Google simplified “Google Apps for Your Domain” to “Google Apps” and rebranded it to “G Suite” in 2016. Due to the growing demand for online workspace and collaboration in 2019 and 2020, Google streamlined its offering, and the productivity suite went through another name change to “Google Workspace” on October 6, 2020. At first glance, Google Workspace is identical to G Suite, but with recent changes and add-ons, it’s better than ever.
What is Google Workspace?
Google Workspace brings the digital office to users. It delivers effective communication, brings teams together, and enhances Google products you frequently use in your workflow.
Google Workspace offers a set of communication and productivity apps for startups, businesses, enterprises, individuals (more on that later), nonprofits, and education. The productivity toolkit consists of Calendar, Gmail, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Sites, Keep, Meet, Drive, and more. With a repackaged Google Workspace, Google promises a better integration, user experience, new identity, and more.
Google Workspace features at a glance
Google didn’t rename G Suite to Google Workspace and call it a day. The rebranding brings new icons for a unified identity, a streamlined user interface, and new add-ons to overcome limitations in free personal Google accounts.
For instance, the recent Gmail redesign brings Chat, Meet, and Spaces under the same umbrella. You don’t need to switch between dozens of tabs to check file preview, email, compose video calls, or chat with teammates.
Improved @mentions and the ability to preview files in Sheets, Slides, and Docs is another time-saving feature. Compared to a free Google account, you get an ad-free Gmail experience, higher participant limit, meeting length, meeting recording, and noise cancellation in Google Meet.
The security features include group-based policy controls; data loss prevention (DLP); Vault to retain, archive, and search data; endpoint management; and more. In short, Google Workspace is essential to running your business and startup with smooth communication and collaboration.
Google Workspace pricing
Google has divided Workspace plans into three categories: Individual, Business, and Enterprise. Let’s check each plan in detail to find a suitable option for you.
Google Workspace Individual
Not everyone needs a Google Workspace Business plan. If you are a solo entrepreneur, small business owner, or have a side-hustle with a few projects and clients, the Individual Google Workplace plan might be suitable for you.
You get premium customer support, all the Google Meet features for engaging video calls, easy appointment scheduling, and customizable layouts in Gmail. It doesn’t come with extra Google Drive storage. You must purchase additional storage via one of the Google One plans. The Individual plan also misses out on a custom email address (@gmail.com vs. @androidpolice.com).
Google Workspace Individual comes with a 14-day free trial, and the pricing starts at $8 per month (expected to increase to $10 per month in October 2022).
Google Workspace Business
There are three Google Workspace Business plans to choose from. You can pick one based on your number of participants, storage requirements, and security features.
- Google Workspace Business Starter: Ideal for startups and small businesses. For $6 per user per month, you get a custom email address, up to 100 participants in a video meeting, 30GB of Google Drive storage per user, and basic security and management controls.
- Google Workspace Business Standard: The pricing doubles to $12 per user per month, and Google justifies it by increasing the participants limit to 150 and Google Drive storage to 2TB per user. You also get a recording function in Google Meet to share discussions with others.
- Google Workspace Business Plus: Unlocks more goodies like 500 participants in Google Meet, attendance tracking, 5TB Drive storage per user, enhanced security protocols including Vault, and advanced endpoint management. The pricing is set at $18 per user per month.
All Google Workspace Business plans come with a 14-day free trial to try it out before committing for the long term.
Google Workspace Enterprise
If 500 participants aren’t enough, contact the sales team for the Enterprise plan. It carries all the bells and whistles Google has to offer to businesses. You get noise cancellation, in-domain livestreaming, unlimited Google Drive storage, enterprise endpoint management, and enhanced support.
Google also offers separate Workspace plans for qualified educational institutions and nonprofit organizations.
Google Workspace alternatives
Microsoft 365 is the market leader and Google Workspace’s biggest rival. Microsoft 365 comes in Home, Family, Business, and Enterprise plans. Unlike Google’s web-based solutions, you get native Office and communication (Teams) apps for Windows and Mac. Other less popular Google Workspace alternatives are Zoho Workspace and Kolab Now.
Is Google Workspace worth the asking price?
If you work with a remote team, you can’t go wrong with a Google Workspace Business plan. You can always use Slack for team communication, Dropbox for cloud storage, or Zoom for group video calls, but you are looking at paying individually for each service. You also lose out on a seamless Google ecosystem.
While the Google Workspace Individual plan leaves a lot to desire, the Business plans hit the bull’s eye with ample storage, security, and video calling functions. You can always upgrade to the Enterprise plan with your team expansion in the future. The two-week free trial should be enough to make up your mind. Don’t forget to check Microsoft 365 plans if you prefer native Office apps, Teams, and OneDrive compared to Google’s offerings.
Improve your team’s productivity
Whether you run a small startup, medium business, or a large organization, Google Workspace can be an ideal solution for seamless video meetings, smooth communication, task collaboration, and file sharing. And if you’re just getting your business off the ground, outfitting your organization with the best Chromebooks can lead to big savings in hardware, software, and IT suppport.