How Good is Google Docs for Human Resources? Tuesday’s Discovery Workshop

October 20, 2015

Google Docs for Human Resources

As more and more technology moves to ‘The Cloud’, you probably find yourself slowly letting go of old clunky systems, and taking advantage of browser-based software that lets you instantly access the functionality you need.

For many professionals, however, finally waving goodbye to their cherished copy of Microsoft Office and migrating to cloud-based alternative Google Docs can feel like a real hurdle.

So today, I want to explore just a few of the differences between Google Docs and the more traditional office suites like Microsoft Office, in particular from the point of view of HR professionals.

Google Docs VS Traditional Office Suites

Google Docs is an Office Suite that you can access via your browser, using your Google login.

In terms of how many different programs you get access to, all the basics are there – you can create text documents, spreadsheets and slideshows. Although these three programs don’t necessarily replace all the core programs in traditional Office Suites like Microsoft Office, they certainly cover what the average person is going to need on a regular basis.

Functionality-wise, Google Docs includes most of the basics. The ability to format the fonts and layouts of text documents, the ability to create lists and formulas on a spreadsheet, and the flexibility to customise slides to create a fairly decent presentation.

On top of this, you’ve got the security of knowing that your work is all protected on Google’s secure servers (insurance against a hardware failure on your end), and you can create the document on one computer, then access and edit it on another. What’s more, the Internet makes it possible to collaborate in real-time on work – whereas before, you would need to engage in a lot of back-and-forth with your colleagues, tracking the changes you’d each made and saving different version names and dates to stay on top of the history.

Downsides? Sure. Hardcore users might miss the ability to use some of the more advanced (yet frustrating) functionality that comes with purchasing a licence for one of the main competitors. Plus, of course, there’s the requirement to maintain a good Internet connection if you want to save your work… and on that note, unless you’ve saved a local copy to your hard drive, you won’t be able to pick up your laptop and work on those monthly reports while you’re stranded in the middle of nowhere without any signal.

There are loads of arguments for and against Google Docs. I’m not going to list them all here, but you’re welcome to start a discussion in the comments section below.

Is Google Docs Useful for Human Resources?

So how useful is Google Docs for a Human Resources professional?

Here at People, we are always talking about how modern technology lets you finally ditch the spreadsheet, and enter the wonderful world of modern UIs and glorious automation. But we’re also realists, and we know that sometimes, you just want an all-purpose blank page to create something quick. Or maybe you even want to make a quick spreadsheet, for old times sake!

Here’s what we think about Google Docs for Human Resources: It’s great! Why? Let me tell you.

With so much modern technology, you really can do pretty much everything you need to using HR software. Employee databases, holiday planning, absence tracking, performance, recruitment… you name it. Buying a licence for a very expensive office suite that you might never even use seems counterproductive – and that’s where Google Docs comes in. You can create documents for free using your Google account (within reason), and you don’t have to install any software – you just open up your browser and get going.

How to Add a Google Docs Document to People

Want to know what else is pretty cool about Google Docs? Anything you create there can be instantly imported into People by simply pasting the link!

People Google Docs integration

To give this a go, just head over to the Company Documents area, and paste the link of any document (or folder) you’d like to add.

Oh, and if somebody changes the document via Google, then the next time an employee views it, the changes will automatically show.


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