Everything you need to know about Google Workspace

Google Workspace plans and pricing

Let’s face it: Remote work isn’t a luxury anymore — it’s a necessity! And while it’s true that the pandemic threw everyone for a loop, thankfully we’ve had tools like Zoom and Slack to help us adapt to the future of work. In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at what’s arguably the most accessible set of collaboration tools out there today — Google Workspace. 

You’ll learn:

  • What exactly Google Workspace is and how it’s different from G Suite
  • How much it costs for different types of users (i.e. personal or business)
  • What the core features of the platform are, along with new features that make it even more powerful

So, if you’re unsure whether or not Google Workspace is the right fit for your needs, look no further. We’ll break down everything you need to know!

The evolution of Google Workspace

First things first, you might be wondering where Google Workspace fits into Google’s line of web-based services. How exactly does Google Workspace relate to Gmail, Docs, and G Suite? Is it the same or different?

The short answer to that question is Google Workspace is the latest version of G Suite. It’s a platform that includes all of the apps you probably know and love today — Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, and more.

But if you’re curious to learn how Google Workspace came to be, here’s its evolution in a nutshell:

  • 2006: Google first launches “Google Apps for your Domain,” which included Gmail and Google Calendar among other early apps
  • 2016: Google rebrands the platform to G Suite and introduces a more comprehensive line of tools that includes Google Meet, Google Drive, and Hangouts. It’s a big step towards making remote collaboration accessible for distributed teams.
  • 2020: G Suite becomes Google Workspace in order to better align with the needs of the rapidly-changing workspace.

What is Google Workspace?

Google Workspace is a collection of cloud-based tools designed to make productivity and collaboration easier for individuals and organizations. It includes the following apps and services:

  • Gmail — email
  • Google Sheets — spreadsheets
  • Google Docs — online word processor
  • Google Chat — messaging platform
  • Google Forms — online surveys
  • Google Currents — virtual bulletin board for teams communication
  • Google Calendar — virtual calendar
  • Google Keep — note-taking
  • Google Drive — cloud storage
  • Google Sites — website builder
  • Google Meet — video conferencing software
  • Google Slides — presentations

One of our favorite things about Google Workspace is that it’s extremely accessible. While it was first introduced to organizations (large and small businesses, nonprofits, and educational institutions), it’s recently become available for personal use. What’s more, users can now access Google Workspace on mobile and desktop. All you need is an internet connection.

3 ways that Google Workspace is better than G Suite

With the arrival of Google Workspace, one of Google’s aims was to provide a tailored user experience for all team members — with enhanced security and customer support. The goal was to really bring in all of the necessary tools for productivity and collaboration under one roof, to go from disjointed to unified, thereby streamlining work for their users. Here are three of the major improvements that make Google Workspace a stronger platform than its predecessor, G Suite.

1. A unified workplace for all

Google Workspace functions as an all-in-one solution for individuals and teams who want to create, collaborate, plan, and execute. And as anyone will tell you, nearly every high-level goal involves many moving parts — a challenge exacerbated by the advent of remote and distributed work. 

Google Workspace makes it easier for people to manage their work by centralizing all of their favorite tools, from Google Docs for creating written content to Google Calendar for managing schedules.

Guest access also makes it easier for users to communicate with external partners and clients — a huge plus for building and maintaining strong relations.

2. Redesigned brand identity

Okay, we’ll admit that this improvement doesn’t make the Google Workspace more functional, per say. But we thought we’d include it anyway to demonstrate the thoughtfulness that went into Google’s re-brand. To showcase the value of unity and emphasize collaboration, Google redesigned their logo with four new colors.

3. Adaptability for a wide range of business needs 

Google Workspace is for everyone because of its customized solutions to companies tailored to their needs. Each business is different and has different requirements, so with Google Workspace they can customize their dashboard to reflect their unique preferences and work styles. However, larger corporations usually turn to comparable services, like Microsoft Teams. 

Updated features of the Google Workspace Tools 

Google Workspace is more than just a set of tools. Google is smart to identify that data security is a crucial factor, since people use it for professional collaboration. 

