10 reasons why offsite meetings are a good idea
Professionals and executives employed by medium to large companies will inevitably attend all-day offsite meetings at some point. An offsite meeting brings your team together someplace apart from your usual office to hold a meeting, coordinate a strategy, or deliver training.
A meeting in this format will incur extra expense, and will mean a day spent away from other essential daily tasks. Is it worth it?
Here are 10 good reasons to organise an offsite meeting:
- Provide a morale boost
Most offsites are not just about getting the work out. They often include some sort of fun and entertaining team building exercise. Worklab, a US-based coworking company, points out that the fun aspect of many offsite meetings can give help team members to feel good about their work. A new location can be exciting, especially in a hip, urban setting that can also be great for after-work happy hours.
- Give a new perspective
A change in physical environment can make an enormous difference when brainstorming new ideas. Meeting in the same office space at the same times can starve the brain of stimulation.
- Increase motivation
Business Matters magazine reminds us that an outside meeting has gravitas. People give it greater importance. It has a presence on their calendar, and so they think about it more, discuss it and plan it better.
Offsite meetings can revitalise and reenergise employees. Due to the investment in their being invited, employees believe they are important and trust that their contribution matters. Because everyone has made a commitment to leave normal work behind for a day, they are more likely to fully engage with the topic of the meeting.
- Avoid interruptions
How much time is wasted by meeting attendees arriving late, checking their email, answering ad hoc requests for help, or a dozen other routine office interruptions? Avoid it all by taking them offsite, where they can focus better. The bottom line – much better productivity.
- Provide a challenge
Regardless of the activities planned or the problems to be brainstormed, just being in a new setting can be challenging. Breather, a Canadian company specialising in flexible office space, rightly says that challenged employees are interested employees.
Disengagement will cost the company. Conversely, working together on strategic initiatives contributes to a shared feeling of success and improves overall company culture.
- Allow face-to-face networking
When it’s critical to understand each other, nothing works like meeting in person. When a group shares the same physical space, you can pick up on non-verbal cues that would be missed over the phone or via video chat.
Don’t underestimate hand gestures, facial expressions, and body language – especially from team members who don’t have the spotlight – and other nuances that allow colleagues to better relate to one another.
- Encourage camaraderie
Team building exercises are an important component of many offsite meetings, and for good reason.
Holly Froumis, Director of Business Development at Grand Connection, an event planning company in Michigan, USA, says there’s great value in working together in a different realm.
For example, if your team building exercises include a physical challenge, like getting people over a wall, the team has to capitalise on people’s logistical minds and physical strength.
Team members see each other in a different light and abilities emerge that may not be apparent in day-to-day office meetings. “You’re working with different skills,” says Froumis. “When you’re really utilising peoples’ God-given talents, you find out different strengths and weakness than you do sitting at a desk. Plus, you’re having a whole lot of fun doing it.”
- Accomplish more on a time limit
Meeting in a different setting can emphasise the single-day timeframe, and this can encourage decision-making by imposing a deadline.
The best teams are bound together not just by a common goal, but also, according to consultant Cindy Tonkin, by sharing a Significant Emotional Experience.
People pull together and form strong bonds after a natural disaster, or even after having worked overtime all night to meet a deadline. To build a team put them together and give them a task to do, or a problem to solve. You can include a team-building expert who can help you solve problems at the offsite. And you can give your team a significant emotional experience at the same time. They’ll bond and they’ll solve problems better together.
- Use the best technology
Using an offsite venue will likely give you access to different or newer technology. Business Matters says that specially-designed meeting venues can also offer audio-visual experts along with the latest presentation tech at an affordable cost. This can help to show the company to its best advantage. It also works well when doing workshops or strategy meetings. Managers can focus on the content of the presentation, without worrying about technical glitches.
Not every meeting should be offsite, but there are many reasons to consider this option. A new venue gives your team a fresh approach to their work and to each other. It can be a memorable occasion where important skills are discovered, and bonds are made.
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