Google Docs has been around for a little while now. Businesses are adopting the tool as a way to increase efficiency and usability of information. I have yet to work for a business that actively uses Google Docs on a daily basis, but I can certainly see the benefits and the drawbacks to using the program.
If you are considering implementing Google Docs as a new tool for your employees to utilize, consider the following pros and cons before making your final decision.
Pros of Google Docs
Accessibility. With Google Docs, employees can access the database 24/7 wherever they have an internet connection. This kind of flexibility is extremely helpful, particularly for employees who are often travelling and working from mobile devices. Accessibility like this can take your productivity to the next level.
Version Control. Collaboration is of the utmost importance in the workplace. Being able to not only access information from anywhere, but to be able to control the version of any document your employees are working on is a huge asset to your company. Google Docs allows you to add and remove collaborators using the Collaborate tab when working on a specific document. That way you can control exactly who can make changes to the document. In addition, multiple users can access and edit the same document at the same time. It even allows users to see who else is in the document and making changes to it as they work.
Easy to Learn. Google Docs is very straightforward and easy to pick up. If you have any experience with a word processor or programs such as Word, Excel, etc, you will pick up on how to use the different options within Google Docs.
Free. Google Docs is a free program to use. I think this fact speaks for itself.
Import/Export Flexibility. If you need to import a file or export something out of Google Docs, you won’t run into error messages and issues with compatibility. Google Docs imports and exports most file types, giving you the flexibility you need when sending and receiving files from colleagues.
Weak Presentation Program. The biggest drawback to Google Docs is the presentation program. It is not the strongest presentation program and, in my opinion, is not close to being equal to PowerPoint. Google Docs’ presentation program does not have a variation of styles/themes, templates, charts/graphs, and slide transitions. It is the bare basics. If you are planning on creating a dynamic presentation, I would look elsewhere as Google Docs will not meet your needs.
Internet Access Required. This is both a pro and a con all rolled into one. Yes, Google Docs is available 24/7 anywhere there is internet access. This also means, no internet access, no Google Docs. In today’s business world, the likelihood of not having internet access in some form whether on a computer or mobile device is fairly slim. However, it is worth mentioning that documents you are working on will no longer be available when you cannot get online.
From what I have outlined above, I think it is fairly obvious that Google Docs presents many more advantages than disadvantages. If you are thinking about implementing Google Docs for your employees, make sure you weigh the pros and cons. Every business and its employees work differently. Make sure the tools will work and increase productivity before simply implementing them and hoping things improve on their own. You will still need to bring your team up to speed on the program and make sure they fully understand how to best use Google Docs.