The reason why not more people choose a solution that is guaranteed to increase collaboration and productivity, is a little too often linked to Microsoft Office (formerly Office 365). And can you really survive with Google Workspace in a world where the majority still use Word, Excel and Powerpoint?
The answer to that is: Absolutely! In fact, working with other companies using Microsoft Office has never been easier. It’s actually almost easier than when I had the Office applications installed locally and used Outlook.
Collaboration in different file formats
Google Drive supports more than 100 different file formats, including Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, but also PDFs, images, videos, and audio files, to name a few. Editing an Office file can be done directly in Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, without having to convert or change the format first. And of course without the need for a separate license on Office.
But that’s not all, you can also take advantage of some of the clever collaboration features found in Google Workspace, using these file types. Such as delegating tasks utilizing comments and working on the same document with your colleagues, at the same time, having a full overview of all changes that are made.
And you can do exactly the same with the mobile applications of Docs, Sheets and Slides, if you want to move your home office outside for a while.
Real life example
A practical example of how simple it actually is: You receive an email with a Word document as an attachment from a customer, in which you have to make some updates, and then return to the sender.
When you receive the email, you can open and edit the attachment directly in Google Docs with one click. Make the changes needed, and then choose to send the updated document back in response to the original email, directly from the Google Docs file menu. Mission accomplished!
Word formatting is unchanged. No need to download the file locally or to retrieve the original email and re-attach the document. And you can do it from anywhere, since you don’t need any software installed locally on your computer.
Could it be any easier?
Solutions for macros in Sheets
For those who work a lot with spreadsheets, it has often been the case that you have both Excel and Sheets. One of the reasons for this has been macros, as Excel has a lot of this to automate processes. But creating macros in Sheets is very simple when using “recordings” of the process you want to automate, and thus avoid writing code.
And there are also options for those who work with sheets already filled with Excel macros as well. One is to install Google’s own “Macro Conversion add-on” located in Google Workspace Marketplace. This can convert VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) code to Google Sheets with Apps Script. (Note that this requires Google Workspace Enterprise Plus licenses).
Another opportunity that many companies take advantage of is Sheetgo. Using this tool, you can set up automated processes, far more advanced than you can in Excel, and use Excel as a source and destination for updates while doing the actual updates in Sheets.
Even for heavy Excel users, there are opportunities if you want to use more modern tools in your everyday life. For most of us, it’s actually faster and easier to work 100% in the cloud with tools built from scratch for collaboration. At least I don’t miss trying to figure out who has the latest updated version of the company presentation stored locally on a hard drive…
Do you want to know more about Google Workspace benefits?
In a recent report, Google commissioned Quadrant Strategies to examine and compare the effects of both Google Workspace and Office 365 on the companies that use them. You can download the full report here.