Google Workspace: Perfect tools for a secure, efficient, and collaborative work culture.
Remote or not, you can’t expect success while working in silos. And Google Workspace (formerly GSuite) is where you work together in real-time.
Based on the subscription, Google Workspace is a group of multiple applications, including:
|Docs||App Script||Work Insights|
Alone, these are simple applications that you can easily find substitutes for. But together, they can be the necessary glue that you have been looking to help function your business as one.
First, we’ll see some of these individual applications helping collaboration, followed by built-in security and admin tools.
We have all been using Gmail (the free one) since we first laid our hands on computers. However, the business aspect of Gmail remains hidden from such users.
Sending emails is just a single facet of Gmail, but others, like the integration with Google Meet, Chat, etc., make it more than what appears possible from the surface.
For instance, you can switch to Chat and Meet from Gmail to keep every conversation in one place with the option to save or delete the history after 24 hours.
In addition, the Smart Compose makes your work easy as an email sender. Powered with artificial intelligence, you get suggestions while writing emails. You can also turn personalization on for more accuracy, which improves over time.
Another excellent thing about Gmail is spam filtering. With machine learning, Gmail keeps over 99.9% of spam away. While this is an excellent feature for personal security, it’s equally or more important for business communications.
However, as a business entity, @yourbrandname.com is the best email address you can get, and using @gmail.com is seen as generic.
Addressing this concern, you can use a custom domain and have Gmail speak about your business. Google Workspace also supports an easy transition from legacy email providers such as Microsoft Outlook.
Workspace Gmail also has what you may need for successful email marketing. You can benefit from the pre-designed layouts, add your custom flavor, and use multi-send to spread the message to a large audience in one go.
Google Chat & Spaces
This is where you talk to your peers, share documents, schedule meetings, and can get things done without using any third-party business messaging application like Slack.
This is divided into two: Chat and Spaces.
You can assume Google Chat similar to any messaging application like Slack or WhatsApp. This supports talking to any internal or external person with just a Google account.
Additionally, Chat also features group conversations.
Spaces, on the other hand, are best suited for projects. For instance, Spaces’s Chat & Share sections are similar to Slack channels where you can add people, share files, etc.
In addition, you can assign tasks to your team members and track their progress.
There are two types of Spaces in Google Workspace. The first one is restricted where only the added members can participate. The other is meant for the entire organization, where anyone can join a specific Space with a link.
Here, the separator between the free versions and the L Workspace is the support for app integrations. Hundreds of applications (like Twitter, Asana, Zapier, etc.) are available to control without ever moving out.
Interestingly, Google has deployed its Natural Language Processing to create summaries in Chats and Spaces. This will create a short version of the entire conversation at the top to catch up on everything in a single glance.
Google Meet is the native Workspace replacement for any 3rd-party video conferencing application such as Zoom.
Google has announced to add automatic meeting transcription and summarization in future updates. This ensures more productive meetups and keeps every conversation relevant in later stages.
Furthermore, the video delivery will benefit from the upcoming Portrait restore, which will help mitigate conditions like low-lit surroundings, inferior webcams, or unstable networks.
Similarly, features like Portrait light give you studio quality appearance in the online meets.
While this was mainly about the video, things like De-reverberation will filter the echo giving an optimum listening experience to everyone irrespective of the space acoustics.
While Meet can host many participants, sometimes it isn’t enough for a gigantic organization. In such cases, Meet has included Livestream capabilities for up to 10,000 attendees. Moreover, in coming updates, everyone accessing the live stream will be able to participate in Q&A or polls, giving more inclusion to everyone.
Though Google Meet is primarily a free video conferencing software, some premium features are reserved for paid subscribers.
The extra goodies involve longer meeting durations (up to 24 hours), more participants (up to 500), hand raising, breakout rooms, polls, joining by phone, etc.
Besides, the intelligent noise cancellation, attendance tracking, and call recording make the Workspace Meet a distinctive package on its own.
Additionally, you can create a separate booking page to help your clients find a time slot best suited for discussion. And this gets updated whenever someone books time, mentioning the free slots.
Meetings conducted via Google Meet are enterprise-grade secure. Everything is encrypted in transit, and sharing your screen with the participants is safe without the fear of snooper. Still, in later updates, the users will be managing the encryption keys themselves and can opt for end-to-end encrypted meetings.
Google Docs, Sheets, & Slides
This is the most you and your team will use as an organization.
These tools let up to 100 people simultaneously view, edit, or comment on a single file based on their permission levels.
And taking the collaboration to a new level, these tools are integrated with Meet. So not only can people work on the same document, they can see and talk to each other while doing so.
This reduces much back-and-forth and helps make real-time adjustments to create the best in a minimum amount of time.
