Meet Google Meet, your friend for maximizing productivity

Eeshan, Knowledge Producer at Inknoe
Eeshan, Knowledge Producer at Inknoe

Meet Google Meet, probably the least popular video conferencing software among the “Big Three”. Think of it as the Luke Hemsworth or the Brian Affleck of the VC family. You may have known it as Hangouts, before the recent rebrand. Nonetheless, Google Meet has a pretty impressive set of features that managers of remote teams should know about. These features arguably make it superior to its more popular siblings, Zoom and MS Teams, for maximizing productivity for remote teams.

The reason for this is that Google has, from the start, been all about working online. Whether it’s through Google Sheets and Documents, or Google Drive, or even G-Mail, Google has been a pioneer in the world of online productivity. In contrast, Zoom is a VC platform first, while Microsoft, as we all know, started in the wonderful world of Windows (Office). For more on Zoom and Teams, check out other articles here and here!

Is that interesting enough to read on? I hope so! Let’s take a closer look at Google Meet.

File sharing and editing

Well, duh! We had to start here, didn’t we? Google was the true pioneer in remote collaboration, with the launch of Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, effectively the online versions of Microsoft’s Word, Excel and PowerPoint respectively. Better still, Google played fair, allowing users to export Google files in *.docx, *.xlsx and *.pptx formats.

Google Meet naturally brings these awesome features straight into their video conferencing platform. It’s pretty simple to do, too. When creating a Google Meet session, simply attach the files that you want to work on in the invitation.

Then, when the session is going, click on the Meeting title at the bottom left-hand side of the window and click on the Attachments tab. Click on the file you want to access and voila! You’re in. Your participants should be able to see the files too, so ask them to follow the same process.

Attaching and editing files within Google Meet interface
Attaching and editing files within Google Meet

Another way to do this is to share a file through the Chat window. For a Google Drive file, click on the Google Drive icon and share the relevant file that way. You can also use the old-fashioned way of sending a link to the file ahead of time, and ask everyone to dial in to the file at the same time.

When you’re in the file, you’ll be able to see where others are reading and writing based on their cursors, so it’s pretty easy to get everyone to the same spot.

Google Meet live editing interface
Live editing of files during a Google Meet call

Google Transcribe and Translate

I know it’s a scary thought, but Google is always listening. It’s basically a fact of life by now. So let’s make some lemonade and use that feature to maximize the productivity of your meetings! Google has an amazing live captioning feature, which you can turn on, quite easily, by clicking on the little CC button of Meet when you start a call.

Google Meet Tanscribe and translate
Live captioning and even translation of Google Meet calls

Depending on your Meet version, you may have to click the three little dots first, but it’ll be there either way. While it’s already incredible useful for those taking minutes etc., in the near future Google plans to launch a live translation feature as well! This will make those cross-border meetings all the more productive, especially if your audience prefers to speak in a language other than English.

Keep your eyes peeled for that one!

Performance management in Meet

We really sympathize with managers in this blog. It’s hard enough managing a team when they’re all in the same room, let alone trying to maximize productivity with them all working remotely. Luckily, Google Meet has you covered here as well, at both an individual user level and at an organisation-wide level.

At an organisational level, Google Meet lets you see how your employees are using the various G Suite tools, including G-mail, Docs, Drive, Sheets and Slides. To access this report, head to the Work Insights page and sign-in. You’ll see the following report under Adoption. You can filter the view by individual Teams, Groups or for the whole Organisation.

Google Meet work insight interface
Understanding how your team is using Google Meet

At an individual user level, the scary sounding Audit log captures usage information about users and how they’re behaving. Click through to the Admin console and head to Reports, then Audit, then Meet. You’ll see both a summary report (shown) and a detailed report about individual users as well. Note – you’ll need to have admin rights enabled to see this page!

Assessing Meeting quality within Google Meet
Assessing Meeting quality within Google Meet

To sum up…

Google Meet is a well-rounded remote working solution capable of live file sharing and editing, transcription and performance management. Make sure you use all of these features to maximize productivity of your team when working remotely! If you need any more help, have a look at Google’s handy tutorials here, or drop us a note.

As always, if there’s a solution that we haven’t yet covered off, please drop us a note, and feel free to check out other articles for other handy tips & tricks. Cheers!


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