Google Adds New Tools For Remote Workers
This week Google announced new productivity features designed for people working remotely, as companies worldwide consider keeping their pandemic-prompted work-from-home arrangements as a permanent fixture.
The way of the future is revealing itself to be more about telecommuting and virtual work. In December 2020, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the company was considering a hybrid work model, in which people work in the office for at least three days, while working the other days remotely.
The new tools are for Google Workspace, a suite of apps and services meant for corporate customers and other organisations.
Google says its new integrated set of features will help people easily “share their work hours and location, while also finding more time to focus on what matters most.”
It will include features such as segmented working hours, which lets people list their specific working hours when they’re juggling different personal commitments, and there will be location indicators if employees want to share their availability and location with their colleagues. Another feature is recurring out-of-office messages, which can let people know whether you’re physically in the office or not.
There will also be a new event option called Focus Time, where users set limit notifications for the duration of the event in order to minimise distractions. These availability and location indicators will all show up seamlessly across Google Workspace.
Another new addition will be Time Insights, where users will be able to view how they use their time – the results of which will only be visible to the employee, not their manager. It’s designed not for surveillance but to help users assess how they’re spending their time for their own task management.