Google Workspace Is Expanding With Several New Tools

All for the sake of an improved hybrid work environment

Updates are coming to Google Workspace and Meet, as well as a new Spaces feature, to try and make hybrid in-office/remote working conditions smoother for everyone.

First up is Spaces, which is a new, well...space that's intended to make it easier for teams to collaborate across different schedules and time zones. It's a bit like Slack, except with an intended focus on work and integration with other Google Workspace functions like Docs, Sheets, and Calendar.

Google updates

Google

Incidentally, Calendar is getting a new update that will let you set your location for the work day (Office or Home, for example). It a small thing but knowing where everyone is working from on a given day should make it easier to schedule meetings and accommodate attendees.

For more casual work-related exchanges, Google Meet calling is also being added to Workspace via the Gmail app. It'll be on mobile first, but the plan is to allow co-workers to spontaneously call each other and send notifications to whatever Gmail-using device they're working on.

Finally, there's Companion Mode, which is headed to Google Meet and is meant to make hybrid meetings feel less like in-office versus at-home exchanges.

"With Companion mode, I can host or join a meeting from within a conference room using my laptop while leveraging the in-room audio and video," said Sanaz Ahari, Google's Senior Director of Product Management, in the announcement.

Google Meet Companion Mode

Google

Spaces should be publicly available now and will be seeing several more updates in the future, and location settings in Calendar should also be available.

No specific timeline has been given for the expanded Google Meet calling functions, though. We do know that Google Meet's Companion Mode is planned to roll out this November, at least.

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