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The workplace is changing — and so is your Google calendar

There’s a good chance the hybrid work model will continue well after the pandemic — and Google is adapting

The Brick and Vine office in the Kiln co-working community at The Gateway in Salt Lake City.
The Brick and Vine office in the Kiln co-working community at The Gateway in Salt Lake City is pictured on Monday, Feb. 8, 2021. The pandemic has changed the workplace environment, and Google calendar is adding a new feature to reflect this shift.
Steve Griffin, Deseret News

As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues across the U.S., restaurants, concert halls and other businesses have reopened their doors, welcoming back customers after more than a year.

But amid this return to normalcy, the hybrid workplace — featuring a mixture of employees working in the office and working remotely — remains popular. And there’s a good chance that model will continue well after the pandemic.

“The key now is the employers — if they’re willing to change — because there was for the longest time this sort of perhaps outdated suspicion about how work cannot be done in the home or remotely,” Marjukka Ollilainen, a Weber State University sociology professor, told the Deseret News earlier this year. “Can workers be relied upon without constant surveillance?

“But every time you log onto your computer if you’re working remotely, people can see whether you’re logging on or not. There are some technologies to be used by employers, but it’s going to change. There’s a growing number of workers who are preparing for even after the pandemic — they want to stay with what they’re doing remotely.”

Now, Google is accommodating this shift.

A new feature on Google calendar will allow users to indicate whether they plan to attend a meeting in person or virtually, The Verge reported. This will give both the organizer and guests a better idea of how to prepare for an event and know what to expect, according to Google.

At the bottom of a Google calendar invite, people who select “yes” for attendance will then see a dropdown menu that gives them the option to choose either “yes, in a meeting room” or “yes, joining virtually,” according to a sample image from Google.

The new RSVP options will roll out over the next couple of weeks, starting on July 8, according to Google. The host and other guests included in an invitation will be able to see the responses.

The options will initially be available on Google calendar and, eventually, calendar invites that appear in Gmail. For now, the feature will not be shared with contacts on other platforms like Microsoft Outlook, The Verge reported.