Google will update its productivity software, Workspace, so that frontline employees —retail and healthcare — and remote workers can be served better, given that the pandemic has changed the way of working for good.
The updated version of Workspace, which was earlier known as G Suite, will allow companies to ensure better collaboration and communication with their staff using mobile phones.
This version will integrate with Google’s digital voice assistant and will be capable of allowing employees to set and follow unique working hours.
Google is working towards making its productivity tools range, including Gmail, Meet videoconferencing and Docs word processing, essential to businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic. The remote working culture has resulted in the blurring of professional and domestic boundaries and has witnessed employees following unusual work hours and other flexible arrangements.
Instead of seeing all the pandemic-induced changes at the workplace as unwanted disruptions, Google hopes to see them as opportunities to improve the future of work.
The new version of Workspace will alert employees if they try to connect with a colleague who is not on online or resting, and suggest that they time the message or an e-mail to try connecting with the person when she or he is back online.
It offers options to reduce distractions for specific time periods, share locations with colleagues, and also set regular out-of-office messages. Google Assistant will be integrated with corporate Workspace accounts, allowing employees to send messages and check calendars using their voice.
Workspace has over two billion users, and is available free of cost to individuals. However, Google charges business customers and other organisations that sign up for paid accounts.