SAN FRANCISCO: Google on Wednesday ramped up cloud collaboration tools for businesses, expecting “hybrid” work routines to remain even after the pandemic has ended.
The internet titan competes with Microsoft, Zoom, Facebook and others with online services that employees can use to collaborate remotely.
Tech giants turned to their own tools after abandoning campuses early in the pandemic, which fueled a fierce remote work trend.
“We’ve seen a radical transformation, and a lot of that transformation is here to stay,” Google product management director Dave Citron said during a briefing on new Workspace offerings.
“But I think it is too early to say that the 40-hour work week in a cubicle is permanently dead across all industries and regions.”
Major tech companies themselves have postponed workers returning to offices and expect the new norm to become “hybrid” routines that mix being on-site with working remotely.
Google said it has created a hybrid work handbook for how to take advantage of tools, as well as software for employees to conduct efficient meetings no matter where they are working from.
“We’re really excited to bring this to our customers to give them some best practices as they’re working to redesign their offices,” Citron said.
Google also announced enhancements to its Workspace portfolio that integrate the tech giant’s apps for meetings, email, calendars, documents, chat and more.
“As some people return to the office, teams need that ability to flexibly collaborate from anywhere, anytime,” said Workspace senior director of product management Sanaz Ahari.
“The innovations we’re bringing to customers today help bridge the gaps of virtual and in-person collaboration.”
Workspace added a dedicated online venue for working on projects, and unveiled interactive Series One displays designed specifically for conferencing.
An all-in-one desktop model of Series One was priced at $2,000, while a larger model designed for conference rooms was priced at $7,000.
“Based on the price points, we think the vast amount of the customers will be companies buying it for their employees,” Citron said.