Content & PR Manager
As someone who’s come from predominantly Microsoft Office-driven workplaces before, I have to say, I was apprehensive at best when it came to not only settling into a new company but getting up to speed on an entirely new platform and way of working. Like many people working in Marketing, I’ve used Google to access things like Google Analytics, YouTube and other platforms as an ‘Unmanaged User’ (and for a shameless plug, we even have a brand new report on just that topic here!) But when it came to operating fully on Google Workspace, my knowledge was definitely lacking.
Here’s some of my initial thoughts. Apologies to any of you out there who are well-seasoned pros with Workspace if a lot of this sounds quite basic, but, I’m hoping these words are of help to anyone out there on the fence as to whether to take the plunge and get on board with Google Workspace or not… spoiler alert, you totally should.
Joining CTS isn’t the first job I’ve joined fully remotely and the ease of doing so using Google Workspace was really evident from the outset. Onboarding processes require a lot of document sharing, introductions with teams, and training. With Google Workspace, I was so impressed at how easy it was to share documents and access everything I needed to in order to get my first week done. When it came to meeting people and getting involved in spaces/chats with other new starters as well, it was so simple and well integrated so all my main points of contact were in one place. Previously, I’ve experienced issues with accessing files (being on other drives), and lack of spaces to foster the same level of collaboration and communication (having to continually switch between platforms). This often led to more meetings, which when starting somewhere new can be a bit overwhelming as you need to take time to digest company information and content at your own pace.
Building on the above, the collaboration on Google Workspace is next level. As someone who spends a lot of time writing and needing to turn around pieces quickly, the real time editing of documents has definitely made this a quicker process. No more files bearing “v6_cm-edits” on the end of documents being shared back and forth. This also means much less chasing to see if people have looked over pieces of content because I can now simply click in a document to see suggestions and edits. And, with Spaces and Chats there is even less need for constant meetings, giving me more time to focus on writing and the hands-on stuff that makes a difference.
Not only is work itself more productive, but since starting at CTS, I get a real sense of agency among individuals. There’s no fear of sharing opinions and getting stuck in, which helps teams to work flexibly, but more on culture later… 😉
One thing that I used to find really frustrating with other platforms (not naming names) is the way the calendar and email and meetings work together, or ‘don’t’ I should say! This led to a lag in keeping calendars up to date after getting invites or adding in meetings depending on which platform you received the notification in. Google Calendar and email integration are much more seamless and you can easily access shared calendars so everything ties in together, as well as saving valuable time, finishing work when you’d like to!
The big one for me is the culture that having such an agile platform fosters. Google Workspace is not just a good platform for getting things done, it also goes a step further by helping companies adopt truly flexible ways of working and puts more trust in workers. Flexible, remote and hybrid working is something much debated over the past couple of years during the pandemic and coming out of the other side as restrictions lifted. According to a global survey conducted by Gartner earlier this year, out of 3000 surveyed employees, 65% of IT professionals said that flexible working will impact their decision to stay at an organisation, with data showing that more flexible and human-centric work policies can help reduce attrition and increase performance.
The technology that companies use is responsible for supporting flexible working policies and treating people as adults who are trusted to crack on with their jobs. With the right tech in place, there really is no need to force workers back into an office. Companies can then in turn invest in the right people based on skill sets and experience rather than their proximity to an office. There really is no need to make anyone go back into an office, but this is a mindset shift that goes hand in hand with working on an agile platform and over the coming years I imagine those unwilling to move with the times and adapt in terms of technology and culture will be left in the dust.
For me? Well, I plan on continuing to build my knowledge around Google Workspace and not looking back! There’s loads to learn still and thankfully CTS have even started to do free training sessions on topics like Google Sheets, Data Studio and Collaboration. I’ll definitely be tagging along to as many of these as I can to become a Workspace whiz and get the best out of the platform!
What’s next for Google? Well, that’s not an easy question to answer given the 123 announcements at this years’ Google Next event! One thing safe to say… There is a LOT coming that’s really exciting.
Thanks to major research advances across machine learning and computer vision, Google’s Project Starline lets users interact with another person virtually, as though they are together in three dimensions. While currently in testing, this is set to bring huge innovation to the way we work remotely.
Coming from a background working with people across global locations, I’m especially excited to see the possibilities unfold with Translation Hub. This is a fully managed, self-serve AI Agent that lets employees translate content into 135 languages at the click of a button, driving inclusivity as well as scaling content on a global scale. Other features announced that I’m especially excited about are; auto transcriptions (so no more relying on one person to miss out on collaborating with others while they take notes in meetings); speaker spotlight in Slides (placing the speaker’s video directly within their content); and a new timeline view in Google Sheets (so you can easily pull in people, files, and calendar details).
To make your employees just as happy as I am with Google Workspace, get in touch with the CTS team to see how we can help!