Online Workstations is a popular and challenging virtual team problem solving game with powerful messages about managing team communication - teams are advised not to write any information down, so need a process to manage and categorise individual contributions and shared understanding.
All communication is verbal; strategic thinking skills are essential. Each team is provided with a link to view their individual task information contained on images of playing cards.
This is a perfect early team exercise or ice-breaker to establish how a team works together and ideal for groups not previously experienced in working together.
Online Workstations is delivered via the secure and easy to whitelist portal at experientiallearningtools.com and can work alongside any online meeting provider such as Zoom, MS Teams etc.
This exercise demands both task and group leadership. It is an excellent introduction to 'chairing skills' and could be used as the 'warm-up' to a session on managing meetings, team briefing or working with focus groups.
It also requires critical thinking - simply sharing the information will not uncover the answers, rather the information contained on each information card must be combined, and then used to deduce the answers to the two questions posed. This allows the group to be involved in a significant team-problem solving activity, and quickly mirror problems that real-life teams face in the workplace.
Workstations is also available as a physical playing card-based product for those who want to work in a hybrid situation (some face to face and some working remotely) , or for an entirely virtual session.
Online Workstations is easy to set-up and adapt at the last minute to accommodate any changes in participant numbers or changes. A draft session is initially created, and then that can be adjusted when the participant group is confirmed - either by auto email distribution or via individual participant links.
Online Workstations offers a good, practical illustration of team roles in action and can be successfully linked to work on effective team performance eg. using the Belbin Team Role model, or individual personality, thinking preference or other individual profiling tools.
The team members are required to share information verbally in order to solve a 'matrix puzzle' - a process of information sharing, elimination and logic. The difficulty comes in not being able to write anything down - the group must identify other ways of remembering and sorting key information. The matrix involves the names of five people, the jobs they do, the places they work, the vehicles they drive and their lunch preferences!
This is a challenging activity and most groups will take at least 20 minutes to complete it - all the information on all 30 x image links distributed is relevant so each team member must play a part. However even after sharing all the information, the group must use all of this along with some critical thinking to complete the matrix and reveal answers to the two key questions: 'Who goes to a cafe for lunch?', and 'Who drives a Ford?'
If you wish to have our facilitators use this game with your learners/team, or to train a group of facilitators, then please purchase the one hour Product Coaching Support package instead.
A single annual user licence for delivery via the online platform at experientiallearningtools.com with access to all product-based video and written Articles relating to setting up, administering and reviewing the online activity.
Unlimited use of the activity within the 12 month licence term from the date of purchase, and use of all materials included for any individual single learner group of up to 30 learners (included with each user licence).
Free access and use of all the facilitator support Articles within the platform during the licence term.
Multiple learner groups using the activity at the same time will require multiple user licences.