Lessons our team has learned from our first remote workshop together
Over the last week, our team has been going through a workshop to help us with the creation of a new part of our product. Seeing as this is the first time our team has participated in a workshop together, there is a lot to learn and reflect on.
These are some of our takeaways so far:
Breaks are necessary every hour or so, no matter what time of day it is for participants.
Our sessions include 4 participants from 4 different time zones, so you can imagine how all-over-the-place our team may feel when we pop onto the zoom calls to start our session.
One of us is waking up at 5 am while another is staying up till 11 pm. But, we’ve noticed that whether it’s the morning, afternoon, or night, a short break is still necessary after every hour just to keep the energy levels stable.
Sessions can be really fun and even feel like you’re playing a board game if well organized and facilitated!
After our last experience mapping exercise, one of our team members mentioned that he felt as if we were playing a board game. Thanks to a well-organized session, clear goals, and great engagement from the team, we managed to make a potentially tedious task into something super enjoyable.
This begs the question, how can we make sessions even more fun? Or turn all sessions into something fun?
Miro is the greatest tool ever.
Every feedback round we do, there is always a sticky note that expresses love for Miro. The level of collaboration you can achieve on there for a remote team is just impressive. I think it’s part of what has been making them more fun, too!
It boosted our overall team morale throughout the week — even outside of the workshop.
Having the chance to spend more time together with the team throughout the week really makes a difference for team morale. Since we are rarely online at the same time during normal workdays, it’s hard to have that face-to-face time all together super often. So exercises like this do a lot to bring us together and align ourselves with one another.
Making time for an end-of-session feedback round is essential. Always do it.
We make sure to spend a few minutes after every session to go over what went well, what felt challenging, new things we want to try, and questions we still have. So much value comes out of these few minutes because it allows us to continually improve the next sessions.
Curious to hear what some of your major takeaways have been since making the transition to virtual workshops. What has been the most surprising lesson? The most challenging?
About the author:
Sarah is our community manager, working closely with partners and community members to help us transition to a circular economy. She also runs our product community for TGW — a free design thinking and innovation platform for tomorrow’s changemakers and entrepreneurs. You can request access to our community by reaching out to Sarah via email firstname.lastname@example.org