Besides, the picture-in-picture mode allows you to multitask while keeping an eye on the proceedings and jump right in with a click when it’s your time to act.
While most of the functionality is present to the free users, Google Workspace has some edge.
First, storage space is doubled even in the base tier, which becomes unlimited for the higher subscriptions and bigger teams (more than five). For a team size of less than five, the storage assigned to each user can go up to 1TB, significantly more than what comes with (15 GB) in the free version.
In addition, one can share a document with an entire organization with a single click and make it searchable.
Another unique feature of Google Workspace Docs is the automatic summary. While it’s always possible to have this manually, the automation makes it easier with the optional editing if needed.
On the security front, Google plans to cover Docs, Slides, and Sheets with the same malware and phishing protection deployed in Gmails.
This will ensure you get alerts of any such link or attempt that can compromise your personal or company’s security.
The calendar seems to be the least used of the lot. However, it permits perfect scheduling, ensuring you don’t overlap with anyone’s busy slot.
The best use case for Google Calendar is merging everyone’s calendar to see expected availability. Besides, you can create and share calendars indicating specific events that the receivers can merge with their own.
Additionally, all meetings set up in Calendar get synced up everywhere, avoiding any possible clashing.
Google Jamboards are the digital whiteboards helping you to birth ideas driving innovations. They work as a shared space where one can draw, erase, add images, etc.
The creator of a Jamboard can allow others as viewers (with or without an expiration date) or editors.
The Jamboard contents can also be pushed to a physical, digital board that you can purchase separately from Google.
However, everything in the Jamboard we discussed till yet is available to every user with a Google account. The differentiator again, in favor of Workspace users, is the one-click sharing to your institution.
Google Cloud Search
Google Cloud Search is an exclusive feature available for Google Workspace users. This tool brings the power of Google search to your business.
Put simply, this is where you can search from your entire business document repository (like Docs, Slides, Spreadsheets, etc.) instantly.
And the best part is access-controlled document discovery. This means your employees will only see the documents they have been granted access to in the cloud search.
Besides the standalone use, cloud search is tightly integrated across Google Workspace apps like Gmail, Docs, Drive, etc.
As this section is aimed toward workplace collaboration, we have clubbed the rest of the Workspace applications in this section.
Google Vault helps you preserve user-specific data for all Workspace applications so that you don’t lose access to anything if that user leaves your organization.
You can use Vault for storing Gmail messages, Drive files, Chat messages (with history turned on), Google Meet recordings and related files, Sites, Workspace Google Voice data, etc.
However, Vault only retains data you tell it to. In addition, data related to any deleted user won’t be available in the Vault. In this case, Google prescribes suspending users instead of deleting them.
Vault also features role-based data access.
Conclusively, Vault logs each activity of all your employees in a single place which you can export for legal or other purposes.
Though WordPress is known as the easiest way to create websites, Google Sites is the best option to make it happen even quicker.
And while you can utilize this for an essential business website, it shines when you want to showcase a particular project or build an event website.
This is all drag-and-drop without any touch of coding.
Sites also support using a custom domain to give the website its own identity. Alternatively, one can publish it for free with a generic Google-provided web address.
You can also collaborate on any web project created using this tool. Finally, all the websites designed through Sites are responsive across devices and resolutions.
Endpoint helps you manage employees’ devices in case it gets stolen to preserve sensitive company data.
With this, you can enforce strong passwords and opt for device or account wipes in severe cases. An endpoint is a cross-platform tool protecting your business information on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and ChromeOS.
Additionally, you can use this to make specific business applications available through Google Play or Apple’s App Store.
The objective is simple: automate the simplest of routine tasks to help you focus on what’s important.
This is preloaded with Workspace APIs and has native integration with 100+ Google services.
Google Work Insights
This is a way to gauge Google Workspace adoption for your company.
You can see the use of individual Google apps and compare it to legacy apps. Insights can also be configured to show you the data at a team or group level or for the entire organization.
However, this isn’t limited to adoption. Instead, you can also check out the collaboration figures for Workspace applications. This gives you data related to document sharing, co-editing, meetings, etc., indicating the real-time impact these tools have on the Work culture.
Still, the data won’t hinder the essential privacy of your employees as this is collected as an aggregate for a team of ten or more. Although, the administrators can increase this limit for larger organizations.
Finally, admins can export the reports for further analysis and managerial decisions.
So these are some ways in which Google Workspace can help you collaborate and work efficiently.
But that’s not all. You also have access to Google Workspace Marketplace to boost the outputs further.
PS: You also can tune up Google Workspace to a different level with these tools. Besides, check this Google Workspace individual guide to see how it can transform your business as a solopreneur.