Google is always at the forefront of developing professional technology for businesses around the world. For over 10 years, it ran the G Suite, which was a selection of different applications and tools aimed at boosting productivity. New things were added over the years, but G Suite is now no more. Last year, it underwent a rebrand that saw it re-established as the new Google Workspace.
The question is, what is Google Workspace, and does it differ from G Suite? Moreover, how can Google Workspace help small businesses, and what features does it boast? In this guide, we’ll go over some of the main talking points and topics, helping you understand this platform and what it means for business owners, team leaders, and marketing managers.
What is Google Workspaces?
As mentioned in the introduction, Google Workspace has taken over from G Suite. Realistically, it maintains all of the similar features and aspects of G Suite. This is a service that lets businesses take advantage of a host of Google technology via the cloud.
There are things like cloud storage, email servers, productivity tools, collaboration tools – and much more. It’s all brought together in one place, letting companies control everything from a single platform.
The obvious benefit of this is that it’s much easier for a small business to keep on top of things. Plus, as everything is integrated together, it’s simpler to learn how to use all the different tools.
For instance, if you learn how to use Google Docs, you’ll find it very easy to then learn how to use Google Sheets. Of course, there are other benefits that help to improve collaboration and productivity, but we’ll go over them in detail later on.
For now, all you need to know is that Google Workspace is a collection of different cloud computing, productivity/collaboration tools, software, and products made by Google. While all of the individual tools can be used for free by anyone, Google Workspace is a paid service.
What Is Included With Google Workspaces?
To start, we’ll tackle the second part of that question and show you what’s included in Google Workspace. Now, the precise features can vary depending on the plan you choose. However, every single plan will come with the following:
- Drive (Cloud storage)
- Meet (Video conferences)
All of these tools have different uses, but you may notice something that doesn’t add up. As mentioned before, anyone can go online and use basically all of these platforms on their own.
What’s more, you can use them for free – for example, you don’t have to pay to set up a Gmail account. So, why do you have to pay for Google Workspace if it includes a host of ‘free’ tools?
Essentially, you’re paying for extra features that make your life a lot easier. For starters, the fact that all of these things are controllable via one hub makes life easier. You can literally open your Workspace portal and everything is there for you to use.
Paid Optional Extras
- Custom business email – instead of @gmail.com, you can personalise it to fit your business.
- Increased number of participants for video meetings – this starts at 100 and goes up to 250. There are also other features like noise cancellation, in-domain live streaming, attendance tracking, etc. All of which you don’t get with the free versions.
- Enhanced security and management control to keep your business more secure.
- Cloud storage – starting at 30GB and rising to an unlimited amount based on which plan you choose.
- Additional and ongoing support to help you with any technical hitches or to provide advice.
How Much Does Google Workspaces Cost?
Now, as for the costs, there are four different plans to choose from:Business
- Business Standard
- Business Plus
The Business Starter plan includes all the tools listed earlier, along with 30 GB cloud storage and 100 participant video meetings. It’s currently available at £4.14 per month for new Google Workspace users.
The Business Standard plan (which is the most popular, according to Google) will cost £8.28 per month. You get the boost of 150 participant video meetings plus the ability to record them, as well as 2 TB of cloud storage. There are also added features in the Chat application, as well as better cloud search functionality.
Next, there’s Business Plus, which will set you back £13.80 per month. You receive some additional Gmail features – like eDiscovery and retention – as well as 250 participant video meetings that can be recorded with the attendance tracked. Cloud storage is upped to 5 TB, and there’s more advanced security management available.
Lastly, you have the Enterprise plan, which doesn’t have a set price. You have to contact Google directly to get a quote for this, but it brings you the full Workspace package. Your meetings can have up to 250 participants, and there’s noise cancellation and in-house domain live streaming available. You get as much cloud storage as you need, along with the best security and support.
It’s very important to recognise that all of these prices are PER USER per month. If you only have one user, then those are the prices you will pay. But, you obviously have to multiply them by how many users you intend to have on Google Workspace.
Can G Suite Improve Collaboration and Productivity?
Google Workspace builds on all of the features that made G Suite so brilliant. It’s very much a suite of tools dedicated to improving productivity and collaboration for small business – particularly during times where everyone is working from home. We mentioned that one main benefit is that everything is in one place.
If you were using Gmail and needed to add something to a Google Sheets spreadsheet, you can do so without leaving Workspace. This merging together of all the different tools limits time wasted trying to find the right tabs or going and loading up separate software on your computer.
