Since its inception, Google has made a point of continually reinventing itself and revolutionizing the industry. From search engines and email inboxes to productivity software and cloud storage, the tech giant has consistently led the way for industry innovation. Millions of young people around the world have grown up using and adopting Google’s impressive line of apps and solutions, with many of them entering the workforce being already trained on the ins and outs of how to effectively use popular Google apps like Gmail, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Calendar, and Chrome.
This is primarily because of Google’s prominent position as the tech world’s foremost innovator, and the massive scope of classroom-friendly solutions including G Suite for Education and Google Classroom, which have worked diligently to make the classroom learning experience more fun, accessible, and interactive for students. With so many young people using G Suite, Chromebooks, and Google apps both in and out of the classroom, it’s important for businesses of all sizes to understand the implications of how this will continue to shape workplaces over the coming years, and what you can do to make the most of the opportunities that it may present.
G Suite and Chromebooks in the classroom
It’s estimated that up to 40 million, or more than half of the K-12 students in the United States, currently use Google Classroom and Google apps for education; these include Gmail, Docs, and Slides. G Suite for Education is currently used by well over 70 million students worldwide, giving students and educators access to a full line of apps that let students work collaboratively to tackle assignments, projects, and critical thinking exercises. G Suite for Education has been made available to educational institutions at a reduced price in order to put powerful technology solutions in the hands of students, improving educational outcomes and training them how to use some of the world’s most popular tools.
G Suite for Education is more secure than other classroom tools, allowing teachers and faculty to easily oversee how their students are using the apps. These tools also offer a wide range of accessibility features that allow students of all needs and learning styles to be able to engage with their peers through G Suite. Many of the apps used by young people in the classroom are the same ones being used by workplaces around the world to encourage productivity, collaboration, and efficiency in businesses of all sizes and sectors - these include Gmail, Drive, Calendar, Hangouts Meet, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, and Sites.
The Google Classroom revolution
Many of these students use these educational Google apps on Chromebooks, Google’s answer to traditional laptops and netbooks. Today, Chromebooks make up more than half of the mobile devices shipped to schools for use by students. Chromebooks are used by up to 25 million students, providing an affordable and secure alternative to laptops. This classroom revolution began in 2012 when Google began to help schools focus on teaching children fundamental skills and concepts like teamwork and problem-solving. Soon enough, Google Classroom was developed with the help of a number of former teachers, and released to classrooms around the continent.
Google Classroom has helped to completely change the ways in which teachers and students can share schoolwork and ideas, and has made it easier for both groups to organize assignments and units, ask and answer questions, and facilitate conversations between teachers and their students. Classroom lets teachers share files directly to students, allowing groups to work together within one document, making it easier to keep students on the same page, answer questions, solve problems, and apply visual and interactive elements to encourage better learning outcomes. Google Classroom also lets teachers leave feedback and comments for their students, grade assignments and quizzes, easily toggle between student files for more efficient grading and feedback, and manage student profiles and settings. Classroom has done a lot to help teachers show their students the importance of collaboration, and in the process has made learning more engaging for future generations.
Additionally, students are used to working on Chromebooks, which offer faster computing power for a fraction of the cost of a Mac or Windows laptop. Chromebooks rely on access to G Suite and use Google Chrome as an operating system, which saves valuable computing resources.
Google becoming more widely used amongst young people
Over the last decade, Google’s presence in the classroom has largely overtaken the Microsoft Office suite of apps, giving students wider access to easy-to-use tools that encourage students to work together and collaborate, and allow teachers and faculty to easily oversee and supervise their activities. Students are growing up using features like cloud storage, instant collaboration, proactive security, machine learning, offline use, and mobility - all of which define G Suite, making it the dominant productivity suite available, and leading to its wide popularity as a workplace productivity solution.
These features and the wide range of versatile tools found in G Suite have made Google more popular with students, many of whom are actively porting their student files, emails, and account data into full-fledged Google and G Suite accounts upon graduation. This means that young graduates intend to continue using Google apps well into their professional lives, choosing Google over competitors like Office 365. These facts present an opportunity for businesses looking to employ the next generation.
How workplaces can accommodate future generations
With millions of young students graduating every year, there’s a wealth of talented employees available to businesses of all sizes and shapes. The majority of these graduates are well-versed in a wide variety of technologies and apps, many of which are commonly used in the workplace. This includes productivity solutions like G Suite - millions of students have had years of experience working within Gmail, Docs, Sheets, and other G Suite tools. This presents an opportunity for employers to hire young graduates who have already been trained in how to best use tools like G Suite with a focus on collaboration, streamlining processes, and working more efficiently.
The downside for businesses stuck in the past is that many of these graduates will not recognize or be terribly familiar with how to use legacy solutions like Microsoft Office 365. This means that in order to get the most out of the future generation of the workforce, businesses should consider a move to Google’s cloud-based productivity suite. Not only will this move allow your business to take advantage of students being pre-trained in how to best use solutions like G Suite, but it will benefit your entire team by allowing them to work together from the location of their choosing, on their device of choice.
Increasingly impressive machine learning capabilities allow teams to work more productively than ever before, with Calendar and Gmail offering a variety of work-life balance measures to protect team members from burnout and allow your new hires to work from anywhere. G Suite also offers admins the might of Google’s security and cloud infrastructure, ensuring that sensitive business data will not fall into the wrong hands and that you’ll be able to better control the flow of information in and out of your business.
Employee retention a massive problem in today’s labor market
With unemployment at its lowest levels in years, employee retention is a hot topic. More than 50% of hourly employees quit within the first four months. Wages aren’t the entire reason for this. A new employee can quickly become frustrated when working with outdated solutions, especially if they are given specific performance targets to meet within their probationary period. Unfamiliarity with software solutions can be a significant deterrent to their success, and although adequate training may be provided, they may prefer to work with their solution of choice. For most recent graduates, this solution is G Suite.
An opportunity to explore remote working
Upgrading from legacy productivity suites to a modern cloud-based solution like G Suite gives businesses a major opportunity to explore the many opportunities and benefits offered by remote working. G Suite allows teams to work collaboratively from any location, using any trusted device they wish - employees can create, share, edit, and view documents, emails, spreadsheets, and more, all from the comfort of their own home. By looking to the future and preparing for a generation of graduates who have become accustomed to the convenience and reliability of G Suite, businesses will be able to quickly deploy and expand their remote working teams without the need for heavy training or fears of disengagement.
Hosting remote workers presents the opportunity for businesses to save money that would otherwise be spent on the office - things like heating and cooling, Internet, phone lines, and the cost of office space can get expensive quickly. Studies have found that remote workers are more productive throughout the day, are more satisfied with their work-life balance, and are happier in general. Remote working also cuts down on the number of sick days taken by employees, as sick employees aren’t at risk of infecting their coworkers. It’s also one of the most effective ways to attract and retain skilled employees, as younger employees view having the flexibility to work remotely as an important factor, often determining whether or not they will be loyal to a business.
To find out how UpCurve Cloud can improve the way you do business by seamlessly implementing and integrating intelligent cloud-based productivity solutions like G Suite in your workplace, contact us today.