Google announces major updates to Workspace for hybrid work

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The new features aim to enhance hybrid work environments,with the goal to remove boundaries between coworkers.

Google unveiled a whole list of updates to its collaboration platform Workspace. The new functionalities seek to remove the boundaries between coworkers, regardless of their location. The company also announced an expanded Google Meet hardware portfolio. Another interesting addition was the new interoperability with other conference room solutions.

Cisco WebEx and Google Meet hardware will support each other

Google an Cisco seems to have made deal, that their video hardware will support each other services. Later this year it will be possible to do a Google Meet call on Cisco WebEx hardware, and do a WebEx call on Google Meet hardware. We think Google will gain a lot of users by making this deal.

Sanaz Ahari, Google’s Senior Director of Product Management, announced the updates in a blog post. “In June, we shared our vision for navigating the future of hybrid work with a single connected experience in Google Workspace,” he writes.

“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.”

Enhancing Spaces and Google Meet

First up in the order of new features is that Spaces are now live for all users. Spaces are unique in that they are tightly integrated with Google Workspace tools like Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Meet, and Tasks. They provide a way for users to engage in topic-based discussions. They help move projects forward and build communities and team culture.

Now, instead of starting an email chain or scheduling a video meeting, “teams can come together directly in a Space to move projects and topics along,” Ahari writes.

Google Meet is also getting a facelift. “With hybrid work, many teams—my own included—have locations and working hours that can change daily,” Ahari explains. “When many of us were together in the office, we might have tended to schedule meetings at a time that favored the ‘in-office majority,’ but now it’s especially important to schedule meetings that scale across the entire distributed team.”

Beyond indicating their virtual or physical presence when accepting meeting invites, team members can now set their location for each work day in Calendar. These two capabilities allow meeting organizers and on-site support teams to plan for the right mix of in-person and virtual attendance. They can also provide greater visibility and help set expectations across hybrid teams, Ahari says.

Accorsing to Ahari, “developing a “hybrid-first” mindset starts with the tools people use every day to connect, create, and collaborate.” He assures us that “Google Workspace will continue to play a crucial role in that evolution.”