Google Workspace has some features that make life even easier for small businesses. Here are a few other ways it can improve both collaboration and productivity:
Shared Access To Files and Drives
By letting you use Drive, Workspace lets businesses store many different files in the cloud. What’s more, these files can be accessed at any time, anywhere. Plus, you have control over who can access them.
If you provide employees with access, multiple people can work on the same file from different locations. By utilising either Google Meet or Chat, collaboration is further enhanced. Employees can talk about the files they’re working on and make edits as if they’re all in the same place!
Multiple Communication Tools
Communication is the key to great collaboration in the workplace. Modern workplaces are more remote than ever, so there must be ways of talking and communicating from afar. With Gmail, Chat and Meet, Workspace makes this simple.
There are ways to instantly communicate with employees, and also ways of sending more formal reports. Productivity is boosted because there’s less time spent waiting around to hear back from someone.
Meeting Notes & Document Edits
As well as editing files together, you can edit them and send the file back to an employee. This is done by making suggestions via the app you’re using, and the original owner of the file sees them as they go through their document.
It’s then up to them to make the edits or to respond with a note of their own asking why this needs to be changed, etc. Workspace even lets you tag people in files, so other people can instantly contact them.
Overall, Google Workspace improves collaboration and productivity by harnessing the power of cloud computing. It is easier than ever to communicate with people all over the world, while Workspace lets you do this and work on different projects at the same time. It’s all done via one platform, which further improves things.
Features We Can’t Live Without
You’ve seen some of the main things included in Workspace, and you’ve seen the key benefits. However, we’d like to show you a few of the best features that we can’t live without. In turn, this will give you a better idea as to what you can do via Google Workspace and why it’s so good for small businesses.
Unlimited Cloud Storage
This is a must for small businesses that are keen to grow. You need to be able to store all of your data in one place, knowing that you’ll never run out of room. The bigger you get, the more data you’ll have in the cloud. If you don’t have unlimited cloud storage, you’ll soon wish you did.
Document Sharing and Easy Collaboration
Google Docs – and the entire ‘office’ suite – all make it easy to share and collaborate. We touched upon this earlier, but the huge advantage is that multiple people can view and edit a document at the same time.
Not only that, but the document creator can alter the sharing settings and invite others to view or edit. It’s all done in a couple of clicks as well – you just adjust the sharing settings, copy a link, then send it to the relevant people.
Just like that, they can all open the link and view the document. It even shows you what edits have been made and by who, if you look at the version history.
Work With Freelancers and Your Team
Google Meet and Google Calendar make it so easy to work with members of your team and freelancers. They let you organise meetings and set up events, ensuring everyone sticks to the right schedule. Of course, Google Meet is for video calls and conferences, which is perfect for this type of collaboration.
When working with freelancers, you can use Google Meet to call them and discuss the project. At the same time, you can have a Google Docs document open and write down ideas there together.
It just allows for more fluid communication between you and someone that’s not in the same place as you. The same applies to team members, but you also benefit from conference calls with hundreds of people. It’s one of the only ways you can speak to your entire team at the same time.
Colour Coded Google Drive Folders
This is a simple feature, but it makes things much easier for everyone. You can colour code different folders in Drive so people instantly know what they contain. It should speed up productivity by making it easier to find what you need.
Google App Script
This is an application where you can automate complicated workloads and also add custom menus and sidebars to other Google applications. It adds a deeper level of customisation that can benefit your business.
A great feature where you can send personalised messages to one or multiple email recipients. Just write out your draft, select the email list, and the Mail Merge program creates customised emails and sends them to all of them. It streamlines the emailing process and saves so much time.
Embedding External Google Sheets, Docs & Slides In Reports
Doing this lets you see live data from all of the different files all in one place. It’s a simple way of analysing your data and coming to more accurate conclusions.
Client intake forms storing data to a spreadsheet
You can use Google Forms to get information from clients which then automatically gets stored in a spreadsheet. Additionally, this can be a Google Sheet or a third-party add on – whichever you prefer.
Google Workspace is a fantastic suite of tools/software that small businesses can use. It lets you manage your business all in one place, taking care of everything from emails to meetings with freelancers. Workspace can help you improve productivity and collaboration by utilising all of the great features it boasts.
We may link to products and online services provided by third-parties. Soe of the links that we post on our site are affiliate links, which means that we receive commission if you purchase the item. We will never recommend a product or service that we have not used ourselves. Our reviews will be honest and we will only recommend something if we have found it useful.Disclaimer:
Lacey Tech Solutions publish blog articles to help small businesses. We are not liable for any damages if you choose to follow the advice from our blog.