How to get the best from a remote workshop with your creative content agency

If the creative industry can take anything from the Covid-19 pandemic it’s that remote working, well….works. The widespread adoption of a remote-working model has driven serious environmental, social and cultural change. A flexible, adaptable remote model has the potential to drive social mobility, open up workforce demographics, increase sustainability, and have a positive impact on employee’s mental health. Remote collaboration has been so widely adopted that at least some element is likely to become firmly rooted in our lives.

As a FinTech start-up like Trussle or Tide, working with a creative content agency or a video production agency that operates a remote-working model has profound benefits. We’re lacking in the overheads that many agencies carry and we have the benefit of being able to source the best talent globally. We love the energy of a bustling workspace – the smell of freshly ground coffee, the buzz of conversation – but we’re strong believers that you can still create award-winning ad campaigns without the tie of a central office. Meeting face-to-face with our clients is still important to us, but by adopting a remote-working model we find our creatives are freed up to spend more time doing what they love, and less time getting pulled into meetings or caught up answering questions. 

Developing campaign creative is one thing, but how do you get the best out of a collaborative Creative Workshop when your team is spread across multiple time zones? Can co-collaboration, idea-generation sessions still work without meeting face-to-face? How can you harness the soul of a creative workshop – a melting pot of ideas, a hub of innovation – and make that work in an online space? We take a look at our top 4 suggestions to get the best out of a remote workshop with your creative content agency or video production agency.

Communication and Inclusivity

Creating a productive workshop environment means first identifying possible barriers, and then coming up with a strategy to mitigate them. In a virtual world, you may find that there is greater reluctance towards participation or a reduction in the depth of communication – i.e. non-verbal means of communication such as body language is harder to detect. Fortunately, these are really easy to mitigate with the right tools and preparation. Whilst workshops must be inclusive, they mustn’t force participation. Think about how you can best accommodate the needs of your stakeholders and team, and consider any possible barriers that you can foresee. You’ll find that with the right planning and the right tech stack these are often easily avoided meaning everyone feels valued and included.

Planning and Toolkits

Whilst clear preparation is important for any workshop, digital delivery forces you to revisit and rethink your agenda. Are there any areas that require a change to maximise the output of the session? Do you have a deep understanding of the goals and objectives of the session and a clear plan in place? Nesta has a really great toolkit for planning a creative workshop, with clear timed segments and a fluid workflow.

Technology

As the world turned on its head, there was a sudden surge in uptake of Saas platforms that enable remote collaboration. The majority of remote-working software has been on the market long before the pandemic hit. As the Design Council found in their first foray into the world of digital workshop delivery, get the right tech stack in place, and everything will run a lot more smoothly. 

We find that tools like Miro, Figma and Milanote are a great way to co-create visual mapping and diagramming. 

Miro

Miro is like an online whiteboard. It’s got a zoomable canvas, it integrates with Jira and . We find the Miro interface really intuitive and it makes virtual collaboration a lot easier. It’s got a great toolkit, loads of widgets, and some handy pre-built templates. 

Milanote

Described as the “Evernote for Creatives”, and favoured by Creative Directors, UI/UX designers, and us(!) Milanote is a cross between a digital pinboard and a note-taking app. It enables you to collaboratively organise ideas and projects across boards. We find that it adds so much value to remote brainstorming, storyboarding, and design collaboration.  

Figma

Figma is a web-based UI design and prototyping tool. It’s a bit similar to Sketch, but has a greater emphasis on collaboration, or co-designing. You can easily co-create a user interface with a remote team, and it enables you to design and prototype in tandem. Transitioning between testing and designing adds real value.

Whether you want to facilitate the co-creation of user stories, customer journey maps, wireframes or simply brainstorm, Miro, Figma and Milanote are our go-to’s. 

Company Culture

This one is linked to your company culture. Ensure that your team feel that they are connected to the company and the product. Do you promote employee advocacy; are your team supported to express their views and concerns? Make an additional effort to involve and engage your stakeholders in advance of the session. Inspire and motivate them about what’s going to happen, and the potential benefits to both the product and them if it’s applicable. 
If you’d like to hear more about what we do, please drop us a message https://sidekickstudios.co/contact/

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