After forming your team of remote workers, the next question is how to collaborate productively. While it is easy to have a brainstorming session in an office environment, the new normal calls for group meetings that have to be done remotely. With video conferencing technology, brainstorming anywhere in the world is just one click away.
To be able to conduct an efficient and effective brainstorm session, here are some tips to help you conduct a successful collaboration.
Gather the participants
When inviting the participants, you must take note of their involvement in the session. You might not need everyone in the team to be present. You also need to consider their time zones, internet connection speed, availability, and how comfortable they are working with others in this remote setup. If they are not yet formally introduced with each other, it is best to have separate introduction sessions with them before inviting them to a bigger group. Knowing other participants in the brainstorming will lessen the awkwardness and shyness of talking to each other.
Specify the purpose
It is important to have an agenda and stick with it. In this way, goals will be set and the time allotment will be strictly for the topics to be discussed. If you already have an objective before the session starts, you can end it by achieving its purpose. If you think that a one-time gathering is not enough to get the answers you seek, then let everybody know that it will be a recurring session and set a fixed schedule for the next ones.
Lead and facilitate
Remote brainstorming is harder than it looks because the participants may seem distant or can have the tendency to disconnect with the rest of the group. There are unseen distractions and disturbances. Video conferencing has options to mute or turn off cameras. Problems with connectivity in their respective locations can sometimes create delays and dead air. The importance of leading and facilitating the session will ensure that everyone is still onboard and on the same page. If no one wants to talk first, take the lead and keep the ball rolling. Make sure to avoid awkward silences and give others a chance to speak.
Encourage individual teamwork
As a remote team located in different parts of the world with no one to physically collaborate with, it is important to learn the art of individual teamwork. This means working on your own to look for solutions to the challenges presented, then the output is collected and combined with those from the others. Use collaborative platforms where you can easily share individual ideas and learn more even after the session has ended.
Ask for feedback
The best way to improve is to be open to suggestions from others. Find out what worked and what didn’t work by asking the participants what they can say about the session. Learning from each other opens more opportunities for comfortable collaboration. It also creates a connection with everybody in the group. In this way, participants also know that their opinions matter and their thoughts are being heard.
Brainstorming encourages the freedom to express and exchange ideas. It is important to adjust to remote setup as the new normal and transition to working together but separately. Though it is a bit challenging compared to having it in person, doing it online via video conferencing should be no different. Remote collaboration does not end with the video call. With these tips, you should be able to work together with your team from anywhere and any time without any worry.