Advanced security measures

Google Workspace is trustworthy, thanks to its intelligent security features. 

Here's what it does to keep your conversations and data safe:

  • Google Chat has an investigation tool that ensures only the team members can log in. 
  • Google Meet has unique and automatic detection tools that find out unknown and potentially fraud entrants in meetings. This helps in keeping the discussion safe and avoids leakage of vital information. 
  • It also has automatic identification of spammy classrooms. 
  • Gmail includes protection insights to help you identify and avoid spam - it blocks 99.9% of attacks. 
  • They have also offered 2 step verification to keep the login process tightly controlled. 
  • The admin is allowed to create team rules. There is a rule page in the Google Workspace console that displays Google’s rules for creation, discovery, and management. 

Along with advanced security measures, the company added the following benefits to Google Workspace: 

Customer support

Unlike Google’s free consumer apps, Google Workspace comes with 24/7 customer support via phone and email. There are three Support offerings available: Standard, Enhanced, and Premium. Most plans automatically come with Standard Support, but depending on your plan, you may be able to upgrade to Enhanced or Premium for an additional fee. Enhanced Support includes accelerated response times (faster help), advanced product knowledge, and third-party tech support. Premium Support includes 15-minute responses (for P1 cases), designated tech advisors, and quarterly operational reviews.

Google cloud storage

Google Workspace is a cloud-based SaaS product. Translation: You don't have to purchase, download, and install the software. All you need are your login credentials and a Workspace-supported browser. At the time of this article, Google Workspace works best on Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge.

Ad-free Gmail

The Gmail inbox is normally filled with both emails and ads. However, Gmail in Workspace is ad free. 

Extra storage with Google Drive

Google Drive in Google Workspace offers extra storage to its users. You can also buy more space. 

Easy to mention using '@'

Communication has gotten even better because users can easily mention anyone by typing his name after the '@' symbol. The person mentioned gets notified via email immediately. 

Use Google Meet without a plugin 

Users are allowed to attend live meetings using the Google Meet app without having to install any plugin.

Additionally, Meet is now available on many devices. 

Simpler preview options

This feature is a great time-saving tool. You can quickly preview links in Docs, Sheets, and Slides in a small window after hovering over them without having to open them in a new tab. 

Easy to create and collaborate on documents

You can easily collaborate with your team on Chat and work together on one project. 

Knowing all these amazing features that Google Workspace offers, you might want to know whether it’s free to use. And if not, what are the pricing plans? Let’s dive in.

Why pay for Google Workspace?

You don’t need to be a Google Workspace user to enjoy Google’s core apps. Gmail, Docs, Calendar, Sheets, and more. They’re all free, and all available without ever having to join the Google Workspace platform. 

So, why join Workspace? Workspace offers more functionality and a more integrated experience. Especially if you’re working on a team, Google Workspace offers a better experience in terms of collaboration and work management.

In line with their rep as an accessible tech brand, in June of 2021, Google announced that Google Workspace would become available for everyone — not just businesses. But like any free version, it comes with its limitations. 

If you’re an individual or team who needs a custom email (not ending with @gmail.com), more cloud storage, video conferences with many participants, and in general, more features that streamline your work, Google offers paid versions of Google Workspace. 

How much does Google Workspace cost?

Let’s dive into what Google Workspace’s paid tiers look like. Here’s what they cost and what they include:

  1. Business Starter
  2. Business Standard
  3. Business Plus
  4. Enterprise

Business Starter costs $6 per user monthly. Google Workspace Business Starter plan is a good option for small businesses or teams who are still growing. If you’re on the fence about whether or not Google Workspace is right for your needs, you might want to start out with Business Starter. Plus, every plan comes with a free 14-day trial. Highlights of this edition include:

  • Secure email with a custom domain
  • 100 participants in Google Meet
  • 30 GB storage space
  • Standard security and customer support 

Business Standard costs $12 per user monthly and includes everything from Business Starter, plus more. Business Standard is ideal for small and medium businesses with big teams. Highlights of this Google Workspace plan include:

