The Building Analogy: Making A Virtual Workspace Tangible

In an increasingly digital world, we now have the opportunity to work remotely, but how do we optimise intangible virtual workspaces to do our best work?

As a remote team, we work within a virtual workspace, but how have we optimised this intangible environment to do our best work?

At WNDYR, we specialise in fast-track software installation and deployment, which means that we help users onboard onto new software platforms more easily and effectively.

But how have we done this for ourselves in our own virtual tool?

We spoke to our COO Tracey Foulkes last week to get her insights into the way we’ve structured our own internal collaborative workspace, and how we’ve made it work for us. For Tracey, the key is making a virtual workspace a familiar and comfortable environment, just like you would a physical building.

“If we can touch and feel the environment we can make it a bit more real for us.”

In a digital world, we need to design virtual experiences that allow for clear communication when face-to-face interaction and designated physical and geographical workspaces are no longer necessary, or relevant.

So to make sure we’re creating an optimal online environment, we analyse how the virtual workspace tool we’re using performs in The Five Areas of Work: time, tasks, communication, documents and meetings. Using this analysis of the key areas that make up work, we then structure our workflow, and optimise accordingly.

“The first thing I do when setting up a project management space is to run it through the five areas of work, in order to minimise silos.”

Secondly, we address the issue of panic, because this is a normal reaction to change.

“Our brains are wired to resist change. The fear of change is actually a real thing. But through neuroplasticity, our brains are also wired to adapt to change. It’s about moving beyond the initial fight or flight reaction and that fear.”

So in summary, the above process is really about being able to find your way around an online workspace easily, just like you would in a physical building.

“How can we make this technology feel comfortable?”

This means there’s a clear designation of departments:

The Dashboard space is the reception area, the place that everyone passes through. We then expand on the concept of a “building” by creating a project space for each department within the virtual workspace setup, for all related tasks and documents.

This means that everyone knows where to look for what they need, but what happens with cross-departmental information?

We’ve solved this by creating a central task list where anyone from any department can be tasked to do anything, if it doesn’t fit into a particular project space.

It’s a constant work in progress, and along with a massive declutter and archiving exercise earlier in the year, this how we’ve most recently redesigned and optimised our virtual workspace, just as you would do with a renovation or refurbishment of a physical office building.

How have you managed your team’s online environment? Get in touch with us to find out how our team of Deployment Consultants can help to make using shared work software better.

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