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Google Announces Hybrid Work Enhancements for Workspace

Posted September 8, 2021 | Cloud | Google | Google Meet | Google Workspace | Microsoft 365 | Windows


Today, Google announced a set of coming updates to its Microsoft 365 competitor, called Google Workspace.

“In June, we shared our vision for navigating the future of hybrid work with a single connected experience in Google Workspace,” Google’s Sanaz Ahari writes in the announcement post. “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.”

Here are the announcements:

Spaces improvements. Spaces is Google’s team collaboration solution, and it will be augmented in the coming months with improved navigation, discovery configuration, enhanced search, in-line topic threading, and new security and admin features.

Hybrid work improvements. With more and more companies supporting remote workers, Google Workspace users will soon be able to indicate their virtual or physical presence when accepting meeting invites. Google Meet is being updated to support one-on-one team chats in the Gmail mobile app. And a new Meet feature called Companion mode will roll lout in November, letting users host or join a meeting from a conference room while using a laptop and leveraging the in-room audio and video, without any awkward audio feedback.

New first-party meeting hardware. Google announced two new all-in-one video conferencing devices that it says will complement its Series One Room Kits. The Series One Desk 27 is an all-in-one 27-inch device designed for small shared spaces in the office or at home. And the Series One Board 65 is an all-in-one 65-inch 4K device that can be paired with an optional stand to turn any space into a video collaboration hub. Both feature a built-in Jamboard app and both can be used as an external display.

New third-party hardware. Google also announced new third-party Meet devices that are coming soon, including the Logitech Rally Bar Mini and Rally Bar, and the Rayz Rally Pro, a new mobile device speaker dock.

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