Calendar template

3 Google Calendar updates that streamline events

Image: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic.

In April and May 2022, Google Calendar made three subtle but significant improvements that support remote working.

When you set up your workplace in Google Calendar, anyone with free access to your schedule will also have access to your selected workplace. This helps colleagues know whether meetings can be in person or virtual.

When you configure Google Meet options in a calendar event in advance, you won’t have to scramble to assign hosts or adjust session settings after your video conference has started.

And when you need a valid email address for a bookable dating session, you not only reduce false requests, but you also prevent an attendee from entering an incorrect email address when checking out. registered for a session.

Follow the instructions in each section below to learn how these three features work. The steps assume that Google Calendar is open in a Chrome browser tab on a laptop or desktop computer.

SEE: Google Workspace vs. Microsoft 365: A Side-by-Side Analysis with Checklist (TechRepublic Premium)

How to List Your Work Location on Google Calendar

To set up your usual work location in Google Calendar:

  1. Select the gear in the upper right, then choose Settings (Figure A).
  2. From the General menu on the left, select Work hours and location.
  3. Check the box next to Enable work location (Figure B).
  4. Then, next to each configured business day, select the drop-down menu (which defaults to Unspecified), then choose Work, Home, Unspecified, or Elsewhere. If you select Elsewhere, you can enter a location. Repeat the process for each business day and time period, as desired.

Figure A

a-Calendar-Settings
Image: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic. Select the gear icon (top right), then choose Settings.

Figure B

b-Workplace
Image: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic. Many editions of Google Calendar for work or school allow you to turn on work hours and then specify your usual location for each workday.

After completing the above configuration, the configured work location will show up on your calendar and will also be available to anyone you have granted free or busy calendar permissions to. Your selected work location is shown next to the numeric date in the Day, Week, and Month calendar views.

To change workplace:

  1. Select the place of work on a day (Figure C). This brings up the menu of available options.
  2. Select Work, Home, or Unspecified as needed, or select Elsewhere, then enter a different location. You can choose to make the change only for the selected day or for all future days of the week (for example, this Friday or all future Fridays).
  3. You can also choose Settings to review and change the default work location associated with all specified working hours.

Figure C

c-Select to change workplace
Image: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic. To change a workplace, select the current workplace shown next to the date in Google Calendar, then choose another location from the menu or select Settings to access all usual workplaces.

As of May 2022, this feature is available to Google Workspace customers with Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Plus editions, as well as nonprofit and G Suite Business customers.

Host controls and assigns co-hosts

When you create a Calendar event that has a Google Meet session associated with it, you can also configure host controls, designate co-hosts, and configure breakout rooms.

First, open your event. If the “Join Google Meet” button isn’t already displayed, select the “Add a Google Meet video meeting” button to create a Meet link for your event.

Next, select the gear to the right of the “Join Google Meet” button (Figure D) to access video call options. This allows you to customize your Meet session management.

Figure D

d-Meet video call options
Image: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic. Once a Google Meet link has been added to a calendar event, you can choose to configure video call options before your meeting.

When you enable host management (Figure Etop left), you have the option to name co-hosts (Figure E, Top right). A co-host can mute participants, present, control recording, and allow people to join the meeting. When enabled, this setting also allows you to manage whether all participants can:

  • Share their screen; Where
  • Send chat messages.

You can also set both:

  • Quick Access, which when disabled requires everyone to request to join; and
  • Attendance tracking, to have the system email an attendance report after the session to the meeting host.

Additionally, you can select people assigned to breakout rooms before your Google Meet session (Figure Eat the bottom right).

To manually assign people to a breakout room, drag their name to a room or enter their name in a room’s attendance list. Or select the Shuffle button to randomly assign participants to available rooms.

Figure E

e-Video call options
Image: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic. You can configure many Meet options in advance. For example, you can allow and assign co-hosts, add people to breakout rooms, and choose whether attendees can screen share or chat.

As of May 2022, this feature is available to Google Workspace customers with Workspace Essentials, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Business Standard, Business Plus, Education Fundamentals, Education Standard, Education Plus, and Teaching and Learning Upgrade customers.

Require email for appointment schedule

Google Calendar appointment calendars allow users to select an appointment time, from a set of dates and times that you specify. For example, a teacher can specify a weekly block of time and allow students to select segments from that time to meet. Likewise, a consultant could use the feature to allow clients to schedule a session. For more details on the feature, read How to Use Google Calendar’s Appointment Calendars (TechRepublic).

To reduce the risk of accidental or incorrect registrations, you can now require email validation when people register for an appointment. When setting up your bookable appointment time, check the box next to Require Email Verification (Figure F).

Figure F

f-Appointment-Require email verification
Image: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic. When you create a new appointment calendar, you can require email verification. This can help reduce both email sign-up errors and fake date requests.

No additional action will be required during the scheduling process for people already signed in to a Google Account. However, for everyone else, the system will send a PIN to the entered email address, which the person must then use to validate. This should eliminate mistyped email addresses and help prevent fake signups.

As of May 2022, this feature is available to Google Workspace customers with Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Fundamentals, Education Standard, and Education Plus editions, as well as Nonprofits and Teaching and Learning Upgrade customers.

What is your experience ?

Have you set up your workplace in Google Calendar? Do you find the workplace to be accurate and useful when coordinating activities with co-workers? For Google Meet events created in conjunction with a Calendar event, has the ability to manage and configure co-hosts and settings in advance made your sessions easier? Has the “Require email verification” setting for appointment times reduced spam and ensured accurate email entry?

Let me know what your experience was, either in the comments below or on Twitter (@awolber).