Google Workspace May Soon Tell Your Coworkers Where You Are

If your company turns on the setting, your location and working hours will automatically be displayed on Google Calendar.
Isobel O'Sullivan

Google Workspace, the home of collaborative apps like Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Meets, has recently rolled out a brand new Working Location feature that might make sharing your working location and hours mandatory.

IT Admins already have access to the tool, which aims to improve location planning and meeting room management across companies.

But while the new Working Location setting is aimed to improve hybrid working coordination, will constantly requiring workers to disclose their whereabouts be one step too far for privacy-conscious employees?

Google Workspace Rolls Out New ‘Working Location' Setting

Formerly known as G Suite, Google Workspace is a collaboration platform that currently serves over three billion global users.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Google developers have strived to make its offerings more appropriate for remote and hybrid teams. Google Workspace's latest feature ‘Working Location,' is the latest example of this continued effort.

The new setting, which was released in a blog post by the company yesterday, allows companies to encourage, or require, members of staff to display their working location and hours across the platform. IT admins don't need to opt-in to the setting, but if they do this status will show up on a customizable banner on a user's Google Calendar.

Google claims that by giving companies the option to roll out this setting, it'll become easier to manage and coordinate remote teams and see where employees are tuning in to calls from. They also claim the banners are flexible, easy to customize, and are able to stay up for as long as the admins choose.

However, despite the clear benefits of this setting for managers and company administrators, for the 59% of employees that are already sick of employee surveillance, forcing them to disclose their location may further aggravate concerns around workplace privacy.

But whichever side of the fence you fall, is Google Workspace really the best solution for hybrid teams anyway?

Is Google Workspace the Best Collaboration Tool?

From Google Calendar and Sheets to Gmail and Meet, Google's list of workplace platforms is pretty exhaustive. The applications are familiar to use and scalable too, making the platform a safe bet for businesses of any size.

But while Google Workplace is well-loved in the business community, it's not the only workplace collaboration tool on the market. Microsoft 365 is another versatile suite of productivity apps that gives Google's package a run for its money.

When putting Microsoft 365 and Google Meets head to head, it's hard to pick a clear winner — with both platforms offering such strong collaboration features. If it's just video conferencing you're after though, we would rank Google Meet above Microsoft Teams, thanks to its better range of features and competitive pricing.

Google Meets and Microsoft Teams aren't the solutions out there, so read our breakdown of the best conference call services to discover what other options are available.

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Isobel is a writer at Tech.co with a wealth of experience covering business and technology news. Since specializing in Digital Anthropology at University College London (UCL), she’s been a regular contributor to Market Finance’s blog and has also spent time working as a freelance tech researcher. As a writer, Isobel takes a particular interest in issues regarding data security, social media, and emerging business technology.

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