Working with remote and in-office colleagues? Learn how to thrive in hybrid work environments.

How to thrive in hybrid work environments

Google Workspace has everything you need to get work done in hybrid environments

How we work has changed.

We don’t just work in office buildings or from home anymore. Teams of all sizes are connecting, creating, and collaborating in distributed, hybrid work environments: on any device, at any time, from any location. 

Use these resources to thrive, wherever you are and however you work, using Google Workspace.


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Bridge gaps between in person and “somewhere else” using Meet


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Collaborate on a project using Chat


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Manage your schedule and time using Calendar


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Support your well-being using Meet, Calendar, and Gmail

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1. Bridge gaps between in person and “somewhere else” using Meet 

When people you work with are physically located in different offices, cities, or regions, Google Meet video meetings help bridge the gap. 

Use Meet for face-to-face video calls

  • Minimize audio distractions—To minimize distractions, mute your audio when you’re not talking, or make sure noise cancelation is turned on. Learn how to control your audio in meetings.
  • Use captions—Participants who are unable to hear the meeting can turn on captions. Captions show what’s being said in the meeting as text at bottom of the screen, making meetings more accessible and inclusive. Learn how to use captions.
  • Add your location when responding to a meeting invite—Let participants know if you’ll be attending a meeting from a meeting room in the office or joining virtually. Knowing where people are joining from helps presenters include all participants in the meeting. Learn how to add your location when you respond to invites.
  • Use companion mode—When you join from meeting rooms using audio and video systems, such as Nest Hub Max, use companion mode. Companion mode lets you seamlessly join a meeting on your personal device, in addition to meeting-room systems. Watch presentations up close, send chat messages to participants, vote on polls, or post a question in Q&A, just as if you joined from a remote location. Learn about companion mode.

Share real-time ideas and feedback in video meetings

  • Start a Google Jamboard for group collaboration—A Jamboard is a virtual whiteboard where you can brainstorm live with others. Learn how to use a Jamboard in meetings.
  • Use hand raising—Encourage participants to use hand-raising to keep your meeting on track. Especially if you’re remote, hand raising lets you cue others that you’d like to speak. Hand raising also helps you avoid interrupting a presentation. Learn how to raise your hand in meetings.
  • Use breakout rooms—Divide a large group into subgroups, or breakout rooms, for project work, or conduct polls to find out how your team feels about an issue. Learn how to use breakout rooms or conduct polls.

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2. Collaborate on a project using Chat

In Chat, you can create an online space for your project team to work together — anytime, from any location. You can even turn a group chat into a project space (the next evolution of rooms).

Use Chat to:

  • Share information—Have multiple ongoing conversations about a topic in a Chat space. Or, start Google Meet video meetings and schedule team events, right from your Chat space. Learn how to create direct messages and rooms.
  • Manage project files—Teams frequently need to collaborate on plans, spreadsheets, presentations, and other files. Make it easier to find project files by adding them to your Chat space. You can also open, edit, and create docs, sheets, and slides directly in your space. Learn how to add files to a room.
  • Manage and onboard team members—Add or remove people from your Chat space as needed. New members can view past conversations and relevant files to get up to speed—no need to search for critical information in separate email messages. Learn how to add or remove people in a room.
  • Assign tasks and track progress toward goals—Create and manage group tasks in your Chat space. When someone creates, assigns, or completes a task, a notification appears in the space. Learn how to create and assign tasks in a room.

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3. Manage your schedule and time using Calendar 

In hybrid work environments, people often have flexible schedules to accommodate personal and professional responsibilities. For example, you or your colleagues might work in “sprints”: 2–4 hour blocks of time instead of the traditional 8-hour work day. Setting expectations about availability and work schedules is key to success in hybrid environments.

Use Calendar to:

  • Let colleagues know when you’re available—Show your working hours on your calendar. You can specify different hours for every day of the week. You can also split days into multiple work periods to accommodate sprints. Learn how to show your working hours on your calendar.
  • Check someone else’s availability—If colleagues show their working hours and location on their calendars, you can check their availability when scheduling events. Learn how to check someone else’s availability.
  • Let colleagues know where to find you—You can set your working location in your calendar. Show which days of the week you plan to be in the office, working from home, or working from somewhere else. (Available in the Fall of 2021.)

More resources

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4. Support your well-being using Meet, Calendar, and Gmail

Back-to-back meeting fatigue was a major concern during the remote-work phase of the pandemic. Email overload is another common workplace complaint. Google Workspace provides tools to help you avoid these pitfalls and thrive. 

Avoid meeting fatigue

  • Try speedy meetings—In your event settings, set the default meeting duration for 25 minutes instead of 30 minutes. Or schedule meetings to end 5–10 minutes before the top or bottom of the hour. Ending meetings a few minutes early gives people time to reset when they have back-to-back meetings. Learn how to customize your event settings
  • Set your location when you respond to meeting invites—When accepting meeting invites, select your location to let meeting organizers know if you’re joining from an office meeting room or virtually. Learn how to set your location.
  • Hide your self view—In video meetings, change or hide your self-view so you can focus on presenters and presentations. Learn how to manage your self-view.

Reduce email overload

  • Automatically label and sort messages in Gmail—Labeling and sorting helps you focus on messages that need your attention right away, such messages from your manager or feedback from customers. Learn how to label and sort messages.
  • Let Gmail nudge you to follow up on messages you might have missed—When you turn on nudges, Gmail brings messages back into your inbox if you, or a recipient, haven’t replied after a few days. Learn how to turn on nudges.

Manage your time

  • Time Insights in Calendar helps you understand how much time you’ve spent in meetings over the past days, weeks, or months. It also summarizes who you meet with. Time Insights are only visible to you and to people who help you manage your calendar—not to your manager. Learn how to get Time Insights in Calendar.

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More tips for hybrid work environments 

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