How to Use Central Desktop for Better Team Collaboration

Are you sacrificing speed and organization for free and familiar? If your team is using the same tools you’ve always used, like email and spreadsheets, you may not even realize that your team’s full potential is still across the horizon.

Tools like these are what you know –  you already know how to use them and that they get you to the finish line. But there are other ways to get there – faster and with better results – that require little effort to learn and adopt.

Team collaboration software like iMeet® Central by PGi offers your team a smarter way to collaborate. Using iMeet® Central, you’ll hit the primary goals of effective team collaboration, such as:

  • Improved inclusion: The more complex your team(s) is, the trickier inclusion and accessibility are to achieve. However, iMeet Central dissolves the boundaries and limitations of complex collaboration by centralizing every document, conversation, update, calendar and more into a virtual workspace that anyone can access from anywhere on any device. Telecommuters, road warriors and team members around the world will be able to collaborate in the cloud as if time zones didn’t even exist, and you’ll be able to include external collaborators (like agencies and vendors) just as easily and control what they can see and edit with varying authorization levels.
  • Increased clarity: One of the key elements to effective team collaboration is ensuring everyone understands each other’s roles and responsibilities. By allowing you to assign tasks and their order within a workflow, you create greater transparency so nothing falls through the cracks. Plus, as you receive team members’ updates in your stream, you have the ability to better assess where projects are stalling and readjust and assign help as needed.
  • Greater knowledge sharing: iMeet Central turns all of your documents, discussions and updates into a searchable database, making it easier to find and share information and ideas. Every file and discussion page has a permalink that makes it fast and easy to share specific items.
  • Better progress: iMeet Central helps your team move forward on projects faster than ever. Replacing multiple team collaboration tools with a single solution means you only need to remember one login, and you don’t even have to log in everyday to receive alerts and notifications. Both in-person and virtual teams have everything they need to schedule and join meetings right from iMeet Central, including shared calendars and integrated web and audio conferencing software. iMeet Central even lets you update and edit documents right in the platform, saving you time downloading and re-uploading files, and locks documents being edited in the cloud so you don’t have to worry about other team members overriding your work.

Just as importantly, since you’re replying to photos and customized profiles, iMeet Central allows for much more personal team collaboration than other asynchronous options like email. Because Central Desktop is built with a broad range of users in mind, not just IT, you’ll find it incredibly easy to leverage the solution’s full potential and tailor it to your team’s unique needs.

If the tools you’re using for team collaboration aren’t helping you eliminate common challenges like trust and communication, try Central Desktop for free. Sign up now for a 15-day free trial to experience the solution that hundreds of teams around the world trust.

Try iMeet Central Free

From Me to We Infographic

How do leading companies improve productivity, time to market and innovation to compete? Research proves teams that make collaboration a priority not only communicate better but also drive real business results, making teamwork and collaboration now critical to sustaining a competitive advantage.

Scroll through PGi’s teamwork infographic below for the rest of the story, “From Me to We: Teams Drive Innovation, Productivity and Growth“:

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work eBook

The key to business success into today's collaborative culture is, without a doubt, harnessing teamwork. However, teams face growing challenges to cohesion as work styles and technologies change the way we work. Learn how to build, nurture and lead your dream team to success with PGi's three-step process for effective teamwork.

Why Do I Need an Online Team Workspace?

When a project request pops up, you know just where to find your teammates to collaborate: email, instant messaging, on the phone, in file sharing sites, etc. You’ve got a process down pat to lead your team to success, right? Maybe not.

Most teams have used those tools so long that they don’t question whether there’s a better way. In fact, with enhanced productivity and mobility, online team workspaces help you work in ways you never thought possible.

