Collaborating while self-isolating

“We’re going to have to run this workshop remotely”, a statement that strikes fear into many seasoned facilitators.

As travel restrictions, handshake-bans and company policies to limit face-to-face meetings come into force worldwide in response to the spread of the Coronavirus, it’s no surprise that this is something we’re hearing more and more at Incite.

So, we’re sharing some tips and resources to help you get the most out of collaborating at a distance.

And the global outbreak of Coronavirus may have forced our (well-cleaned) hands, but there are actually plenty of benefits to virtual workshopping that we shouldn’t overlook:

1 / Speed

No need to wait 12 weeks until the next Global Marketing Director Summit to get everyone in the same place.

2 / Flexibility

Sprint-style/process workshops don’t need to be run on consecutive days to maximise physical time together, building in reflection time to the process.

3 / Cost

No flying people all over the world, putting them up in hotels and taking them away from the most important thing – their home life.

4 / Supporting different working preferences

It’s not new news that people process information in different ways. Virtual workshops force you to think about different ‘together’ and ‘alone’ approaches to reach the end goal.

5 / CSR initiatives

Name a company that doesn’t want to actively invest in ways to reduce their carbon footprint or negative environmental impact?

Virtual workshops are not without their challenges, but so too are in-person ones – the key to any successful workshop is in the planning. At Incite, we spend a lot of time planning: what’s the purpose and end goal, who do we need (and not need) to achieve this, what’s the shape, structure and content we need to share and what do we need attendees to actually do?

Virtual workshops have a couple of additional elements to consider though: how do we build rapport and social interaction in a virtual world and how can we test the hell out of the tools in advance so that we don’t waste the first hour repeatedly asking “can you hear me/see my screen?”.

For more ideas on how to get things done remotely, follow the links below. If you’d like us to help you navigate the minefield of virtual workshops, please get in touch.

Some of our favourite resources for workshops

1 / The devil’s in the detail: winning workshops need to do more than feel good
Elaine Kent-Smith, Incite

2 / Online warm ups and energisers
Written by Mural

3 / Seven ways to make remote collaboration more effective
Written by Workshopper

4 / Remote design sprints: an expert discussion
Video by AJ&Smart