Living and working in pandemic times, it’s clear to see that the work landscape has radically changed. While many changes may disappear as vaccines roll out, the efficacy and efficiency of the digital workplace can’t be ignored. Having proper online workplace infrastructure offers, From allowing team members to communicate and log hours from the comfort of their own home to expanding the pool of available applicants. Google has a wide host of tools that enable businesses to take their digital workplace to the next level. This article will go through and detail a few that we can recommend for those wishing to fortify their online infrastructure.
1: Google Meet
Built in through Gmail with heavy integration with the Google Calendar, Google Meet is a service that allows you to simultaneously video chat with anybody else that has a Google account, webcam, and mic. While offering basic video chat services, Meet also has special functions to aid in productivity. This includes things like breakout rooms for smaller team meetings. Also available are many accommodation options. There is a chat box for those without microphones, and virtual backgrounds to accommodate many different home environments. Live captions better accommodate those with hearing impairments, a problem that’s hard to tackle at in-person meetings. Additionally, most if not all devices support Meet, meaning you won’t need special equipment.
Meet also offers things like screen sharing, allowing an individual to present whatever is on their computer to others at the meeting. All of this lies on top of a guarantee of unlimited meetings—Google won’t rate limit you or cut you off at a certain number. For as long as you need to hold your meetings, Meet will be available to you.
2: Google Authenticator
Google Authenticator offers an easy way to ensure your team’s accounts are secure. By setting up a unique two-factor authentication code, employees can further secure their accounts. This alleviates the concern of other recovery methods, like messaging or email, being compromised. Additionally, this extra level of security greatly minimizes the risk involved in entrusting confidential information to your employees at home, which in turn helps increase your workplace’s efficiency.
3: Google Drive Suite
The Google Drive Suite contains quintessential tools for collaborative development. No business that deals with files of any kind is complete without access to Google Drive. A collaborative file storing and sharing platform, Drive allows users to create dedicated folders in which to store files online. This includes files both made through the Google Drive Suite as well as those uploaded from the computer itself. These can then be shared to specific people or groups of people for download or editing.
Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides offer unique collaborative solutions to the traditional Microsoft Office Suite. Offering identical options to the latter, the Google Drive Suite enables easy, live collaboration. This allows team members to work together on a presentation without needing to pass it back and forth. It also allows for quick editing where necessary, and the files are all protected from accidents with cloud-based autosave and version history records + rollback.
Honorable Mention: Google Chrome
Google Chrome gets an honorable mention here, but not for simply “being a web browser”. Instead, it’s important to highlight its integration with all of the aforementioned tools. Chrome is built in part and supported by your Google account, from history to cookies etc. This extends into making your services easily accessible, such as including quick links to the Calendar and Gmail. Additionally, Chrome hosts a wide host of add-ons and plugins that can work to create an extremely efficient workstation. While many aren’t developed specifically by Google, Chrome’s web store as many useful tools, such as Chrome Remote Desktop. This allows you to coordinate sharing and interacting with screens from different locations, useful for I.T. work, troubleshooting, collaboration, etc.
As the COVID vaccine starts to roll out and we transition back to life as “normal”, it is unlikely that we’ll see this digital work environment fade out. Businesses are recognizing the benefits of a digital workspace, and these tools will help keep your team on track in this shifting landscape.