REMOTE WORKSHOPS – It can be done. Here’s how.

Note: we are not affiliated with any of the tools mentioned below.  This is just how we have learned from experience the tools we know and can recommend.  There are a lot more out there, so you can take our suggestions or find what works for you.

REMOTE LEARNING & WORKSHOPS. – DOING AGILE VS BEING AGILE

As Steve Walton from our Australian office says

“Adaptability and ingenuity in remote working is part of the ADAPTOVATE DNA.”

We acknowledge there is a flood of information out there on remote working currently.

However, we wanted to drill down and look at how you actually run a workshop when you are all at home in your office!  Your workshops can continue.

ADAPTOVATE has extensive experience in setting-up of remote teams and facilitating remote sessions. We have proven many times over that remote sessions, if done right, can be as effective (or more!) as physical ones.

Remote Workshops are an important mechanism to accelerate learning.

Companies we help are seeing an increase in their training ROI, because we tailor the workshop learning objectives to target specific learning profiles within their organization.

We also tie these objectives to key results the organization is seeking to achieve. There is no one size fits all approach to training.

Catering to the remote learning profiles to sustain learning and self-discovery is a huge differentiator for companies doing vs being agile, and actually applying the principles of business agility.


ADAPTOVATE WANTS TO ASSIST YOUR ORGANISATION.

Here’s our plug – we can’t stress this enough – this is not about commercialising the COVID-19 virus.  ADAPTOVATE are genuinely seeing a need for teams and business requiring assistance with remote business.   We are here to help you and have people in Australia, North America, Europe and Asia, who can jump on a call or video now to get you up and running with remote working in your time zone.

Fiona Royall, a senior consultant in Australia explains “We are experienced with working with distributed teams so have vast experience in setting up teams for success. We help teams create norms, establish ways of working, facilitate workshops, meetings and conduct training virtually.

We’re knowledgeable about methods, practices and digital tools that can enhance how workshops are run and our people have deep skills and knowledge of facilitating workshops remotely.” Fiona says.


Below we’ve outlined a way to get up to speed VERY QUICKLY with conducting remote workshops successfully.

In fact, the irony – you may be workshopping already via remote means, ‘how to work remotely’.   We are in difficult times!

It can be overwhelming.   But you can start with these two principles.   Work on how you are going to get each of these right – and you will find everything does fall into place more smoothly.

Download our free poster for your home office wall
Download our free poster for your home office wall

THE TWO KEY PRINCIPLES

1.    PRESENCE

2.    TEAM COLLABORATION

 

The key here is maximizing the key factors critical for workshops – presence and team collaboration.

PRESENCE

Presence requires 3 critical things:  Tools and Rules of Engagement and the right Facilitation method.

 

  1. TOOLS. – In our 24-page guide (download here for free) we go over more thoroughly the tools you can use.

Presence can be maximized with the use of a video conferencing tool and making sure proper rules of engagement are in place.

Brooke Pannell, a consultant from our US office says “Good tools for collaboration are key for remote workshops and meetings. At minimum, a company will need a good conferencing platform for audio and visual, and the ability to whiteboard during meetings. The best tool allows multiple people to collaborate and edit at the same time, so everyone is involved and engaged.”

 

2.     RULES OF ENGAGEMENT.

  1. Camera on
  2. Mic on
  3. Mute if not speaking
  4. Signalling the need to speak
  5. Introducing yourself when speaking
  6. Ensure that both your facilitating company and clients have tested the online collaboration tool so that connectivity issues are fixed prior to the workshop
  7. Login to the call 5mins early to avoid a delayed start
  8. Use chat functionality as a holding bay for questions and ask the Facilitator to answer them

 

BONUS tip #1 Set clear workshop/session objectives

Kayla Cartwright from our US offices recommends “Have aligned assessments and tell participants how their learning will be assessed. Incorporate frequent checks for understanding and pauses for written synthesis of key section takeaways to ensure learners are actually thinking and learning.”

 

  1. FACILITATION FOR REMOTE WORKING

    Enhance your facilitation technique. Our Managing Director in the US Nathan Nelson says

    1. Take regular pauses and check for understanding.
    2. Make sure to engage each team member.
    3. Spend more time at the beginning making sure everyone understands objectives and outcomes.

BONUS tip #2: CO-FACILIATOR
Slawek Koziol from our Europe office suggests:  – “Having a co-facilitator monitor the videoconferencing tool for visual cues, chat and other signals can help maximize presence. “

Andy Koh from our Asian office agrees: “Taking note of ‘quiet’ participants and calling them out to answer questions makes a large impact on perceived ‘presence’ during workshops. Prompting and guiding conversations also serve to make people feel involved.”

 


TEAM COLLABORATION

Team collaboration can be maximized from the very beginning by these three things:

  1. Making sure participants receive relevant information and materials beforehand so that precious team time is not wasted updating everyone and making sure everyone is familiar with videoconferencing software.
  2. Online collaboration can be supported with simple web-based tools (like Miro or Trello) – these allow even for large groups of people to collaborate effectively in real time, sketching and arranging ideas on virtual post-its or moving and updating virtual task cards. (See our free guide for more information on these).
  3. Ensure regular interactions. Help design activities that require interactions during the workshop Workshops are all about learning and applying immediately. At ADAPTOVATE, we conduct workshops that ensure interaction between participants at regular intervals, even if they are conducted remotely.

 

BONUS TIP #3: INTERACTING: Andy Koh from our Singapore office suggests:

“One such example is the story mapping activity we conduct. During this online activity, we use instant collaboration tools like Miro to ask participants to all contribute remotely every 10 minutes or so. This keeps participants engaged and ‘present’. A similar effect can be achieved using online polling tools like Mentimeter.”

 


A LIST OF THE TOOLS useful for remote workshops:

VIDEO CONFERENCING
Google Meet
Microsoft Teams
Zoon
WebEx

CLOUD STORAGE AND REALTIME EDITING
SharePoint
Google Drive
Dropbox

REAL-TIME COLLABORATION
Miro
Trello
Mentimeter


REMINDER:  ADAPTOVATE have developed a 24-page free guide to help you make REMOTE WORKING SUCCESSFUL.  Head over here to download.


We’d like to thank the following ADAPTOVATORS for helping with the above article:
Kayla Cartwright, Ted Tomoyasu, Anthony Librizzi, Rachna Verma, Brook Pannell, Steve Walton, Benny Ko,  Nate Nelson, Fiona Royall, Mina Gurgis,  Andy Koh and Slawek Koziol.