As the world of work becomes more distributed and flexible, offsites are becoming an essential tool for building company culture and teams. Although often thought of as a nice thing, offsites are now being embraced as a key opportunity for colleagues to come together in person. In fact, the popularity of offsite as a primary reason for travel has nearly doubled since before the global pandemic!
Teams want and need to meet in real life. It goes without saying that the 9-5 office-first model is the only solution to making this happen. As distributed teams across industries and countries find new ways to bring people together face-to-face, offsite meetings represent 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? Find out.
They help build relationships among team members
Whether your company works on-site, remotely, or in a hybrid format, not all team members get to know each other as well as they’d like. Offsite is a way for everyone on the team to connect in meaningful ways outside of their daily work. Especially for your long-distance first parties, they’re a great opportunity to take their relationship out of the metaverse and into the real world.
Through things like team-building activities, employees are able to come out of their shells and develop a sense of camaraderie together. Whether it’s through an organized team-building exercise like a scavenger hunt or something more spontaneous like drinks after work, taking the team outside of a professional setting will help them get to know each other on a more personal level.
They increase employee engagement
Let’s face it – offsites are a great perk that employees actually enjoy. Whether it’s a 2-day offsite at a rural hotel full of 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 are appreciated. By organizing things like workshops, you give employees a chance to improve their skills, learn something new, or bond more with other team members. Seasonal parties are a great way to celebrate not only success, but each other. The annual kick-off helps everyone in the business understand your company’s goals and what they need to work toward. All of this helps for happy, engaged, and motivated employees.
They get the creative juices flowing
Ever been so blocked in a project that you don’t know where to start? What have you done to restart the idea engine? You probably stepped away from your computer, grabbed a cup of tea, went for a walk or chatted with someone about something unrelated. Essentially all you’ve done is physically remove yourself from your routine for a moment, and the change of scenery opens up a world of ideas and possibilities to help you solve the task at hand.
The same holds true in an offsite. By taking people out of their everyday work environment, you move them away from pre-established work patterns. A new space can be very conducive to creative thinking, which is why offsites are great moments for organizing brainstorming sessions or working on projects that require a lot 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 room will give your team the energy and spark of creativity they need!
If you’re in the middle of planning your next offsite meeting and looking for the perfect offsite venue, why not check out this list of what to look for?
They are great for strategic thinking
Much like creativity, strategic thinking can benefit greatly from a change of scenery. Especially where your teams need to explore strategies for their quarterly plans or biggest projects of the year, for example, moving from the office to a more neutral meeting space can really help.
Think of it this way. When working on a key strategy, all you need is focus and teamwork. In a traditional office space, there are countless distractions that can interfere—from coworkers popping in to say hello to other meetings scheduled in your day. If you’re working at home, strategy sessions on video conferencing equipment can be tiring. In a team offsite, however, you can create a specific time dedicated to just it and your team. No distractions. It’s the perfect setting to disconnect from everything else and reconnect to your project.
Let’s face it… they’re a lot of fun
Productivity, creativity, strategy and team-building aside… an offsite is also a really good time. We spend most of the year working, apart from a few holidays and bank holidays a year. We are always on the move, always looking for ways to do more, achieve more and have more impact. Sometimes it can become overwhelming, or we can feel burned out, disrespected, overworked, unmotivated and disconnected. And that’s perfectly normal.
But few companies can do about that! By injecting a dose of fun a few times a year, employees will likely feel rejuvenated and appreciated. You don’t have to organize huge, company-wide events 10 times a year to achieve this. Even giving teams a small quarterly budget to organize meetups every 3 months can be the breath of fresh air everyone needs. So why not consider giving groups a chance at a karaoke bar, escape room or day trip? They will thank you for it.