As much of the world is in the process of returning to the office, settling in for a full-time remote work career, or implementing a hybrid work arrangement, Google has announced a slew of new improvements to Google Workspace. Google made these improvements intending to ease workers into new hybrid work arrangements. The changes include the introduction of Spaces, which can be used to improve the experience of meeting with colleagues and further enhance collaboration in Workspace.
Introducing Spaces, a new way to enhance the hybrid work experience
To make hybrid work easier for all Google Workspace users, the company has gone live with Spaces, a new way for users to engage in discussions, share ideas, advance projects and build team culture in Workspace tools like Docs, Drive, Calendar, Meet, Tasks, Sheets and Slides. Spaces are accessible from Google Chat and will be replacing Rooms. Spaces lets users collaborate on projects, manage tasks and share ideas from a single location, allowing other team members to jump in at any time and get a full view of conversations, content, and contextual information they may have missed.
Spaces mean that nobody is left out of the loop and that the entire team can stay on the same page and work productively, no matter where they’re working from. The rollout of spaces promises to be a game changer for hybrid work teams, offering a centralized location for team members to access critical information about projects, contextual information, and could serve as an excellent tool for onboarding.
Improvements to Workspace make meetings easier for hybrid teams
In addition to offering a place for employees to collaborate, discuss and share ideas, Spaces also improves how hybrid teams approach meetings. Your employees can now set their working location for each day in their Google Calendar and indicate whether they’ll be working virtually or physically, making it easier for organizers to plan meetings with a mixture of in-person attendance and virtual attendance.
Another change to workspace is the introduction of Google Meet calls, which enables spontaneous connections between teammates, no matter where they’re working. Google Meet users will be able to initiate video and audio calls between one or more participants without creating a full structured meeting, matching the spontaneous nature of conversations at the watercooler or in the break room when the entire workforce was working from the office. These one-to-one calls will soon be launched in Google’s Gmail mobile app, allowing users to make and answer calls right from their inbox.
Workspace will also be rolling out Companion mode in Google Meet in just a few months. The new mode will allow users to host and join meetings from their office conference room using their computer while leveraging existing audio and video technology within the conference room. This will make it easier for teams to share content with remote colleagues or even view presentations from the comfort of the conference room, enjoying the same Google Meet capabilities they’ve come to know and love, including polls, Q&A’s, chat, whiteboards, and more. The announcement also saw several meeting and conferencing hardware reveals, going a long way to enhance the new Companion mode experience.
The future of Spaces looks bright
In the announcement, Sanaz Ahari Senior Director of Product Management at Google, made it very clear that Space will continue to evolve, with several new features to in the pipeline. Some of these features include:
- Streamlined navigation: A flexible user interface helps users easily access their inbox, chats, Spaces and meetings—all from a single location—so they can stay on top of everything that’s important.
- Discoverable Spaces: Spaces and their content can be made discoverable to all members of an organization, so other people can find and join the conversation. Administrators can also set discoverability as the default for their organization.
- Enhanced search: Allows users to easily find content from within and across Spaces, or even discover new Spaces to join. “Search everything” in Spaces opens up powerful new collaboration possibilities and makes it easier to access the team’s collective knowledge base.
- In-line topic threading: The ability to reply to any message within a Space fuels deeper discussions and collaboration across teams and organizations.
- Robust security & admin features: Tools for content moderation, managing Spaces, and establishing the right rules for healthy communication across domains and companies.
The introduction of Spaces and the improvements coming to Google Workspace make hybrid working even easier for organizations around the country and show Google’s continued dedication to offering the very best flexible work experience possible. If your business isn’t using Google Workspace to keep your team connected, there’s never been a better time to jump in than right now. UpCurve Cloud is a longtime Google Cloud Premier Partner with a full team of Google certified deployment engineers, consultants and trainers ready to help your organization make the most out of Google Workspace so your team can collaborate and communicate without limits.
For more information on how UpCurve Cloud can help connect your organization through Google Workspace, get in touch with us today.
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