As more and more businesses adopt a hybrid work remote model, discovering the best ways to collaborate and ensure client security will become the number one priority of home office dwellers everywhere. Thankfully, with the help of Google Workspace security and the recent Workspace update, Google Cloud Services is making working from home more accessible and secure for everyone.
What Is Google Workspace?
With the ability to safely connect with coworkers through Google Chat and tag teams in Google Drive docs, the connectivity of Google Workspace has given teams across industries the unique ability to adapt and grow like never before. But what exactly is Google Workspace? And how can teams take advantage of recent updates to make the most of working from home?
Google Workspace is a collection of cloud and productivity tools and software created by Google to equip workforces with the ability to collaborate and work within Google Cloud. It was formerly known as Google Suite and rebranded as Google Workspace. It has several tools for businesses of all sizes, and it offers significant value to businesses with remote workers.
You get numerous tools within Google Workspace, but a few of the most commonly used are:
An email system with Gmail anti-spam filters and security
Backups and cloud storage using Google Drive
A Google Doc environment to share presentations, spreadsheets, and word documents
Chat, meet, and schedule calls with Google Calendar
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What’s Included in the Recent Google Workspace Update?
In an effort to provide remote teams with the most efficient tools for cloud computing and team collaboration, Google Workspace rolled out an update in March 2021 to address the new productivity challenges faced by remote teams and frontline workers. The Workspace update included expanded Google Workspace security features and accessibility updates, making it easy to connect remote teams and support more flexible work schedules while providing office-grade cloud security.
More Second-Screen Experiences
Google Meet is rising to the occasion for more agile connectivity across devices. In particular, Google Meet’s mobile experience and the ability to host a second-screen experience with Q&As, polls, and captions means teams are able to hold virtual meetings like never before.
The “second-screen experience” feature is meant for users who want to share their screen on one device while hosting and viewing the Meet feature on another screen. Instead of worrying about open tabs and windows with private data on your desktop, you can instead open Meet on your desktop and share your screen on a mobile device such as a tablet to show viewers.
Updates to Google Calendar
As teams continue to shift to more flexible work schedules, it will become imperative that our work calendars shift with the changing times. Google Workspace updates recently introduced some new calendar features that make it possible for greater time management that doesn’t include an intervention or management from leaders.
The new Workspace update introduces time insights directly integrated into your calendar. Identify where you spend most of your time, how long you spend in meetings, and set goals to better optimize your time in the future.
Expanded Data Regions Coverage
Improvements to Google Workspace security center are also making the future of work effective and more secure. For specific Workspace apps and those who need to manage their data across geographical locations, they now have the ability to control where that information is located, at rest, through geo-location tools.
If your organization must follow compliance standards, it’s likely that you must store data within certain regions. Not every region is compliant, so previously sensitive data could not be stored on Google Drive. Now, Google Workspace lets you choose regions where your data is stored so that you remain compliant with numerous standards such as HIPAA, PCI-DSS, GDPR, CCPA, FINRA, and others.
Frontline Worker Solution
One of the more custom solutions in the latest Google Workspace update is the rollout of Google Workspace Frontline: a cloud service created specifically to address the unique collaborative challenges of essential workers. This service provides unlimited user access with limited resource usage.
The Frontline edition of the application gives you all the same tools with the standard Workspace subscription, but users have a 2GB storage limitation. You also don’t get Google Vault, a data retention solution, but you can update to the standard edition later and add this feature to your service.
Updated Google Workspace Security Features
One of the most anticipated components of the Workspace update includes expanded Data Regions coverage and Assured Controls. Updates to Google Workspace security center are better equipping people to work from home while remaining within compliance of ever-evolving cyber security needs. This update is particularly important because it brings enterprise-level security to workers that find themselves further from a physical office than ever before.
For Enterprise Plus and Education Plus members, additional security features are available to help them better secure their data. Add key management to facilitate encryption of data using a third-party vendor or your own in-house tools. Keys will be used to encrypt and decrypt data, so a compromise will have less of an impact on compliance violations and data theft.
Workspace users will also have the ability to label data for a domain. This feature helps organizations prepare for audits, SEC filings, and other important data. New trust rules provide administrators with the ability to granularly assign authorization to sensitive data across the Workspace environment.
The Future of Work and Adopting Google Cloud Services into the WFH Model
According to Gartner, 90% of employers plan to allow their employees to work remotely part-time post-pandemic. This staggering number may mean a higher level of flexibility for an already overworked workforce, but to many it has the implications of a greater, more modern work-life balance to come.
With more users working remotely, cloud services are a necessary part of any business environment. Instead of managing disparate tools across multiple environments, Google Workspaces provides administrators with a centralized dashboard where they can manage users, access rules, data storage, email, and security. As Google continues to update its Workspaces services, businesses get a robust environment to make it easier for employees to work from home and still remain productive.