As the world of work grows more distributed and flexible, offsites are becoming an essential tool to foster company culture and team building. While often thought of as a nice-to-have, offsites are now taking over as a key opportunity for colleagues to get together in person. In fact, the popularity of offsites has nearly doubled as the primary reason for a trip since before the global pandemic!
Teams want and need to meet in real life. That’s not to say that the 9-5 office-first model is the only solution to make that happen. Distributed teams across industries and countries are finding new ways to bring people together face-to-face, with offsite meetings representing one of the best ways to do so for many.
So with that in mind, what are some of the benefits of offsite meetings? Why are they such powerful tools for businesses and employees? Let’s find out.
Whether your company works on-site, remotely, or in a hybrid format, chances are that not all members of the team have been able to get to know each other as well as they would like. Offsites are a way for everyone on the team to connect in meaningful ways beyond their daily tasks. Particularly for your remote-first teams, they’re a great opportunity for them to take their relationship out of the metaverse and into the real world.
Through things like team-building activities, employees are able to break out of their shells and develop a sense of camaraderie together. Whether that’s through an organized team-building exercise like a scavenger hunt or something more spontaneous like after-work drinks, taking the team out of a professional setting will help them get to know each other on a more personal level.
Let’s face it – offsites are an awesome perk that employees actually enjoy. Whether that’s a 2-day offsite at a rural hotel jam-packed with workshops or a summer party to celebrate success, the bottom line is that employees look forward to these events. One of the key performance indicators for a successful offsite is whether people actually enjoyed themselves – and that goes a long way toward employee engagement.
Offsite events are a way to show employees that they’re appreciated. By organizing things like workshops, you give employees the chance to hone their skills, learn something new, or grow more aligned with other team members. Seasonal parties are a wonderful way to celebrate not just successes, but each other. Annual kick-offs help everyone in the business understand your company goals and what they need to work toward. All of this helps make for happy, engaged, and motivated employees.
Ever been so blocked on a project that you didn’t know even know where to start? What did you do to get the idea engine going again? You probably stepped away from your computer, grabbed a cup of tea, went for a walk, or chatted to someone about something unrelated. Essentially what you did was physically remove yourself from your routine for just a moment, and that change of scenery opened up a world of ideas and possibilities to help you solve the task at hand.
The same holds true of an offsite. By getting people out of their daily work environment, you break them away from pre-established work patterns. A new space can be highly conducive to creative thinking, which is why offsites are great moments to organize brainstorming sessions or work on projects that require a great deal of out-of-the-box thinking and teamwork. The office environment is, of course, a productive place to work on a daily basis but introducing a “new” element away from your regular meeting rooms will provide that spark of energy and creativity your team needs!
If you’re in the midst of planning your next offsite meeting and are looking for the perfect offsite venue, why not check out this list of what to look out for?
Much like creativity, strategic thinking can benefit immensely from a change of scenery. Particularly where you need teams to really dig into their quarterly plan or the tactics for the year’s biggest project, for example, getting out of the office into a more neutral meeting space can really help.
Think about it this way. When working on a key strategy, what you need is focus and teamwork combined. Within a traditional office space, there is a myriad of distractions that can interfere – from colleagues popping in to say hello to other meetings being scheduled into your day. If you’re working at home, strategic sessions on video conferencing tools can get exhausting. At a team offsite, however, you can carve out a specific period of time dedicated only to this and to your team. No distractions. It’s the perfect setting to disconnect from everything else and reconnect to your project.
Setting productivity, creativity, strategy, and team-building aside… an offsite is also a really good time. We spend most of the year working save for a few vacation days and bank holidays a year. We’re always on the go, always looking for ways to do more, achieve more, and impact more. Sometimes it can get overwhelming, or we can feel burned out, underappreciated, overworked, uninspired, and disconnected. And that’s perfectly normal.
But there is something companies can do about that! By injecting a dose of fun a couple of times a year, employees are likely to feel reinvigorated and appreciated. You don’t have to organize massive, company-wide events 10 times a year to achieve that. Even giving teams a small quarterly budget to arrange get-togethers every 3 months can be that breath of fresh air everyone needs. So why not think about giving teams the chance to let loose at a karaoke bar, an escape room, or on a day’s hike? They’ll thank you for it.