In a fast-paced work environment, it can be difficult to stay connected to your fellow coworkers, even if they’re just a few desks away. It gets even harder if you have remote workers or multiple offices. In order to bridge this gap, we’ve been utilizing Google+ as an extension for internal communication and it’s yielded great results.

Here’s why we love Google+ in the office:

  1. It’s free, convenient, and intuitive to use (and if you’re using Google Apps for your business, it’s easy to create an account tied to your work email)
  2. It reduces email inbox clutter
  3. It keeps everyone in the loop and promotes camaraderie
  4. It’s a great resource sharing pool
  5. Its photo albums are perfect for displaying a large collection of visual content
  6. Its interface has a multitude of built-in tools to promote collaboration and communication
  7. You can go mobile
  8. It provides a great means for searchable content

1. It’s free, convenient, and intuitive to use

Sure, there are many applications out there that provide dashboards, collaborative methods, and networking feeds for internal office communication. We’ve tested out a bunch of these options ourselves; however, they’ve all fallen short in one way or another – from cluttered interfaces to excessive payment plans. Google+ offers an intuitive interface, a simple no-nonsense network feed, an effective grouping system (Google+ circles) for selective content sharing, and convenient built in tools (such as image album sharing). And to top it off, it’s all free.

2. It reduces email inbox clutter

Depending on how you utilize your inbox, internal email conversations can be daunting to wade through and keep track of. By keeping the more superfluous conversations out of your inbox and into your Google+ feed, you can keep your inbox under control AND be up to date on internal conversations on your own terms and time via your Google+ feed. Plus, if you want to keep track of a certain conversation in your Google+ stream, you can get (unobtrusive) notifications by either +1 the post or having the original author +your name.

3. It keeps everyone in the loop and promotes camaraderie

The Google+ stream is a great sounding board and support area for recent accomplishments, big or small, made throughout the day. Whether it’s a revision to a recent design or a finished piece of functionality for an application, the stream provides a megaphone for anyone’s use. In our case, this is incredibly insightful and fantastic since it allows our designers and developers to enjoy and be supportive of one another’s efforts that might have otherwise gone unnoticed and unacknowledged. It also allows for individuals who aren’t as knee-deep in certain projects, such as project managers or coworkers from remote office locations, to be in the loop on what’s going on.

4. It’s a great resource sharing pool

Everyday, great inspiration and resources cross our radar. However, if everyone went around emailing the entire office their most recent finds, we’d quickly find ourselves buried in mounds of links piled sky-high. By keeping these shares to the Google+ stream, however, you can quickly skim through these great resources without being overwhelmed. Furthermore, you can utilize your Google+ circles and target specific pools of people (like developers or designers) and share specific resources that are relevant to only those people.

5. Its photo albums are perfect for displaying a large collection of visual content

This feature is especially great if your office deals with a lot of visual deliverables and products. Google+ offers a great visual interface to view images via its photo albums. It’s easy to view large snapshots, make comments, or +1 images. Albums also allow you to organize images by projects or iteration cycles.

6. Its interface has a multitude of built-in tools to promote collaboration and communication

With Google chat and huddles, communication and collaboration is easy to access. Both of these features are seamlessly built into the interface of the Google+ home screen and allow for easy one-on-one or group conversations. Use Google chat for a quick question or try Google hangouts to have group video conversations with people in or out of the office.

7. You Can Go Mobile
With the Google+ mobile app, anyone can stay tuned into daily activities as well as actively participate in discussions, such as commenting on design comps. And while it’s one more notification to your mobile, it’s a fun one that you can look forward to!

8. It Provides a Great Means for Searchable Collaboration
With Google’s internal search engine, it’s easy to go back and pull up old design comps, brainstorm conversations, or links without having to sift through piles of emails or chat logs. Everything you do on Google+ stays recorded and easy to reference which is a great benefit for collaborative sharing on the Google+ stream.

So there you have it; these are some of the main reasons why we love using Google+ in the office. Do you also use also use Google+ in your work environment? Or are you planning on giving it a try in the future? Whatever the case may be, we’d love to hear more about your experiences or thoughts on the subject in the comments!

  • Nice post Jessica. I’d add 2 other reasons:

    7. Going Mobile
    I keep up with daily activities and even comment on design comps when I am on the road with the mobile app. It’s also fun to get notifications that aren’t emails.

    8. Searchable Collaboration
    It’s great to be able to go back and pull up old design comps, brainstorm conversations or links without having to use email/chat…etc.

    A couple of notes worth mentioning – how we set it up:

    +We used our accounts and do not use them for our personal G+.
    +We made circles for each department and interest
    +We don’t accept friend requests outside of our domain to avoid stream clutter
    +We never share publicly to avoid accidentally sharing private information
    +In the settings, we only allow our domain and circles to comment, send messages and notifications

  • Jason Amunwa

    Ooh, ooh! And make sure to add the Google+ notifier and +1 buttons to your browser, so you can see your inbound notifications and share links from anywhere, instead of just within Google sites/apps:

    Notifications Extension –
    +1 Button Extension –

  • Awesome idea! I think we’re going to run with this for internal communications/sharing at Thunder. Is there a way to set up settings on the Google Apps admin account to allow for only emails on the Google Apps domain to get access or is that just a rule that everyone abides by?

  • Chuck Longanecker’s points above highlight the main reason that I am hesitant about using G+ for this purpose

    “+We never share publicly to avoid accidentally sharing private information”

    I am worried that one day someone would click ‘public’ thinking they are in their personal account…

  • Jessica Moon

    @Gary – Unfortunately there isn’t a way to do what you’re asking to do at the moment

    @David – One other thing that many of us have done to avoid confusion of accounts is add our logo chicklet to the bottom of our DT google+ icons to further establish a sort of visual separation between work and personal accounts. Also, since Google+ defaults on comment posts to your circles first (and since our circles at work even have the word DT in it), there are a couple walls a person would have to tackle before accidentally sharing public info such as: 1) go out of there way to type +public, 2) realize that they’re posting outside of their work-labeled circles, 3) ignoring their work-centric stream with work logos sprinkled here and there, and 4) really having it skip their mind that they’re posting to the general public sensitive and private info!