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How Google Workspace can help your business

Here’s a quick look at how your business can benefit from having a Workspace business account:

  • Every user gets their own company email, such as: tom@acme.com
  • Multiple users can edit the same file
  • Teams can work together on projects without having to email back and forth
  • Work out of office: Files can be accessed from anywhere on any device
  • No need for Microsoft office
  • No user lock in: accounts can be created and deleted instantly

Google Workspace is a cloud computing service offered by one of the most trusted providers. I’ve tested or reviewed several cloud providers and found it to be the best so far.

For those of you new to cloud computing, if you think of workspace as your desktop in the cloud, you won’t be far wrong. All your files are accessible from anywhere using any device.

There really is no need to create files on your desktop again. Everything is created, accessed, and edited in the browser. And just in case you’re wondering: you don’t need the Chrome browser.

The feature you’ll no doubt be using the most is Google Drive. It’s here where you’ll create and store all your files. Think of it as Microsoft Office without the silly nuances.

The default email service is gmail, but with a difference. Each user is given their own email account suffixed with the company name, i.e john@mycompany.com, rather than @gmail.com.

What files can I create in Drive?

All files that a business needs, such as documents, spreadsheets, and presentation slides, are only a couple of clicks away. The Drive section gives full details on how to create them.

Files can be downloaded or emailed in various formats, including PDF and Microsoft Office. SImilarly: Office files can be uploaded, converted and edited.

Being as you can access your files while offline, which will then update when the connection is restored, there is no need for Microsoft Office at all. I’ve managed for years without it, or anything Microsoft related.

Which operating system can I use for Workspace

As everything is done in the browser, Workspace is fully cross compatible, with Windows, Mac, Linux, and obviously Google's own OS, Chromebook.

Personally I use Linux, which, although having a slight learning curve, is free. If I didn’t use my laptop for programming I would opt for a Chromebook. Either way: I would need to splash out on Windows and Office licence fees.

Other Workspace features

If you use Zoom for video conferencing, you’ll find it can be replaced with Google Meet.

Realtime chatting between two or more people can be carried out from the gmail console or from the dedicated Chat app.

Workspace admins and users

Admins are the ones who create and delete user accounts and decide which apps they can access, only admins have access to the admin panel. Any user can be made an admin, indeed it is recommended that multiple admins are created.

Large businesses often separate their different departments called organisational units. Each unit can have different privileges

How much does Workspace cost?

If you haven’t already got one, you’ll need to register a domain name for about £10.00 a year. Pricing is per user and depends on which plan. The account itself costs nothing.

Business starter
£4.60 / $6.00 user/month

Custom email
100 participant video meetings
30GB cloud storage per user
Security and management controls

Business standard
£9.28 / $12.00 user/month

Custom email
150 participant video meetings
2TB cloud storage per user
Security and management controls

Business plus
£12.80 / $18.00 user/month

Custom email
250 participant video meetings
5TB cloud storage per user
Security and management controls

As of yet I haven't encountered a situation where the business starter plan didn't meet my needs, even with several hundred users.

Google offers a 14 day free trial. The next guide details the easiest way to register a domain and set up and account, where I'll be taking advantage of this offer. Why not come along for the ride?

Collaborating: sharing with individuals and groups

Business is often about teamwork and Workspace for business allows us to easily work together on files and even entire projects.

Workspace groups

Each department or team can have their own group, these are normally created by admins. Groups are given their own email address, such as accounts@mycompany.com, so an email sent to the group email address reaches every group member's inbox.

Sharing files and folders

As far as computing is concerned, sharing is a concept you may not have heard of. But once you get used to it you’ll begin to wonder how you managed without it.

Google files are actual web pages. Although it may not be obvious, when we share a file we actually share a link to the file. Files or folders that are shared with individuals or groups can be viewed, commented on, or edited, depending upon the privileges we grant them.

Entire folders, and their contents, can be shared. An ideal feature when working on a project as part of a team. Any files added to a folder are immediately accessible to all team members.

Admins decide whether or not files can be shared outside the company, say for example with customers and clients.