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Google Workspace Modernizes Productivity, Focusing on Work From Home

It’s interesting how the unexpected can be a catalyst for change. Recently, businesses in most industries have experienced this. There have been changes in how they service customers, deliver products, or collaborate within and outside their respective organizations. The growth of Google Cloud, with its distinctive features that support productivity and innovation, is a testament to shifts in businesses’ computing philosophy.

Not surprisingly, the last nine months have also brought a pile of changes to Google’s productivity apps. Some of these transformations were brought on by COVID-19, while others have been slowly steaming on the back burner. The combination of those changes is Google Workspace.

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Google started by introducing premium features, like Hangouts Meet, to its G Suite customers in sync with shutdowns due to the pandemic. Next, the company made Gmail an integrated workspace, followed by the additions of Chat and Rooms to the familiar email interface.

The slow roll-out of new functionality signaled the changes to come, namely the integration of features into Gmail and the modernization of G Suite. To some, these changes may seem like merely a re-skin, but there is more to it than just updated branding and logos

What Exactly is Google Workspace?
Google Workspace is the new name of the revamped G Suite and the modernization of the company’s productivity offerings. Workspace reflects how work is getting done amid the global shift to work-from-home or work-remotely scenarios.

Because of the surge in at home working, Google has picked up the pace of its roll-out of Workspace. As the foundation for the suite of productivity services, Google has placed all communication platforms within the Gmail umbrella. This means businesses can effectively get more work done within one window, rather than needing multiple instances of each application or multiple tabs or windows. This simplifies work and increases efficiency. Users can now create documents within Google chat and then instantaneously share those with online team members.

Picture in picture functionality in docs, sheets, and slides enables true real-time collaboration. Another convenience comes in the form of being able to preview a file linked in any document. For instance, hovering over a linked slides file will open a window enabling the user to scroll page by page.

Making an @ mention of a contact pops up a “smart chip,” which, in addition to showing contact details, also suggests appropriate actions, such as start a chat or send an email. Google has paid attention to subtle details, while minor, do help with general productivity.

Naturally, the company has rolled in some updated logos to add some eye candy for each of the Google Workspace productivity apps. Popular services like Gmail, Calendar, Drive, and docs each now have four-color icons that match the style of icons inherent in other Google products like Google Maps and Google Photos, but those are just trimmings on a true productivity suite.

Google Workspace is Right for Business
According to Global Workplace Analytics, nearly 30% of the workforce will be comprised of home-based workers by the end of 2021. With statistics like that, businesses need to consider how they will serve both their on-site and mobile workforce. Fortunately, Google offers three Business plans (Starter, Standard, Plus) and two Enterprise plans (Standard, Plus). The company’s mission is to ensure that Workspace can be right-sized for every business. Complementing an existing Google Cloud installation with Workspace’s productivity tools from Google is almost a no brainer. Existing G Suite customers can either remain on their prior plan or switch to a new Workspace plan. But, customers new and old will want to pay attention to pricing and features to ensure that their needs are being met. That’s where the guidance of a trusted adviser can be helpful. 

See how your organization can get a productivity boost by scheduling a call today.