In 2020, the world faced unprecedented times as offices, schools, colleges, and businesses were forced to switch to a remote working model due to the global pandemic caused by COVID-19. Design Thinking is nothing but making use of empathy to come up with solutions. And in these difficult times, this seems like the most fitting choice to incorporate.

Introducing design thinking processes into your workplace can help you become more successful and come up with innovative business solutions like never before. Since many organisations are new to the remote working model, there may be a slight confusion on how to incorporate design thinking into your everyday work. Through the course of this blog, we will help you understand how you can engage workers with the help of design thinking. 

It is important to ensure that an organisation makes its employees feel supported and understand any issues that they may be facing. Conducting empathy interviews and listening to feedback is highly effective. In design thinking, you can set out different persona groups. With the help of this, you can then identify your remote employees as individuals who may have unique design needs that need accommodation. After the prototype is ready, you will get feedback that can help you understand what needs to be changed. 

Also Read: How Design Thinking can be Used in Uncertain Times

How to engage remote workers with design thinking? 

While choosing how to engage workers, it is important to understand if you have all the necessary technologies to keep them engaged. Let us take a look at a few ways to engage remote workers with the help of design thinking.

1. Make Inclusion a habit

One important step is to ask yourself if you are creating a habit or a ritual that helps you ensure that remote employees are regularly getting representation in conversations. To ensure that the remote employees are getting the required attention, you can conduct virtual meets or calls such that everyone from different locations gets an opportunity to speak to each other. Conducting a survey is a part of the design thinking process and helps us understand if employees feel included or not. Having regular conversations with your teams will help in feeling a sense of belonging and help in higher engagement. 

2. Use Tools that Focus on Staying Connected

Using apps that can help in facilitating communication between virtual offices can be helpful. Before Donut is one such app and the HR teams often encourage their organisation to use such tools to stay virtually connected and to onboard individuals too. There are several tools such as Fond, that will help in giving rewards and recognition for employees, and thus, everyone can stay connected while working remotely.   

Also Read: Unique Ways to Use Design Thinking Stages at Work

3. Run a Remote Week Experiment

Another exercise that can be followed is to try a remote week. In this week, everyone in the team or the organisation can work remotely and work from home such that they understand how it would feel to work in such a situation. This can help the employees gain empathy. As empathy is a huge part of design thinking, it can further positively help the organisation. At the end of this remote working week, everyone can learn from each other’s experiences and come up with an ideation plan that will help improve a remote working environment. This step will also help in increasing the feeling of being included. 

After running this experiment, it becomes easier to understand the problem statement. Researching whether this can be a long-term solution is an important step in the design thinking process as prototyping is a much smarter choice than taking any rash decisions or steps. 

This brings us to the end of the blog on how to engage remote workers with Design thinking. Design thinking is the perfect tool to help us engage remote workers and to create a solution that will be helpful to all. For more on how you can benefit from design thinking, visit the Design Thinking category page. You can also enrol in Great Learning’s  Stanford Design Thinking program and upskill today. 



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