Brainstorming isn’t a particularly new concept. In fact, the format came about from an advertising executive back in the 1940s. And, while the concept itself remains the same – a group activity in which participants come up with ideas to solve a certain problem - the ways in which people brainstorm have changed to suit the introduction of new technologies, and adapted to accommodate global events.
As many workplaces have shifted to hybrid ways of operating in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, brainstorming sessions, once carried out in-person, needed to be altered to suit those working remotely.
And in fact, research has shown that virtual or online brainstorming can be far more effective than more traditional methods – but there are stumbling blocks when leaders try to simply replicate those traditional methods instead of fully embracing virtual tools.
With this in mind, how can businesses make virtual brainstorming work for them? Harvard Business Review has already covered the key steps to running a successful virtual brainstorming session, so we thought we’d add our take on how a shared immersive space can further enhance the experience.
1. Use a shared collaboration tool that works for your team – in and out of an Igloo
Harvard Business Review starts by suggesting that you pick a shared collaboration tool. As we know, there’s pretty much an app for everything these days, including a whole host of interactive aids to facilitate online idea gathering.
Some of these include Miro and Mural, digital whiteboard platforms that enable teams to get together in real-time and work collaboratively on the same topic. And the great thing about these web-based tools is that they work seamlessly in a shared immersive space, thanks to our immersive Igloo Web browser and enable those inside to be surrounded by the content being shown. (And it works with plenty of other web-based tools like the Google and Microsoft suites).
Rather than crowding around a laptop to work together with those based remotely, those inside can benefit from working from their own phone, laptop, tablet, games controller or even via touch-screen – whilst being surrounded by everyone else’s ideas on the walls around them.
So, those who prefer face-to-face interaction to get their fix of in-person time, whilst catering for those who prefer to do this remotely. Everyone within the session can work on the same board at the same time, which also helps eradicate the issue of production blocking (when an idea gets lost in the mix of a larger group). Rather than having to shout ideas out, which can leave introverted team members feeling anxious, they can jot down their thoughts and ideas at the same time as everyone else without fear or judgment.
2. Use our immersive video conferencing solutions
Another way businesses can make the most of virtual brainstorming in a shared immersive space is by making use of our integrations with leading video conferencing platforms. One of the often-argued downsides to working from home is that you are not seen by those in the office, meaning you could be ‘forgotten about’. By bringing a video call up onto the walls of the space, those in the office feel as if their remote colleagues are there with them, and those at home are seen to be taking part and therefore not forgotten.
You can work together on collaborative tools, whilst still having room for open discussion and questions when needed via the call. And by introducing 4D elements like spatial audio into your immersive space, you truly feel as if your team members are sat with you.
3. Make the most of our software suite
And finally, businesses can take full advantage of our software features that make it easier for hybrid working. Our latest application, Igloo Control Panel, contains a handy feature that enables you to share a section of your Igloo canvas directly into the video call, meaning those working remotely can see the finer details up close.
Perhaps you’re looking to discuss a spreadsheet that needs attention or get everyone’s thoughts on a document you’ve been working on. Those in the space will already have a good view of whatever content is being discussed, but features like this help to enhance the experience for those not in the room, making it more inclusive for all.
However you decide to virtually brainstorm, a shared immersive space can enhance the experience and make it even more inclusive. If you'd like to see it for yourself, get in touch to arrange an in-person or virtual demo.
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