Google today announced a series of updates that build upon its vision to deliver a single, integrated communication and collaboration solution to everyone via Google Workspace.
Now, all of the company’s three billion-plus existing users across consumer, enterprise, and education have access to the full Google Workspace experience, including Gmail, Chat, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Meet and more.
In addition to offering Google Workspace to everyone, the company announced new innovations that address the specific challenges and opportunities of the hybrid work world:
– The evolution of Rooms in Google Chat to Spaces
– A new individual subscription offer: Google Workspace Individual
– New enhancements to Google Meet that enable collaboration equity
– New security and privacy capabilities across Google Workspace
“Collaboration doesn’t stop at the workplace — our products have been optimized for broad participation, sharing and helpfulness since the beginning,” said Javier Soltero, VP and GM, Google Workspace. “Our focus is on delivering consumers, workers, teachers and students alike an equitable approach to collaboration, while still providing flexibility that allows these different subsets of users to take their own approach to communication and collaboration.”
“Ensuring that workers have access to best of breed collaboration tools and information, regardless of location, is a top priority for every company, especially as they navigate a return to the physical office,” said Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst, Moor Insights & Strategy. “With this update, Google Workspace is creating a new competitive advantage by optimizing for a single, connected experience across its products that it is extending to consumers and individual business owners, to align with the experience that its enterprise and education subscribers benefit from today.”
Google Workspace for everyone
Every day, the world’s most innovative companies, schools and nonprofits use Google Workspace to transform how people work and achieve more together. It’s a daily part of how leading healthcare providers revolutionize patient care, schools turn remote learning into an immersive, personalized experience, and aerospace companies rethink flight. Starting today, Google Workspace is available to anyone with a Google account, meaning friends, family, or groups of any kind can stay connected, work together, and share helpful information in a single space. For example, you can organize a junior sports league with ease, take that fundraiser to the next level, or even turn a hobby into a business.
Starting today, users can enable the integrated experience in Google Workspace by turning on Google Chat in Gmail.
A new place to bring projects to life by connecting the right content, people, and conversations in new and powerful ways
With the introduction of Spaces, the Rooms experience in Google Chat will evolve into a dedicated place for organizing people, topics, and projects in Google Workspace. Over the summer, we’ll evolve Rooms to become Spaces and launch a streamlined and flexible user interface that helps teams and individuals stay on top of everything that’s important.
Powered by new features like in-line topic threading, presence indicators, custom statuses, expressive reactions, and a collapsible view, Spaces will seamlessly integrate with files and tasks, becoming a new home in Google Workspace for getting more done–together. Spaces will also provide a place to fuel knowledge sharing and community building for teams of all sizes, where all the relevant information, conversations, and files for a project can be organized, and where topics—even at the organization level—can be intelligently moderated. With the ability to pin messages where everyone can see them, Spaces will play a crucial role in helping people stay connected and informed.
Learn more about Google’s vision for collaborating in Spaces.
A new individual subscription offer: Google Workspace Individual
Google Workspace is also launching Workspace Individual, a powerful, easy-to-use solution that was built to help individual business owners grow, run, and protect their business. This new subscription offering provides premium capabilities, including smart booking services, professional video meetings and personalized email marketing, with much more on the way. Within their existing Google account, subscribers can easily manage all their personal and professional commitments from one place with access to Google support to get the most out of their solution.
Workspace Individual is rolling out soon to six markets, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Brazil and Japan.
A single, connected experience
As businesses move to a hybrid work environment, the importance of creating secure collaboration spaces and fostering human connection has never been more important. Because Google Workspace was designed to fuel anywhere, anytime collaboration, it’s now helping millions of organizations navigate the challenges and opportunities of the newly emerging work model. Customers are using Google Workspace to rethink virtual meetings, provide people with modern tools to stay connected and manage their time and attention, and double down on security and privacy. In countless ways, Google Workspace was built for this moment.
New enhancements to Google Meet that enable collaboration equity
As businesses begin their return to the office, Google Workspace is announcing new innovations that enable collaboration equity—the ability to contribute equally, regardless of location, role, experience level, language, and device preference.
Companion Mode in Google Meet: Companion Mode gives every meeting participant, no matter where they are, access to interactive features and controls like polls, in-meeting chat, hand raising, Q&A, live captions, and more. Colleagues who are in the same meeting room together will enable Companion Mode on their personal devices, giving them their own video tile in Meet and helping them to stay connected with their remote teammates. Companion Mode will be available on the web and Google Meet’s upcoming progressive web app in September, and it will be coming soon to mobile.
New Calendar RSVP options: To allow meeting organizers to better plan for hybrid meetings, invitees will soon be able to RSVP with their join location, indicating whether they’ll be joining in a meeting room or remotely.
Enhancements to Google Meet hardware: Starting in September, Google Workspace is enabling new interactive features, including the hand-raise feature and the ability to get notifications from polls and Q&As, on all devices that run Google Meet. This includes devices from large scale meeting room systems such as Series One to companion devices like the Nest Hub Max.
New controls to make meetings safe and secure: Next month, Google will introduce key moderation controls for hosts of Google Meet meetings, giving them the ability to prevent the use of in-meeting chat and prohibit presenting during meetings, allowing them to mute and unmute participants.
New innovations to support trusted hybrid collaboration in Google Workspace
As organizations explore new ways for their teams to collaborate securely in a hybrid work world, Google is introducing several ways that it’s strengthening this foundation in Google Workspace.
Client-side encryption will help customers strengthen the confidentiality of their data while addressing a range of data sovereignty and compliance needs. It will also strengthen meeting security when it comes to Google Meet this fall.
Trust rules for Drive, which help control how files can be shared within and outside an organization.
Drive labels, which classify files and apply controls based on their sensitivity levels.
Enhanced phishing and malware protections to help safeguard against insider threats and user error.
“Google Workspace offers a solid strategy and differentiated approach to secure collaboration that focuses on the end user experience,” said Phil Hochmuth, Program Vice President, Enterprise Mobility at IDC. “With Client-side encryption, Google Workspace offers enterprises confidentiality of their data as now only they own the keys to their content and a solution for mobile workers, which shows that Google Workspace understands the need for a trusted cloud.”