  • Secure email with a custom domain
  • 150 participants in Google Meet 
  • 2 TB storage space
  • Standard security and customer support (with the option for paid Enhanced Support)

Business Plus costs $18 per user monthly. Highlights include:

  • Secure email with a custom domain
  • 250 participants in Google Meet (with extra features like recording and attendance tracking) 
  • eDiscovery and retention options (more on this later) 
  • 5 TB storage space (which is nearly 5 times the space you get with Business Starter)
  • Enhanced security and management controls with options like vault & advanced endpoint management 
  • Standard security and customer support (with the option for paid Enhanced Support) 

Enterprise is ideal for larger enterprises who need more advanced security features. You can reach out to Google’s sales team for a custom quote. Highlights of this Google Workspace plan include:

  • Custom email domain with S/MIME encryption
  • 250 participants in Google Meet (plus features like recording, attendance tracking, in-domain live streaming, and noise cancellation)
  • Unlimited storage space
  • Advanced security, management, and compliance controls (vault, DLP, data regions, and enterprise endpoint management)
  • Enhanced support (with the option for paid Premium Support)

Google Workspace for Nonprofits and Education

If your organization is educational or nonprofit, you’re in luck. Educational institutions and nonprofits are eligible for special pricing — and here are those plans in a nutshell:

Nonprofits can actually get started with Google Workspace for free. Google Workplace’s Business Starter plan — which includes a custom domain, 30 GB cloud storage, Google Meet conferences with up to 100 participants, and more — costs nothing for nonprofit organizations. And if they find themselves requiring more advanced features, the higher-level plans are discounted.

  • Business Standard: $3 per user monthly (75% discounted rate)
  • Business Plus: $5.04 per user monthly (72% discounted rate)
  • Enterprise: Contact sales for pricing, but you can expect a discount of at least 70%)

Like Google Workspace for Nonprofits, educational institutions can access the base plan of Google Workspace for free. It includes all of the fundamental Google apps like Gmail, Docs, Meet, Calendar, Slides, and more — plus education-centric apps like Classroom and Assignments. This plan is called Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals. For advanced functionality, educational organizations can opt to pay a discounted price.

  • Google Workspace for Education Standard: $3 per student per month, plus one free staff license for every four student licenses
  • Teaching and Learning Upgrade: $4 per user monthly (choose how many staff license to include in your plan)
  • Google Workspace for Education Plus: $5 per student per month, plus one free staff license for every four student licenses

So, if you’re a nonprofit organization or educational institution, you can enjoy everything that Google Workspace has to offer while keeping costs low. 

What do security measures mean for your business? 

Bigger Google Workspace plans have improved security measures that are important for you to know about. 

  • Vault allows businesses to keep, retain, search and export important data when they need it. It also allows them to export data even from suspended accounts. 
  • eDiscovery is short for electronic discovery. It allows you to find information in electronic format. 
  • Endpoint allows you to distribute important apps among employees and protect data. It also has an Android feature that separates business apps from personal apps, so employees can use their devices for both work and fun. 

Is Google Workspace for everyone? 

Thanks to its accessible pricing, ease of use, and flexibility, we’re backing up Google’s statement that Google Workspace is for everyone. Whether you’re an individual who’s in the beginning stages of running your own business or a large enterprise that involves thousands of people across every time zone, Google Workspace is definitely worth looking into. And while it could get pretty confusing keeping up with Google’s many re-brands and re-naming of their apps, one thing remains: Google makes work easier. 

Moving forward 

Google Workspace makes it easier for individuals and businesses to manage all facets of their working lives. Every single app is powerful in its own right — but together, they form a software suite that makes collaboration and communication work like a dream. To get the most out of Google Workspace, we recommend starting with your Google Calendar. Download Clockwise, a smart calendar assistant that optimizes your calendar to ensure you’re getting the most out of your 24 hours each day. Clockwise automatically resolves meeting conflicts, creates uninterrupted blocks of time for you to focus on solo work, and manages your schedule so you don’t have to. Click here to learn more!

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