Since the dawn of time, man has been in constant search for better ways to communicate and collaborate. Think of it, that’s how speech originally evolved 500,000 BC from the simple practice of shouting.
It’s always been pretty fun discovering newer and better ways to collaborate and share our ideas. I mean that’s actually how our communities evolved and grew closer, stronger and more functional.
Seamless team collaboration and communication are still consistent goals for any functional organisation today, regardless of its size or industry. Luckily, mankind was able to take a giant leap forward from the use of papyrus, and with the advent of Cloud computing solutions like Google Workspace, collaboration has never looked better.
One common thing we noticed here at GAT Labs through our journey in the Google Workspace data analysis and security realm is that some companies never really harvest the full collaborative power of their Google Workspace.
Meanwhile, when it comes to other communication practices these companies still go old school. Mainly relying on externally downloaded servers that ultimately do less of a seamless job than other unexplored tools they already have in their Google Workspace but don’t know how to fully utilise.
While there is nothing wrong with knowing what works for you of course, what if you can enhance team collaboration and make your daily operations even more agile by adopting a few simple practices?
How to go from what works for you to what works BEST for you? Well, that’s what we’ll discover today!
5 Google Workspace Practices to Better team Collaboration
First pack and move your stuff to the Drive?
The best part? Real-time streamlined collaboration. Your team members can jump in and collaborate in real-time on shared files.
This permission based feature allows multiple users to access and collaborate on a single document, taking the pain out of back-and-forth debates and saving you precious time wasted on irrelevant discussions during meetings.
This also means that if your team members are divided across the globe, or some of them even work remotely, they can still draft and collaborate together on the same project, which ultimately gets things done faster.
You can also easily share large files with team members and add/remove collaborators using the Collaborate tab when working on a specific document.
Storing, sharing, and accessing team resources anywhere is always simpler in Google Drive.
? Pro Tip : If you are a project manager looking to boost your project operations, you can also integrate Wrike with your Google Drive to keep your priorities straight and your goals in sight.
Build a virtual meeting room whenever you need
No more unavailable slots when booking meeting rooms or important meetings cut short by an awkward knock on the door advising you that someone booked next.
One of the most exciting Google Workspace features for collaboration is Hangouts Meet. This incredible virtual meeting room allows you to schedule and start a video meeting from your computer or mobile device and easily huddle together with your team anytime, anywhere and for as long as you need.
From brainstorming ideas to working on projects and team-building events, your entire team can collaborate through face-to-face contact easily.
⬇️Collaboration tools available in your meeting room:
Hangouts meet boasts many key features that make real-time collaboration easier, including:
- Adding and removing guests to video meetings in progress
- Adding more guests to a Calendar event
- Sending chat messages live
- Presenting your screen
- Recording a video meeting
- Muting a guest’s microphone
Gmail and Calendar are not for basic tasks anymore
Colleagues’ can now view each others’ Calendars, add Facebook events to Google Calendar to remember each other’s birthdays, limit emailing to specific times of the day, create Automatic Events in Gmail and much more.
⬇️Our 3 favourite and most used Gmail and Calendar features for collaboration:
A. Scheduling Hangouts Meetings with ease in Calendar. How do you do that?
- Sign into your Calendar
- Create an Event → Click ‘More options’
- Under ‘Add conferencing’ → click ‘Hangouts’
- Complete the rest of your event details and save
B. Creating rules to filter out Spam and separate more important emails in Gmail. Here is how to create filters in Gmail:
- Open Gmail.
- In the search box at the top, click the ‘Down Arrow’.
- Enter your search criteria. (If you want to check that your search worked correctly, see what emails show up by clicking Search. )
- At the bottom of the search window → Click ‘Create filter’.
- Choose what you’d like the filter to do.
- Click ‘Create filter’
C. Setting event auto reminders in Calendar. It is easy to forget about important team meetings and other events, especially on busy days when you have to juggle multiple tasks. Event auto reminders are a lifesaver in this case. How to set them up?
- Click the Setting menus gear → then go to ‘Settings’
- Scroll down to ‘Settings for my calendars’ → click on your calendar
- Scroll down to ‘Event notifications’
- Choose how much notice you need prior to events: minutes, hours, days, weeks
- Choose whether you’d like to receive a notification or an email
- Click ‘Add notification’
Create Groups to keep everyone in the Loop:
There is nothing better than sharing resources, status updates, announcements and more using a single team email address, instead of multiple individual email addresses. Groups allow you to do all that and more.
The best thing is you can also always change access permissions to your groups. Let’s say someone leaves the team, you no longer have to search for everything you’ve shared with them. You can simply remove them from the group, so they can’t access any previously shared group content.
How to create groups for your team?
- In Groups, click ‘Create group’ and enter your information, such as the group’s email address. (If you’re creating a group within your organization, your group’s address will end with yourdomain.com but If you’re creating a public group, your group’s address will end with googlegroups.com.)
- Click ‘Create’ at the top of your page.
- Now you can add people to your new group.
- Select content that you want to share, such as calendars, sites, docs, etc. in your Drive → then identify the sharing feature for your chosen content type:
A. Calendar: Under ‘My Calendars’, go to your calendar and click ‘More options’. Go to ‘Access permissions’ and choose your sharing options. If you want to send a shareable link to your calendar, at the bottom, click Get shareable linkCopy Link. – If you want to share your calendar with a specific person, go to ‘Share with specific people’ and click ‘Add people’.
B. Sites: Click ‘Add people’.
C. Docs, Sheets, and Slides: Click ‘Share’ in the upper corner.
D. Forms: Click ‘More options’ –> ‘Add collaborators’.
E. Drive: Click ‘Share’.
5. Enter your Groups address (ex: email@example.com) where prompted and confirm your sharing permissions.
Reap the collaboration benefits of Google Forms:
Google Forms is one of the best free tools in your Google Workspace. It is also a great tool to improve communication and collaboration within your team.
You can use Google Forms to create team building quizzes or surveys, tailored job applications, team RSVP forms, order forms, time off requests, and more.
How to get started with Google Forms?
- Go to Forms , then choose a blank form or template from your template gallery.
Ultimate insights into Team Collaboration and Productivity in your Google Workspace ?
Looking to take your Google Workspace operations to the next level and gain granular insight into how your team collaborates, communicates and produces like never before? GAT is just the tool for you. GAT is available in the Google Workspace marketplace.
Start building your Google Drive resources , start neat. Checkout our blog posts on How to Organize your Google Drive in 5 Simple Steps.