How to separate you company into different organisational units
We must have at least one organisational unit (OU). Named after our account, this was
created for us when we set up our account. Later we can rename this to something shorter. To
save any ambiguity I prefer “root”, but more on this shortly.
The reason I prefer creating OUs before adding users, is that otherwise, when bulk uploading
users we have to add them to the root OU. then move them into the unit after we create it.
also : when adding new users individually we can add them to an organisational unit at the
same time. Providing of course that we’ve already created one
How to access Workspace organisational units
Although not initially visible, our org units are accessible from the admin home page. Once
you’re there, scroll to the bottom and click Show more. There you’ll see a
collection of direct links to further features
Clicking the organisational units box will open up the relevant tab showing a list of all
our units and a + sign to add more. I’ll return to this after I’ve renamed the
How to rename an organisational unit
As the image shows, I have one unit with the company name. To avoid error, I prefer single
word names for my units. So let’s start by changing its name.
As it's the main parent unit, which will contain all the others, I’m going to rename it
“root”. We do this by hovering over the unit and clicking the three dot icon on the right.
This will open a new dialogue box where we can edit the unit name and description. As the
image below shows, I’ve edited both
How to create a new organisational unit
You may already have an idea of the units you want to create. These can be determined by
departments or groups of users who have, or don’t have. Access to specific applications.
Note: users cannot be part of more than one OU, but can be moved from one to another. So
I’ll begin by clicking the yellow button near the top containing the plus sign.
Of the two fields in the box that appears, only the name is required. The description is
optional. I’m going to name my new unit as “accounts”. It then appears in the organisational
units’ listing under its parent folder.
I’m going to repeat the above process to create a few more. As OUs can be deleted or
renamed, I’m not going to concern myself too much with the naming.
Nested organisational units
Organisational units can contain other OUs. We can do this either by stipulating the parent
folder when we create it, or by hovering over the intended parent org and clicking on the
add icon to the right of the listing.
Note in the above image the yellow circle for adding units is at the bottom. This is because
I’ve collapsed my browser while taking the screenshot.
As the image below shows, nested units will then appear under their parent in the listings.
Organisational unit paths
There are times, such as when bulk uploading users, when we need to add the org unit path. The root folder path is defined as “/”.
A direct child of the root folder would be something like “/marketing”. While the path of a
child of the marketing org would be something like “/marketing/research”
Turning services on and off for organisational units
Admins can determine which apps, such as Chat and Meet, each organisational unit can access.
By default, all of them are turned on. However: we can override this setting.
Child OUs inherit the settings of their parent OU. For example: if we turned a service off
for the root OU, then it will be turned off for everyone. There’s two ways we can approach
this, depending on policy.
If you have many OUs but only want a specific service to be available to one or two, first
turn it off at root level, then back on for only those who need it.
When the opposite is true, and we only want to turn it off for one or two, leave it turned
on at root level then turn it off for those you want to deny access.
We don’t access this feature from the organisational units console. Instead we apply access
permissions from the apps console,
How to access the app settings
The apps are accessible from several places, the most direct route being from the admin home
page by clicking the more dropdown as we did when accessing OUs. This presents us with a
view of the features shown in the image below.
Note: once again I’ve collapsed my browser for the sake of the screenshot. If you’re on a
desktop, you’ll see a single row of four and a side panel.
The one we’re interested in is the first, titled Google Workspace and concerns
the core applications
As you can see in the image, the service status is turned on for everyone. Notice the
organisational units to the left of the apps list and how I’ve got the root OU view.
Any adjustments I make here will apply to all OUs. if I wanted to target a specific OU, I
would click on the OU to the left, then apply the settings.