How Google Docs improves the workplace

After using MS Office for 3.5 years, I was very very skeptical about how Google Docs could ever find its way into the workplace — with its rag – newspaper kind of look and feel , lack of polish , missing features – even basic ones like Tables  .  I really missed the variety of fonts, commands , table menus , styling …. of the Office Toolbars and Ribbon !

I must say I have really revised my opinion. Google’s Keep It Simple philosophy actually works quite well for reasons they probably never thought of. The problem with Microsoft’s productivity tools is that they are so nice, and they have so many visual features that it gives an opportunity for the bureaucrat-types in the workplace to give everyone a very skewed perception about what they are really doing at work. These are the types who wouldn’t want to get their hands dirty doing real work or writing real code , but because of their fancy emails, with well aligned tables , text with fancy formats and fonts – they send out important sounding Status Updates , meeting requests , “Agendas” and Product Planning graphs . Because one line of email improves the perceived value of an employee so much more than ten lines of invisible code,  at least in a big mega-corp with lots of faceless people . Google Docs I feel, has just enough to get your work done efficiently without people having an armament of UI tools and menus to send prettier emails and outclass you in (perceived) value . But yes , as a product in itself Office certainly has more “class” except that it now feels somewhat bloated with a whole lot of unnecessary features . On the whole, I am happy to have seen both sides of the tech ecosystem.

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