Delivering Online Workshops: What We’ve Learnt
Back in March, the world shifted. Travel halted. Offices shut. Businesses closed. We stopped being in the same room as each other and started only seeing each other through a screen.
For Think Productive, as a Productivity Training Company delivering face to face workshops in people’s offices, it was a scary time for us.
Luckily, we had our Productivity Ninja characteristics to help us adapt. Agility. Preparedness. Unorthodoxy. We used these characteristics to pivot the business, to deliver our full suite of face to face workshops on Zoom and even created two brand new sessions ‘The Productivity Ninja’s Guide to Working from Home’ and ‘Leading Remote Teams’.
Since the beginning of April, we’ve now delivered over 100 of our workshops online across the world and we’ve learnt a lot in the process. There are pros and cons to delivering workshops in a virtual world. But, we’ve learnt, the pros far outweigh the cons…
The not-so-obvious benefits of Online Workshops
– You can get a much more geographically diverse group of people together, which opens up perspective you may have never heard from.
– From a business perspective, it’s much cheaper, as you don’t have to pay out any travel costs (for your staff or our Trainer). It also means it can be easier to find a date for training that works for the whole team, as there’s no travel logistics involved.
– From a delivery perspective, it forces you to be more creative and possibly quicker (eg using break out rooms on Zoom instead of getting up and moving to another room physically)
– Accessibilty is good – there are lots of tools available like transcription.
– Everyone gets their turn to speak as everyone takes up one box, visible in no particular order on camera. As opposed to a face to face workshop in a room where someone might sit at the head of the table. It makes seeing people’s faces easier.
– Distance between screens can make it easier and feel safer to share difficult communications.
– You can get an insight into people’s real lives. People are in their own spaces rather than in an artificial training space. It helps us to connect on a human level.
– Using the chat means you can potentially see a wider range of views, as people may feel more comfortable contributing in a chat function.
– Potentially screen demos are easier as people can all see the screen share rather than everyone trying to huddle round a projector.
The no-so-obvious downsides
– For some people it’s sensory overload. Especially in gallery view as you’re trying to read body language and hear voices across multiple squares.
– People are even more tempted to multitask in virtual sessions. Or get interrupted and have to step away because someone’s at the door.
Is there an unexpected pro you’ve discovered from working online? We’d love to hear them!
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To experience one of our virtual sessions, register for a free place on one of our upcoming webinars here.