Remote Workshops

Collaborative workshops in a conference room where bright minds work shoulder-to-shoulder is an effective way to foster innovative ideas and forging intangible connections.

Remote workshops, which are increasingly the new reality, find it challenging to create that ‘magic’.

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Workshops are ‘co-creation’ time with people who have varied disciplines, backgrounds, and perspectives. 

To make these people show up, we need to make the invitations intriguing and something that provides value to the participant. It helps to send the invitations in advance, with follow-ups.

Video Conferencing is a must-have for a remote workshop, while chat tools are not effective. In case there is any audio or video problem, phone in and take everyone into a conference call with your phone.

Collaborative tools: The whiteboards, sharpies, and post-it-notes can be replicated virtually with software like Invision Freehand for example.

Make use of the collaborative tools in such a way that it facilitates participation and innovation in the participants. It helps to make the participants feel special.

The soft skills to use: Acknowledging the participant and show gratitude for the time energy they are investing.

By providing ample break times, participants will be in the right mental space and feel homely and comfortable. They can be given 'stretch and reflect' times, keeping them creative and relaxed. It helps to provide them with an outline in the beginning.

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Processes

Good processes let you get work done in the absence of all else. They provide structure and direction for getting things done.

A few examples from Zapier:

  • Weekly Hangouts;
  • Weekly One-on-Ones;
  • Bring the team together 2 times/year somewhere cool;
  • Automate anything that can be automated.

3

IDEAS

For the whole idea of remote work to actually work, you have to develop a remote culture for your team.
And that means having a shared context: everyone plays by the same rules, you have to understand your team's practices and everybody has to have an overall feeling that you are working in an equitable environment.

Objects that move in a constant and unpredictable motion improve blood pressure and heart rate and positively affect the sympathetic nervous system.

This can be incorporated into the home office by adding waving grass outside a window or a fishbowl on a desk. Other relics to add are seashells, geometric forms, or stones.

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