So how do you know when email’s not enough? Here are three signs you need an online team workspace:

  1. Your files are everywhere. You use email to provide project updates, web applications to share revisions, file sharing sites to transfer large documents and chat for instant feedback. For occasional collaboration between a couple people, these scattered, consumer-grade tools may be fine, but large teams with more complex collaboration need a centralized place to connect so everyone spends less time managing files and communication. An online team workspace offers more professional ways to work with a branded, searchable space that consolidates file sharing and displays instant updates with an activity stream.
  2. You’re juggling lots of projects with tight deadlines. Unless your team is tackling something brand new, you probably have a process or workflow in place that you repeat for every project. This type of collaboration solution helps you break down that process and automate each step, saving time and creating transparency so all team members are accountable for their responsibilities. With oversight over workflows, you keep everyone on task, and you speed up the entire process to get ahead of deadlines.
  3. You collaborate with a lot of players. If you collaborate with a large team, other departments, clients and/or agencies outside the company, you need to step up your workspace. Each additional participant or process adds to the complexity of your collaboration, and with external collaborators, you need a space to collaborate with enhanced accessibility and padded security. A single, secure space streamlines that web of interaction. Putting every file, update or comment in a central location keeps everyone on the same page so your project keeps moving forward.

Simpler, even free, tools exist, but you need a better way to connect and capture all of that interaction when you’re managing important content and high-bandwidth collaboration between lots of people.

Learn more about how this type of collaboration software helps you automate team projects in PGi’s productivity webinar on demand.

What Are Team Workspaces?

Also known as online collaboration tools or shared work spaces, team workspaces are a centralized content location, a secure platform where you can share files, a network of defined work areas for project management.

It’s not just about file sharing, nor is it a social network. With so many features, functions and benefits, team workspaces offer versatility to accommodate a variety of applications and team processes.

Team workspaces typically offer:

  • Sharing. Team workspaces facilitate this function both internally (employee-to-employee) and externally (with vendors, partners and clients).
  • Collaboration. Communicate with near real-time social capabilities like comments and discussions.
  • Syncing. Everything syncs on multiple devices and beyond the firewall.
  • Project management. Users can set up multiple spaces for projects and teams.
  • Workflow oversight. Always keep projects moving forward by checking statuses, monitoring timelines, prioritizing tasks, pulling reports and sharing calendars.
  • Security. You decide who accesses projects, shared files and sensitive information with access controls and permissions for privacy.
  • Customization. Mold each space to your own work preferences in terms of layout, navigation and more.
  • Archiving. Your workspace is a searchable library and database for creative assets, data and even records of project activities.
  • Benefits of Team Workspaces

Here’s why companies and teams convert to team workspaces:

  • Productivity. Streamline project processes with efficient, central locations for collaboration. Lacking inefficient message chains and communication errors, team workspaces help you accelerate production and innovation.
  • Mobility. Accessible from anywhere, these tools help teams embrace mobility, further improving productivity. After all, if you’re out of the 9-to-5 or the cubicle, why shouldn’t your work follow, too?
  • Cost-efficiency. Team workspaces can be a cost-effective alternative to other platforms. Many are cloud-based, not only decreasing costs but also freeing up IT from complex implementation.
  • Security. Team workspaces secure information better than emails, and they also offer a secure alternative to employees’ DIY solutions. When companies don’t offer appropriate collaboration tools, employees seek out solutions that may not meet IT’s security requirements.

Broad Applications for Team Workspaces

Team workspaces benefit any team looking for a better way to connect and a user-friendly tool that offers more than the bare minimum.

These adaptable, secure tools support both in-office and out-of-office teamwork, as well as different types of collaboration. This makes them extremely valuable for cross-organizational, large-scale, global and enterprise collaboration.

Mergers, acquisitions and other sensitive transactions are contained in a secure, central location. Virtual teams and telecommuters seamlessly manage projects together in a shared space. Creative collaboration that requires large file sharing and workflow management makes team workspaces ideal for marketers and agencies.

Learn More

Want more information on team workspaces? Take these next steps:

  1. Check out leading team workspace platform Central Desktop, a PGi company.
  2. Sign up for a demo to test-drive team workspaces.
  3. Learn why teamwork-heavy projects thrive better outside of email.