The daily grind. It’s a term that nearly everyone can relate to. And while we may all experience different levels of it, we’d all much rather do without it.
The need to escape the daily grind, maybe only for a short period of time, is something that has, for a long time, been recognised by organisations too. Yes, there’s holiday allocation, and an understanding that ‘sick days’ may not always be particularly genuine. But these are easy methods for companies to employ to help employees escape. The best companies try to help their people escape the daily grind when they are supposedly in it, at work. One way of achieving this is by holding offsite meetings.
Make no bones about it offsites are certainly not new. However for many years they sort of lost there way a bit. If it wasn’t stale meetings in even staler hotel meeting rooms, then it was those cliquey golf days that would always be a bit erm, restrictive? Especially to those who didn’t actually play, or weren’t that good.
Thankfully though, offsites are having new life breathed into them, and there are a number of factors doing the blowing…
The ways of working are changing, and technology is playing a huge role in this. Smartphones, tablets, apps, mobile video conferencing and the cloud allow you to work from pretty much anywhere – well, anywhere that’s got a wi-fi connection, which lets be honest, these days is pretty much everywhere. There’s no doubt that technology has made working more mobile and as such has opened up the options for offsites.
For ages, employee engagement was primarily seen as a buzzword, and a bit of a fluffy one at that. Some free fruit, and a chill out area with some beanbags, often the extent of what an employee engagement program would like. Not any more.
Organisations now recognise employee engagement is a complex area, but one they are desperate to crack as they know improved performance and productivity is what lies at the heart of engagement. In other words, an engaged workforce = A better bottom line.
While organisations can’t force employee engagement, they do need to focus on creating the conditions that can help to achieve it. Offsite meetings are one of the things that can be employed to assist.
So in short, as you can see, you’ve now got better tools and opportunities for running an offsite (technology) and a stronger reason for doing so (employee engagement).
But we're guessing you could probably do with some more specific reasons as to why running an offsite is a good idea – You know, to help you for when you’re putting your ‘why we should do an offsite’ case together. Here are a few…
Face-to-face communications are and always will be the most effective form of communication in business. No question. Even more so given the amount of time we now spend communicating with others through digital devices. For example; networking, giving feedback, and providing leadership, are far more engaging and successful when done in person.
Creativity / strategic thinking
Stare at the same screen in the same office for hours on end and your ability to think rapidly diminishes. However, get up and make a brew, or take a walk outside and you’ll soon notice freshness in your thinking again. There’s no doubt, a change in environment encourages strong creative and strategic thinking.
The sole focus of an offsite could be on team building, whereby attendees work together on a physical or mental challenge. However, even if the business case for an offsite is to make some key strategic business decisions, you still need to ensure team building is embedded into the experience. Team building should be a fundamental reason for any offsite meeting.
No distractions. Greater focus. Enough said.
Feeling valued is a hugely motivating factor and a key driver of employee engagement. By demonstrating to your employees that you are committed to their well being, they will likely return the favour by showing their commitment to you.
Right, our work here is almost done. We’ll finish by leaving you with two very quick tips for when planning your next offsite.
1. Location is crucial. By that we mean the environment and type of venue. We’d strongly advise you to always link back to that key word, escape. If the venue doesn’t feel completely fresh from the everyday environment, then keep looking until you find one that does.
2. Fun. Offsites are supposed to act as a break from what? Yep that’s right, the daily grind. So make them fun and playful. Always.
Let's make that three quick tips instead. The third tip? Simple. Use us for your next offsite. As we're all about tips number one and two. You can see for yourself here...