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

How to thrive in hybrid work environments

Use Google Workspace to get work done in hybrid environments
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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 & elsewhere Collaborate on projects Manage your schedule Support your well-being Find best practices & more
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1. Bridge gaps between in-person & elsewhere using Meet 

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

Use Meet for face-to-face video calls

  • Minimize audio distractions in meetings—Mute your audio in meetings when you’re not talking. Also, make sure noise cancellation is turned on. Learn how to control your audio in meetings.
  • Use captions in meetings—If you're unable to hear the meeting, 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.
  • Improve collaboration in meetings using Companion mode—If everyone is remote—or if everyone is in the same meeting room—you all have equal access to activities. But when you have a mix of remote and meeting-room participants (hybrid meetings), people in meeting rooms are at a disadvantage: They can't individually chat, upvote questions, or answer polls using meeting-room hardware. When you're in a meeting room, use the meeting-room hardware for audio and video and connect using Companion mode on your laptop to participate in activities with remote attendees or share your personal video tile. Learn how Companion mode improves collaboration.

Share real-time ideas and feedback in video meetings

  • Use 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 raise their hand to keep your meeting on track. Especially if you’re remote, raising your hand cues others that you’d like to speak. Hand raising also helps avoid interrupting a presentation. Learn how to raise your hand in meetings.
  • Use breakout rooms and polls—Divide a large group into subgroups (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.

More resources

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2. Collaborate on projects using Chat 

In Google 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.

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 spaces.
  • 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 space.
  • 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 space.
  • 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 spaces.

More resources

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3. Manage your schedule 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 traditional 8-hour work days. 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. Learn how to set your working location.

More resources

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

Back-to-back meeting fatigue and email overload are common workplace complaints. 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.

More resources

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5. Best practices & more resources 

Using Meet

Using Calendar 

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