specific teams and topics, and easily reply to and tag specific employees for easier communication.
Even better, Spaces will allow for improved security, encrypting the content found within the platform and allowing for content moderation rules that will keep communication healthy and effective for your whole team.
Check out our Google Meet pricing guide for more info
Google Meet Updates
In addition to Spaces, Google Workspace is adding some updated functionality to Google Meet, its popular web conferencing tool. First off, Google Meet now allows for mobile and desktop calling to Workspace. This will allow for easy and spontaneous meetings to occur without the need to set up a whole meeting in the process.
“It’s not quite the same as a spontaneous hallway conversation, but it might be the next best thing in a hybrid setting.”
Additionally, Google has partnered with Avocor to bring some third-party video conferencing hardware options to its users. From interactive displays and video camera technology to mobile optimizing hardware that lets you start a meeting right from your phone, these tools are designed to keep remote works and in-office staff connected all day.
The Value of Hybrid Work Tools
Obviously hybrid work is here to stay, but the reality is that the average business wasn't — and potentially still isn't — prepared for this significant paradigm shift. Unfortunately, being slow to adapt could result in lost employees, lost revenue, and the worst case scenario, lost businesses.
That's where tools like Google Workspace are so valuable. They make it easy to accommodate your remote employees without isolating them from your company culture. Plus, with productivity at the core of each platform, you'll be able to provide the flexible schedule that top-tier employees want, while maintaining mental health and efficiency throughout the pandemic.
You have to have the right tools though. From project management software and CRM platforms to password managers and VPNs, you'll want to be sure that you have all your bases covered to avoid any hiccups.