As offices around the world attempt to get back to normal, Google Calendar is looking to help users who may still be concerned about meeting in person again.
The service has introduced a new option that will let users specify whether they'll be attending a meeting in their calendar virtually, or in-person - ideal for those still nervous about being in close contact with other people for the foreseeable future.
The new RSVP option will appear directly in your Google Calendar invite, allowing users to select "Yes, in a meeting room" or "Yes, joining virtually" as choices for attending.
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Virtual vs in-person
Google says that both the organizer and guests will be able to see how attendees are planning to attend the meeting in the event detail - helping both groups to anticipate exactly what to expect when joining a meeting, and thus prepare accordingly.
However, anyone selecting the new options will still need to share their choices with contacts on other platforms such as Microsoft Outlook, Zoom or Cisco WebEx.
Available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as G Suite Basic and Business users, Google says that the new RSVP options will initially be available on Google Calendar, and will be coming to calendar invitations in Gmail soon.
The update is the latest from Google as it looks to continue pushing its Workplace software suite, including the Meet video conferencing platform, as the best choice for businesses and employees alike.
Formerly known as G Suite, Google Workspace brings together all the company's most popular offerings, including Docs, Sheets, Meet, Drive and of course Gmail, into one place. The company said its impetus behind the decision was to create a more “deeply integrated user experience”, by improving the interoperability of its various productivity software for a more fluid feel.
Competing directly with the likes of Microsoft 365, Google Workspace has also attempted to place itself firmly at the heart of the new hybrid working world, aiming to offer users a more flexible way to collaborate and be productive together.
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Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.