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How to faciliate a remote workshop

Clarity of the Workshop’s Value

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.

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How to faciliate a remote workshop

How to faciliate a remote workshop

https://www.invisionapp.com/inside-design/facilitating-remote-workshops/

invisionapp.com

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Key Ideas

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’.

Clarity of the Workshop’s Value

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.

Conferencing Tools

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.

Design Thinking

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.

Create A Deck

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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Working from home misconceptions

Working from home does not mean you are a remote worker. For a lot of people “working from home” is synonymous with not really working, but instead sitting at home in comfy clothes and doing anything but working. Because no one is really watching you.

Rules for remote work
  • Assume remote, even if you have only 1 person that is not coming to the office. So make sure to share all the information from meetings in a written format.
  • Have a private, quiet, dedicated space for working in your home. Preferably with a door that closes.
  • Have the right digital equipment.
  • Over-communicate.
  • Make sure you get to actual meet your colleagues face to face.
  • Have a time overlap with your team.

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Changes you may see

If and when you return to your office after the pandemic, you'll probably notice some changes.

  • The doors of the building may open automatically, so you don't have to touch the handl...
Working from home

Before the pandemic, only 4 percent of the US workforce worked from home at least half the time. However, the trend of working from home had been gaining momentum for years.

It is estimated that within a couple of years, 30% of people will work from home multiple days per week.

Continued remote work
  • Before the pandemic, a lot of company management and leaders were skeptical regarding remote work. But the skepticism will go away because companies recognize that remote work does work.
  • The economic impact of the pandemic will likely force employers to cut costs. They may reduce their rent by letting workers work from home instead of layoffs.
  • Employers had to spend money on new technology and equipment to work from home - a departure from the norm.
  • Employees themselves are also spending more money to create better home offices.

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Assembling the Team

... that's capable of executing in a remote setup:

  • Hire doers: they will get stuff done even if they are working from a secluded island.
  • Hire people you can trust....
Software/Tools

In a remote team, you'll need the right tools to make sure everyone stays on the same page and can continue to execute without a physical person standing next to them.

You likely will need a tool in certain categories like group chat and video conferencing to make remote successful.

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.
Before remote rebooting your team

... consider:

  • More than 70% of leaders say their teams do not collaborate on their most important business problems, and 70% say their teams are conflict avoidant.
  • 2...
Strong virtual teams
  • Virtual and traditional teams can only succeed if all the members of the team feel like they can be candid.
  • Everyone on the team needs to be accountable, not only to results and to their superior, but to each other.
  • They proactively foster strong relationships (caring, trusting, supportive generous) among members.
  • Teams thrive when they have ambitious goals that have been collaboratively created and jointly owned.
Creating a new culture

Leaders and team members can make a virtue of this global situation and new world of work: you have an opportunity to introduce a totally new meeting culture, one that values candor and accountability.
It's not going to be easy, given the uncertainty we face. But now more than ever is important to work together.

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Daily Morning Huddle with Coffee Chats

An informal daily huddle where everyone is face-to-face in a virtual meeting, holding a fresh cup of coffee is a great way to start the day with purpose and energy. It requires everyone to wake up early, get dressed and make a cup of coffee.

A morning routine is great for productivity too.

Dance Parties And Music Playlists

Infusing music and dance in your breaks can add a sense of pleasure in the otherwise dull and drab routine, enhancing the immediate virtual surrounding of the extroverts.

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Remote working is not without its challenges, with many feeling isolated and unmotivated, being left on their own.

Communication is trickier with colleagues and bosses, and there is a general lack of transparency and chances of overworking.

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  • Being Tech Savvy: A Good PC/Laptop, the latest tools and software for the job, and a reliable internet connection are a must for most remote working profiles.
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Mimic Your Office Culture

For many of us, the office becomes a fun place due to a sense of community, purpose and fun interactions that make up an office day. To try and mimic your office culture virtually:

  1. Set up Slack channels for water cooler conversation
  2. Schedule virtual movie days, when the same movie is streamed with the chat option on.
  3. Try to recreate virtual versions of what employees miss the most in office, like a coffee break, for instance.
Being Social While Remotely Working

Being social at office lubricates official conversations and the work itself. The more we spend time with colleagues having non-essential chatter, the easier our work becomes with them.

It helps to be creative and infuse fun into a virtual interaction. Any official conversation, like a manager meeting his subordinates in a one-on-one meeting, can start by asking about the person’s life (something unrelated to work), so that a connection is built.

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Building a better brainstorm

Everyone can learn to brainstorm better - it’s a process like any other. 

And the beauty of a process is that it can be taught, learned, and shared. 

How To Brainstorm Like A Googler
  1. Know the user: To solve a big question, you first have to focus on the user you’re solving it for–then everything else will follow. So we go out in the field and talk to people.
  2. Think 10x: It’s about trying to improve something by 10 times rather than by 10%.
  3. Prototype: Take action. You want to strike when the iron is hot–you don’t want to walk away or agree to follow talk with more talk.
Brainstorming guidelines
  1. Build on each others’ ideas
  2. Generate lots of ideas. Quantity is more important than quality, so really let loose. 
  3. Write headlines. Being able to describe an idea in less than 6 words helps you clarify it. 
  4. Illustrate. Pictures are usually louder than words and harder to misinterpret.
  5. Think big. Invite bold ideas.
  6. Defer judgment.
Getting an early start
Getting an early start

Plan your morning the night before and stick to your plan. 
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Deciding where to work
  • If you know you’re more likely to work from home, invest in comfortable furniture; you feel good it will inspire you to get work done.
  • If you want to join a local co-working space but are intimidated by the price point, ask about smaller memberships to start.
Prioritizing tasks

Don’t let your skepticism about productivity hacks get in the way of finding a technique that suits you and helps you get things done.
If you’re still having a hard time identifying priorities, try working backward by identifying work that’s definitely not a priority. Eliminate those items and assess what’s left.

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