A Google Workspace subscription includes the office apps you would expect in a productivity suite. Specifically, Workspace supplies you with Docs, Sheets and Slides for your day to day office needs.
Workspace also includes live voice and video conferencing tools in the form of Meet. If you're familiar with Microsoft's products, Meet is Google's version of Teams.
Google designed its Workspace platform to help businesses look after remote workers. The platform lets multiple workers edit documents at once, among other tools and features. These include live screen sharing, team messaging, shared calendars and more.
Workspace is more of a cloud-based platform, so it lacks some features offered by desktop apps like Microsoft Teams. You can use Docs and Sheets offline if you need to. But, the platform's primary function is to help businesses streamline their workflow online. Workspace carries out this function exceptionally well.
Most of the Workspace apps are pared-back versions of Microsoft's Office apps; Word, Excel and PowerPoint. You might think fewer features would be a drawback. But, the features Google has included are the features most businesses commonly need.
Google's pricing plans cover all kinds of extra productivity programs besides the Office apps. We detail these apps and programs below.
Much like most of Google's online services, the Workspace platform is sleek, easy to navigate and takes no time at all for new users to learn the ropes.
Every feature listed below helps startups and smaller businesses streamline their existing services. Also, remote companies greatly benefit from the new Meet and Chat apps that make global collaboration a picnic.
The number one Google app on everybody's list of must-have work tools is Gmail.
1.8 billion people use Gmail globally - and for a good reason. Gmail is quick, accessible and opening an account takes five minutes. It also has some of the most robust spam filters of any email provider.
Google developers are regularly adding new and exciting features. For example, AI that suggests linguistic changes while you type based on your writing history and style.
Gmail also links up between various smart devices without a hitch. This is critical for most businesses, particularly those with large remote workforces.
The free version of Google Docs is all but identical to Microsoft Word. There are some absent features, but most businesses won't miss them.
Google Docs helpfully provides a range of templates for you to create documents with. The templates come in various styles ranging from sales materials to resume templates. You can also upload original templates to share with your workforce.
Workspace also lets you specify which employees can access specific documents. You can also assign employees editing permissions and share a single document with up to a hundred different people.
Docs has some novel features that you won't find elsewhere. You can search for a specific symbol by drawing it with your mouse. The app also features a translator tool that converts your text into a different language.
A disadvantage of using Google Docs is that your documents are entirely in the cloud. You can download local versions, but they won't synchronise with your colleagues' version. This makes working offline more difficult than if you were using Microsoft Word.
Another disadvantage is that Google Docs has limited endnotes. This is bad news for academics or researchers but shouldn't bother many businesses.
Google Sheets is a spreadsheet tool comparable to Microsoft Excel. Excel scales better and has more advanced tools. But Google Sheets is still a powerful program that fulfils most user's needs.
Sheets has a simplistic, easy to learn interface and design, helping new users learn the ropes. Like Google Docs, you can share Sheets with other employees who can edit the spreadsheet simultaneously.
You can also link a single cell to data from the web. This is a handy feature that lets you build sheets that autonomously update.
Slides is primarily an online presentation maker for businesses and students.
You can use animations, photos, videos, and text from templates or from scratch. You can also import tables and charts from Sheets.
Slides allows live collaboration by up to 100 team members, as seen in Docs and Sheets.
If Docs, Sheets and Slides are the wheels on the Google Workspace car, G Drive is the engine.
G Drive is the hub of all workflow on Google Workspace. It's a cloud-based storage solution for you to store and backup all your files. The free, non-business version gives you 15GB of free storage space. A paid subscription tops up your storage by various amounts depending on your subscription level.
Employees can also save documents from G Drive to edit offline, which will help the work while on the move. But, editing offline prevents cloud-based collaboration.
Sharing a document through G Drive is a painless process. While editing a file, you click on the share button and select the recipient's email. You can decide whether to give the recipient read-only or editing permissions.
Google has included Google Meet with subscriptions since 2020. Worldwide, users have commended Google for its convenient and easy to use video conferencing tool.
Meet allows for video conferences with up to 250 people. You can share your screen, images, files and poll other participants live.
Getting started with Meet is a breeze. You start the application, copy the link and send it to the relevant parties. The recipients click on the link to join the meeting. The host can admit participants one by one and can reject entry to unauthorised users.
Previously called Google Hangouts Chat, Google Chat is a built-in messaging service for your team. You can message one on one within a company or create chat groups for projects or departments.
You might wonder why you should use Chat rather than WhatsApp or another messaging service. Chat seamlessly integrates with the rest of Google's apps. You can drag and drop Docs, Sheets and Slides to send to other workers, or easily invite someone to a Meet.
Having all your work communication running through one platform expedites your operations.
Google Workspace has four paid plans. You can move between the plans as your business scales.
There isn't a long-term free version. But you can access Google Docs, Sheets, and a few other features by creating a personal Gmail account.
There's a free trial of every plan for 14 days. The three business plans are currently capped at three hundred users, but the enterprise plan has no user limit.
Each plan includes the features of the cheaper plan alongside extra features and storage. Each plan also consists of the following apps:
The extra features of each plan are outlined below.
Business Starter - £4.14 per user per month
Business Standard - £8.28 per user per month
Business Plus - £13.80 per user per month
Enterprise - custom pricing only.
Google also offers some extra features and apps that integrate with Workspace.
Google designed its Workspace platform to be as easy to learn, use and install as possible.
The apps integrate smoothly with other providers, and the pricing is reasonable and affordable. The Meet and Chat features make Workspace one of the most highly regarded productivity suites on today's market.
We have a dedicated article comparing Google Workspace versus Microsoft 365, find out which one is right for your business here.