Working from home has become the new normal for many of us.
That's why we need to think more than ever how to improve working together from different locations.
An online whiteboard supports teams in doing specific activities, like creative processes, visual collaboration or learning together, better than other tools.
In this blog post highlight here eight benefits you get starting using an online whiteboard when working from home.
- Spice Up Audio- and Video Calls
- Keep Innovation Going
- Explain Things Visually
- Present with a Story
- Host Remote Workshops Successfully
- Combine Mind-Map and Whiteboard Functionality
- Have a Digital Project Room
- Leverage the Power of the Digital Pen
1 Spice Up Audio- and Video Calls
There are many ways to transform a classical video call session to an exciting and engaging experience for all attendees.
Spicing up video calls is essential when people spend most of their meeting time online.
In many sessions, screen sharing is the dominant method during audio- and video calls to share information. Screen sharing is a great way to share information and to communicate, but it does not allow for real collaboration.
Using an online whiteboard allows a team to go beyond the screen-sharing experience and reach a real level of co-creation and collaboration.
Bringing all the attendees of an online meeting together on the same board, on which they can create content and interact in real-time with each other, fosters real collaboration.
The engagement during an online meeting increases when people do something active and others can see what they are doing.
2 Keep Innovation Going
Innovation is one key to success.
Especially when everybody is working from home, it isn't easy to foster an innovative culture.
There are no more coffee breaks, no beers after work or onsite workshops where people are creative and innovate on business models.
Especially teams which have never met physically lack this personal bond.
An online whiteboard is never able to replace an onsite meeting. Still, it is a great instrument to do structured innovation workshops have innovation processes in place to foster creativity when working remotely.
Usually, online whiteboards provide the same toolkit teams know from the real world, like sticky notes, cards, pens and much more. An online whiteboard combines the best from the analogue and digital world.
You can consider an online whiteboard as a place where you can put digital media like videos, images, website etc.
Having an online whiteboard ready when a team needs to find a creative solution is a great way to keep people being innovative when working from home.
Design Thinking, Brainstorming, Mind-Mapping, Mood Boards, Storyboard, Six Thinking Hats, Picture Association etc. are techniques that can be implemented quickly and with low effort on online whiteboards.
Usually, templates support teams to start ultra-fast with a session.
3 Explain Things Visually
Sharing knowhow and ideas in an online meeting is challenging. Most of the people are using PowerPoint slides to present information in a structured way. To give a presentation like this includes a lot of preparation time.
Often information needs to be collected from different sources, and multiple people are involved in creating a presentation.
Additionally, content in a PowerPoint presentation is static at the moment you do a presentation.
An online whiteboard is a great option to bundle knowhow differently and to explain ideas and concepts more visual and dynamic.
I am sure you are familiar with this whiteboard explainer videos. Using an online whiteboard helps you to explain your ideas similarly. Instead of having an editor creating all the animation, you can do this by yourself.
Different tools of the online whiteboard, like the digital pen, images, videos and the option to import documents allow you to communicate visually and be faster and more efficient when explaining things to others.
4 Present with a Story
An online whiteboard brings some variation in online presentations, shifting them away from just showing slide after slide in a PowerPoint presentation to a more dynamic and vibrant way of presenting.
On an online whiteboard, you can create great stories. For example, you can take your audience to a treasure map on your board and tell a story taking them from point to point on the map.
The great thing about storytelling and online whiteboards is that there are no limits in space and creativity. A PowerPoint is restricted to the size of a slide. An online whiteboard offers you an almost infinite canvas to craft your story combining many different objects.
5 Host Remote Workshops Successfully
Hosting a successful remote workshop is almost impossible without an online whiteboard. Just using and audio- and videoconference tool for your workshop is similar, like doing an onsite workshop in an empty room, without flipcharts, whiteboards and sticky notes.
Usually, an online whiteboard offers you a complete toolkit for a remote workshop in one single tool.
Starting from sticky notes, digital pens in different colors, presenter- and facilitator features, electronic voting options and much more.
Other benefits of using online whiteboards for workshops are that all the content created during the workshop is immediately digitized, available from everywhere and changeable after the workshop within seconds.
6 Combine Mind-Map & Whiteboard Functionality
There are many different mind-map tools available, and when creating mind-maps with a team remotely, there is the agony of choice.
An online whiteboard might not always be the best solution to create mind-maps, but it offers several benefits when making a mind-map in the group.
There is always the whiteboard canvas which allows you to take notes, express thoughts and interact with other content while creating a mind-map.
Many mind-map tools only focus on creating the mind-map, while the online whiteboard allows you to combine the mind-map functionality with the whiteboard features.
In the end, each team needs to decide for himself which mind-map tool fits best the remote working scenario they are on, but it is worth to try an online whiteboard with its infinite canvas and all the other possibilities.
7 Have a Digital Project Room
In larger companies, teams are used to have a room for their project, usually equipped with large whiteboard walls on which they can visualize all relevant information about the project.
When people are working from home, they do not have access to this room anymore.
An online whiteboard is a perfect replacement for a real project room.
It provides teams with an infinite whiteboard wall for their projects.
On the online whiteboard, they add the same information they added to their whiteboard walls in the physical project room.
They can go even one step further adding digital elements like videos, website or integrations with their favourite tools.
The digital project room is always available and accessible from everywhere.
8 Leverage the Power of the Digital Pen
One of the essential features of an online whiteboard is the ability to draw, sketch and write with a digital pen like on a real whiteboard. The interaction with the pen enables people to work together more naturally.
All the people that have access to the same board see everything others draw in real-time. Independent if a user is using an Apple pencil on an iPad, a Surface Pen on a Microsoft Surface Device, or a Wacom drawing tablet, people can collaborate cross-platform.
People draw and sketch their ideas on the whiteboard, or they upload their PDF's, images or other documents and make annotations and comments with their pen.
The drawing tools implemented in online-whiteboard applications enables users to work together like as they were sitting next to each other writing on a shared piece of paper.