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    How to Make Sure Your Remote Design Thinking Workshop Runs Smoothly

    1 September 2020

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    In-person workshops have been the normal way of our work life for decades. But as the technology is advancing, the need to have group meetings in one physical space is becoming less relevant. Remote workshops have been an option for companies for years now. Yet people hold physical meetings to ensure effective collaboration. 

    Although most businesses preferred physical meetings over remote workshops, the COVID-19 pandemic situation is forcing businesses to operate meetings and workshops remotely. As remote workshops are not a totally new concept, there are many methods and tools available to perform the workshops effectively. 

    Group workshops usually depend on the individuals involved in the process, it is an art to engage and deliver a successful workshop. While one group can successfully complete a workshop using a particular agenda, another group can fail using the same. It all depends on the practices that you bear in mind. Here are a few tips and best practices that can help you facilitate a remote workshop smoothly:

    Over-Prepare

    Your workshop agenda and the tools you use to run the workshop are the first and most important things to check ahead of time. Before the workshop, run through the workshop timing and ensure that everything is set up correctly. If possible, practice the segments of your workshop with your friends or colleagues. 

    Introduce Your Chosen Tools Ahead of Time

    To make sure you do not spend extra time trying to figure out the tools, give a trial run in advance. If possible, provide a list of the tools you will be using during the workshop to the participants beforehand, so they will be familiar with the tools and will have no problems using them. 

    Keep it Short

    To keep the participants enthusiastic and energetic during the whole session, keep the sessions as short as possible. Try to keep it less than four hours, and if possible, split the sessions in two days. You will have a team of focused participants. 

    Create a Professional Environment

    Creating a professional environment while working from home can get difficult at times. Setting up high-quality equipment, proper surrounding and an office like background can be helpful in this matter. 

    Plan Plenty of Buffer Time

    Remote workshops take a lot of technological equipment. There is always a possibility that some of them may malfunction during the meeting. Put some time in your hand so even if any unexpected error occurs, it won’t hamper the workshop agenda. 

    Make Your Participants Feel Valued

    This one is a bit difficult while facilitating remote workshops. In a physical workshop, it is easier to read the participants’ faces and their body language. But during a remote workshop, you need to be extra careful and put some added attention to making them feel valued. Smile more often and listen to everyone’s opinion, you will be good to go. 

    Incorporate Energisers

    Workshops can be long and boring. It will not be surprising if you find that the energy level is dropping among the participants during the workshop. Try to incorporate some fun activities to use as energisers during the workshop. Allow breaks once in a while. These will keep the energy level up.

    Remote workshops are necessary during this time to keep a business running. Although some managers and employees are suffering due to their lack of experience in facilitating remote workshops, a few tips and tricks can easily help them get comfortable with the situation.