Google Workspace picks up new features designed for remote work

Google is including a smattering of new features to Google Workspace today, together with new instruments for categorizing your focus time in Google Calendar and Chat, higher methods to affix Google Meet videoconferences with a number of gadgets, and a model of its workplace suite for frontline staff. It’s additionally taking Google Assistant for Workspace out of beta and making it typically accessible.

The corporate is making an attempt to categorize these features as a part of a new push for what it calls “collaboration fairness.” For Google, it’s a high-minded approach of explaining the instruments it’s making an attempt to create so individuals working from residence should not put at an obstacle in comparison with individuals working from an workplace (when persons are allowed again into places of work, that’s).

The concept comes closest to hitting that mark is Google’s instruments for setting your standing throughout its suite of merchandise. Along with setting up out-of-office and dealing hours, customers can even be capable of create a new occasion kind known as Focus Time. If you set up a block of Focus Time, Google says it is going to restrict “notifications throughout these occasion home windows.” You may also set your location, letting co-workers get a greater sense of your availability and time zone.

The hot button is that Workspace’s varied instruments like Gmail and Chat will pay attention to your present standing and placement and regulate your notifications to swimsuit. It’s not almost the best common standing indicator, but it surely’s a step in the precise route — so long as you reside largely in Google Workspace and aren’t mixing in different instruments like Slack.


The new varieties of statuses on the calendar additionally permit Google to make a type of work-focused “time properly spent” chart, solely this one reveals how a lot time you’re losing in conferences each week. Google says this “Time Insights” breakdown will solely be accessible to staff, not their bosses.

Google Calendar Time Insights

Google Calendar Time InsightsGoogle

Google is introducing “second-screen experiences” for Google Meet. It basically permits individuals to log in to a gathering from a number of gadgets, making it simpler to share screens (or get different work performed) with out the assembly taking up your complete laptop computer. The thought is that residence staff may use a Google Nest Hub Max or their telephone to log in to the assembly but in addition nonetheless be capable of current from their major pc.

On telephones, Google Meet is selecting up a cellular tile view for video calls, picture-in-picture assist, and split-screen. It’s not clear whether or not these instruments will work throughout each Android and iOS.

Google can also be constructing up its lower-cost Google Workspace Essentials offering with assist for Chat, Jamboard, and Calendar — all of which had been bizarre omissions at launch.

Lastly, Google says it’s launching “Google Workspace Frontline,” which it calls a “customized answer” for frontline staff. It appears to be a simplified approach for directors to configure a Google Workspace setup for staff in retail or within the area. It should additionally make it attainable to create AppSheet apps (easy, form-based apps) inside Google Sheets.

Put collectively, the set of function updates Google is asserting right this moment appear largely designed to make conferences both much less painful (as a result of you may extra simply multitask throughout them) or simpler to keep away from (as a result of you may set up Focus Time and likewise uncover how a lot time you’ve given away within the Time Insights sidebar).

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