If you’re a small business, there’s a good chance you don’t have a dedicated office space or systems. If you’re working remotely with a few staff members, or even just with your clients, having solid systems in place can help you store your information securely, collaborate better with your team and clients, and set your business up for growth. Google Workspace is a great, affordable way to take your business digital.
So, what is Google Workspace?
Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) is Google’s collection of intelligent apps which help to streamline your business. The apps and tools include email, drive storage, calendar, collaborative documents and spreadsheets, and video conferencing, which helps you to connect with your staff and team and work together as if you were face to face in an office. It’s simple to share documents and workflows, work together on a document, view each other’s calendars and continue important conversations.
Google Workspace offers a monthly subscription package that begins at just $8.40 per user per month. This platform is entirely web-based, which means you won’t chew into your harddrive storage with downloads, software or documents. At the same time, it offers offline syncing of files, so if your internet is spotty, you won’t even notice if it drops out while you’re working on a document.
If safety and security is a concern to you, Google Workspace offers the highest security on the market, having been built on top of the Google Cloud platform. (It is trusted by some of the biggest companies in the world!)
One of the greatest benefits of using Google Workspace for your business is that you or your staff are likely already familiar with Gmail or Google Drive, which can assist in making your transition to remote work even easier.
How can Google Workspace help your business?
There are a number of fantastic tools within Google Workspace, which we have put into the following categories:
Google Workspace enables you to stay connected to both your team and your clients through its range of apps.
There’s a good chance you’re already familiar with Gmail, but you might not be aware of all the features. Gmail includes productivity processes to make sure you never miss an important email. You can snooze emails for later, schedule replies for tomorrow so no one has to know you’re working late, or use the “undo” button to cancel sending an email if you hit “send” by accident. You can also set up canned responses for questions you get frequently, such as questions about your business operating hours or whether customers can buy online while your office is shut down.
One of the great benefits of the Workspace version of Gmail is that you can set up professional email addresses using your business domain name (eg. email@example.com), which can be managed for yourself or multiple staff. Having professional email addresses for your business helps to convey a more professional brand compared to using Outlook or Hotmail email addresses, and build that trust with your customers.
Google Calendar helps to keep you and your team organised with important meetings, deadlines and reminders. The beauty of Calendar is that calendars can be made accessible to everyone within your company, which makes it easier to schedule meeting times and appointments. Your calendar will also integrate with other Workspace tools such as Google Meet and Gmail, which makes it easy to find the links to video conferences or other meetings. Calendar also uses Google’s artificial intelligence technology to automatically detect event bookings in your email and add them to your calendar, so you don’t have to remember to manually add that webinar you signed up for!
- Google Meet
Google Meet is the videoconferencing and calls application of Google Workspace. It enables you to meet virtually with both staff and clients, and you can join Google Meet directly via your calendar or email invite with one click. Videoconferences can host up to 25 members, and let you share your screen with team members or clients to give a presentation or demonstrate a tool or process.
- Google Chat
Google Chat is a dedicated channel for your staff and team for one on one or group chats. Google Workspace documents and worksheets can be integrated into Chat so that they can be reviewed and lead to greater productivity among your staff.
Google Workspace can be used to help your team collaborate and get work done efficiently at a distance, and allows documents to be reviewed, commented on, edited and discussed by your team before submitting or sending to clients.
- Google Drive
Drive is a secure online file storage system where all of your documents, spreadsheets and images can be stored for your business. Storage is all online, but files can be automatically synced offline to your computer, and it can be accessed anywhere, at any time. The beauty of Drive is it has an incredible search functionality, and folders can easily be shared or assigned to other members of your team for viewing or editing. Storing files in Drive is much more secure than just storing files on your computer, since if your laptop is damaged, lost, stolen or hacked, all files are automatically backed up and stored in the cloud. That way, if something does go wrong, you can simply replace your laptop and be up and running again in less than a day!
- Docs and Sheets
Docs and Sheets are Google’s version of Microsoft Word or Excel. The benefits of these though, is that they can be edited and commented on collaboratively in real time – you can actually see your colleague typing in the same document. They are also all automatically stored online in Drive, and are thus synced automatically between your desktop, laptop and phone. If you are working with a third party, the links to the files can be shared and you can both edit and update the file as you see fit. No more emailing copies of files to yourself or your colleagues – everyone just works on the same file, regardless of which computer you’re connecting from!
Docs and Sheets also have a task assignment functionality, so you can ask a client or colleague to fill in certain sections of a document, or to review and approve your work directly from the document.
- Google Forms
Google Forms provide your business with an easy and simple way to gain customer feedback or gather data from clients. This allows you to gather information quickly and efficiently, and it is saved directly to Drive as a spreadsheet so you can analyse the results. Forms are quick and easy to set up, and let you get up and running with client feedback surveys, appointment booking forms or customer enquiry forms in just a few minutes.
The admin console allows you, as a business owner, to manage everything in one place. This enables you to add new users and Gmail addresses, configure security settings and track analytics of your services. You can also locate or erase any mobile devices containing your business data, so if your staff members have sensitive information on their phones, you have a way to erase it if the phone is lost or stolen.
Google Workspace offers a fantastic collection of applications and tools which can assist in your transition to remote work, and help ease your peace of mind in knowing that your staff are remaining productive while at home.