As a design company, workshops make up a substantial chunk of our work. Whether it's a designathon, vision or inspiring leadership workshop, workshops are a fantastic way to build alignment, prompt feedback, advance ideas, and learn new skills. This is true not only when we work with external clients and partners, but also for our internal projects and challenges.
Now that we're all working from home, however, what are ordinarily in-person experiences, now have to be facilitated online. But don't let the distance get you down - While it can be a challenge to transfer the energy that comes from group work and physical interaction to the digital realm, it's possible!
Want to rock your next remote workshop? Give these tips a try:
Remote Workshop Set Up
Workshop rules need to be more formal and strict than in the analogue space. Some basics: No interrupting each other, mute your microphone, and raise your hand instead of just starting to talk.
Keep participants in the loop about how much time is left for each task and keep up the speed. Using a timer within your digital workshop space can be very useful.
Keeping up the group spirit is easiest when you can always see your teammates as though you’re in the same room. One monitor should be dedicated to the faces while the other one is your workspace.
Keep your online workshops running smooth
together can make a huge difference when you're not in the same physical setting. Some nice formats: a little drawing challenge, introducing yourself by showing one item on your table, or sharing a photo of your work station.
Pro-tip: One of our favorite warm-ups is to ask participants to draw a Dilligord. Don’t know what a Dilligord is? Perfect! That’s the whole point. It’s so fun to see what everyone comes up with.
Mix Analogue And Digital
Nothing can replace sketching with pen and paper. We like to build in time for everyone to draw. When it’s time to share, have each participant take a photo of their work and upload it to your workspace.
To avoid getting into long discussions between individual participants, it helps to split the group into pairs before sharing in a circle. That way, people have already honed what they want to say and are better able to listen to others.
Make Time to Move
Looking at a screen for hours is exhausting. Plan for pauses every 60-90 minutes and give participants a moment to breathe, meditate, stretch, and regroup. You might even need to take more regular breaks.
End your remote workshop with bang
End With A Visual Result
Just like your analogue workshops, the end result of a remote workshop should be something visual. This could be a prototype, idea napkins, or something as simple as a shared Google Doc.
Our Favorite Tools
- For communication: Zoom, Jitsi, Slack, Tandem, Discord
- For synthesis and prototyping: Whimsical, Miro, Figma
- For documentation: G-Suite, Notion, Dovetail, Scrapbox
And that’s it! If you would like to learn more about our workshops or have any remote workshop tips and tricks you’d like to share, please email Doro, our Berlin Studio Lead.