Optimize Spaces for your organization

This article is intended for administrators. If you want to learn how to create and join spaces, visit the Spaces end user help

Spaces are the primary place in Google Workspace to communicate, collaborate, and get work done. With Spaces, ideas can flow more freely, information is accessible at all times, and work can easily take place. Spaces help your organization discover and collaborate on topics, and they bring together teams in a better connected and more productive work environment.

The power of Spaces

Spaces are:

  • A center of work
    Spaces serve as a single place for a team’s work, decisions, announcements, and discussions. Everyone stays in sync with access to the same content and visibility into decisions. Workspace apps and third-party tools are integrated in Spaces, right where you need them.
  • Topic oriented
    Topic-focused spaces help people efficiently organize spaces and effectively set up notifications. 
  • A safe space for discussion
    Spaces provide a fast, expressive, and lightweight environment with more casual chat-based conversations and emojis. This informal communication style lowers the barriers to engagement and encourages more free-flowing conversations and psychological safety for people in your organization.

Spaces or group conversations?

Spaces are ideal for many communication goals, as described above. We recommend Spaces as the primary place in Workspace for project and team-oriented collaboration, as well as social discussions and general knowledge sharing that will continue on an ongoing basis.

Small group conversations or 1:1 chats are perfect for quick, ad hoc messaging, such as informal clarifications, quick follow ups, back channel communications that don’t need a large audience, and highly temporal discussions. 

For more details about when you might want to use these and other communication tools, see Best practices for group communication.

Best practices for setting up Spaces

Here are some suggestions to help your organization use Spaces effectively.

  • In most situations, we recommend that you turn history on by default so people can reference knowledge and discussions that happened in the past. When history is off, the conversation may disappear before everyone involved has a chance to see it. If your Workspace edition allows it, consider setting the History is ALWAYS ON option.
  • Set up and communicate your company's guidelines for chat etiquette. This should cover situations when you want your organization to use email, direct messages, small group conversations, or spaces, and whether expected response times are different for these communication channels.
  • You can import groups into a space, but this is limited to groups with less than 100 members. If you want to import a group with more than 100 users, you can make a new discoverable space, and then message the group members with a link to join the new space.
  • When creating, renaming, or upgrading a group direct message to a space, you need to use a unique name. This includes capitalization, punctuation, and internationalization. For example, if you have a space called lunch, you can't use:
    • luncH
    • lun.h
    • lŨnch 

Here are some specific guidelines that we recommend:

  • Use Spaces for asynchronous discussions where people don’t have to be online at the same time. Instead, they can read and respond on their own schedules.
  • Use @mentions to draw attention to individuals and make sure they’re notified. Let users know that they can use @all to get the attention of everyone in a space, but remind them that this notifies everyone. Consider adding examples of situations where this would or wouldn't be recommended in your organization.
  • Encourage people to add high-level context when they @mention people in chat, especially in larger group conversations and spaces. This makes it easier for colleagues to know what you’re referring to at a high-level without having to review the entire space.
  • To help your users reply to specific messages without disrupting the main conversation happening in the space, consider using in-line threading so your users can branch replies into separate conversations. Learn more about in-line threading.
  • Consider using discoverable spaces for topics that don’t need to be limited to specific individuals or teams. With discoverable spaces, information is more transparent, organizations can build shared understandings, and new members can quickly come up to speed.
  • Encourage employees to create their own spaces for their work. Have leaders actively use spaces to encourage and model others to follow suit.
  • Work with Space Managers in your organization to promote healthy conversations, ensure that topics stay on the appropriate track, and control the availability of the space within your organization.

Manage Spaces in your organization

Space Managers have responsibility for the space description, its guidelines, and for removing disruptive content. Anyone in your organization who creates a space is automatically a Space Manager and can assign more people to the role. For details, see Learn about your role as a Space Manager.

Additional people in your organization may be automatically assigned the Space Manager role. This helps prevent unmanaged spaces, for example, if a Space Manager leaves the space or their account is deleted or suspended. If the space creator is no longer a member or hasn’t been active for 90 days, up to 3 of the earliest active members of the space are automatically assigned the Space Manager role.  

Space Managers have a diamond beside their name in messages and the member list. 

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