Watch out Microsoft Office Suite users, Google Drive is about to take over how you create, manage, and store your critical office documents. Sound like a sky-is-falling attitude? I thought so too, until participating in mock interviews with dozens of high school juniors and seniors.
Like any good recruiter, I naturally questioned them on their proficiency and comfort level with Microsoft Office, and was met with blank stares like I was speaking some foreign language. I then aptly went on to describe Word, Excel, and Powerpoint – still nothing, and I felt as though I might as well be asking them what a typewriter is.
So then I asked what they use to write their essays and create their presentations – confidently they each said, “oh, that’s all done in Google Drive.” That’s when it hit me, are businesses fully prepared for these students who are about to fully join the workforce in a matter of a few short years?
So here are some things to consider as you prepare.
Google Drive Pros
It’s Free, to a Point.
Anyone with a Google account can create and then store up to 15GB of documents into their account. If you need more space you can purchase different monthly plans depending on your storage needs.
The Same Tools, With Different Names.
Some functionality is slightly different but most is the same. Instead of Word, you have Docs. Instead of Excel, you have Sheets. Instead of Powerpoint, you have Slides.
Access on the Go.
As long as you have an internet connection you can access your documents online for full editing capability. If you are headed somewhere without an internet connection, just download the document to your desktop. If you are a mobile user, there is also an ‘app for that’.
Document Permission Levels.
You retain control of what access levels people have to your documents, from no access to full editing access – you decide.
This is hands down the best feature of Google Drive, as you can have teams working together on documents in real-time. This is a great feature for people that work in different locations or remotely.
We’ve all been there – the computer unexpectedly has to shut down and you haven’t saved your work. No fear, your work is auto-saved. You can easily pick right up where you left off, no more desire to call it a day.
This feature allows you to revisit any version or edits to your document, and revert back to them if necessary.
Microsoft Office Conversion.
If you are like me and deeply entrenched in the Office Suite but want the collaboration/ease of access ability that Drive offers, no fear. You can upload any Office product into drive and convert into a google product.
Google Drive Cons
We have been using Google Drive in some capacity for a couple years, and sometimes, without explanation we run into a glitch (file not visible) – it always seems to be easily resolved by refreshing the page, but panic will inevitably set in.
While you can upload MS Office documents into Drive, you may experience some issues with functionality and formatting.
While Google assures users that their information is stored in a secure data center, there is still one major security concern – humans. When office documents are stored on a business-owned PC, you are ensuring that they are password protected, have strong anti-virus software, and other protective measures. But when they are on a cloud, you are relying on your team to access the Drive on secured networking, to use strong passwords, and to always make sure they log out of their account on any public device.
New software can be a challenge for some. While many things are the same, sometimes it is the smallest changes that can cause the greatest frustration.
Plan Ahead to Not Fall Behind
What is important is for businesses to recognize that many of tomorrow’s workers are coming out of school far more entrenched in Drive than the Microsoft Suite we all are accustomed to, so it will be worth your time to start preparing now. We are not recommending abandoning the tried and true Office Suite, but thinking of ways to start getting yourself and your staff acclimated on Google Drive. Just starting to dip your toes in the water now will help you better understand how your next generation of workers is trained to process documents.