The setting at a Focus Work Boot Camp (FWBC) is just as useful for teamwork as it is for individual work, just follow some simple rules.

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At the first FWBC in Oslo (october, 2015), the startup company WeClean had their launching just a few weeks ahead. In this phase, they could not let go their internal collaboration for a whole day. Their participation at a regular FWBC demonstrated nicely how you can have both teamwork and individual work at the same FWBC.

When combining like that, one should follow these simple rules:

– apply the exact same rules as for regular focus work boot camp when it comes to telephones and internet-access: Plan for two focus sessions throughout the day, each of 3 hours duration. During the focus sessions telephones are kept in a separate room and the access to internet is shut off, either physically or by using software-blocking and buddy check.

– before and after the focus session, and during lunch, the team-members take part in the common session together with the the individual participants at the boot camp. Getting to know about eachothers work in general, and the plans for the boot camp in particular, is really adding value to the focus work boot camp experience for everybody.

– a team decides themself what part of the focus sessions they want to work together. However, it should never exceed 50 % of each focus session, and they should only switch between teamwork and individual work once per session. This means that the teamwork must be placed either at the start of a focus session, or at the end of a focus session. Not in the middle.

– It is important to plan the schedule before the focus session starts to make it predictable for all participants. An important part of the whole concept is the removal of choices during focus session: you do not have the choice whether you should go online or not, and you should not need to choose how long the team work session should last. The stripping of the choices outside your focus work, help to maintain your… guess what… your FOCUS!

– The team will benefit from some planning in advance, about what should be the team’s challenge of the day

– needless to say, the teamwork has to be performed in a separate room from where the individual boot campers are working. Hence, the venue need at least two rooms for working.

A day at a focus work boot camp for both team and individuals, an example:

08.00 – 08.30: Common session. Sharing knowledge about your work and your plans for the day. Phone and internet is available.
08.30 – : Focus session starts. Phones are collected, access to internet is shut off.
08.30 – 09.15: Team session for the company ACME Teamwork. The members of that team go to a separate room to collaborate. Typically this meeting should conclude in some concrete challenges for the team members to work on during the individual sessions.
09.15 – : The team members join in with the rest of the participants at the boot camp for individual work
10.00 – 10.10: Coffee, leg-stretch and small talk for everybody (no internet or telephones)
10.10 – 11.30: Focus session continues

11.30 – 12.30: Everybody have lunch together. Internet and telephones are available.

12.30 – : Focus session starts. Phones are collected, access to internet is shut off.
14.00 – 14.10: Coffee, leg-stretch and small talk for everybody (no internet or telephones)
14.10 – 15.30: Team session for ACME Teamwork. The members of that team go to a separate room to collaborate. Typically this meeting should sum up how the members have responded to the challenge they got earlier on the same day. Then the team may discuss together how to proceed from here. What is the next step? How to make the ideas happen?
15.30 – 16.00: Common session for both the team-members and the individual participants. Sharing experiences about what they have accomplished during the focus sessions, and eventually talk about where and when to have the next FWBC.

Have you tried out a Focus Work Boot Camp for teams? Feel free to share your experience in the comment field below.