Company-wide meetings are often met with exasperated sighs, eye-rolling, and complaints of lost time, but business leaders know meetings are a necessary part of operating a healthy organization. Whether your company operates from one headquarters or several satellite locations, there are good reasons to consider scheduling the next quarterly meeting or annual retreat at an offsite location.
Making the financial and time commitment of planning an offsite meeting may seem counterintuitive. You may wonder, why would I rent a space when I already have a brick-and-mortar location? Why would I spend precious time and money getting all of my employees to another location to do what we could have done from our regular offices?
That makes sense, but many CEOs and business leaders have discovered the benefits of hosting an offsite business meeting far outweigh the expenses. Here are 4 reasons you should consider scheduling your next company-wide meeting at an offsite destination.
The most obvious reason to uproot your employees from their daily routines and usual workspaces is to reduce the everyday distractions waiting for them. It’s difficult to ignore the phone and let email go unread when you’re at work. It’s your employees’ jobs, after all, to address issues immediately. So, it’s difficult for most people to stay in their normal location but do the exact opposite of what they’d usually do. That means you will only have half your team’s attention if they’re worried about what they’re missing down the hall.
You cannot underestimate the importance of locking the doors, scheduling that out-of-office email response, and otherwise letting your customers know your team is busily working to improve the services you offer.
Bring People Together
More and more businesses operate in non-traditional ways. That may mean employees work from home or with staggered schedules to optimize shared workspace. In an increasingly global economy, many companies have satellite locations to serve clients in geographically disparate locations. There are benefits to these models, but a downside is that employees feel disconnected and often don’t know each other at all. Teamwork and a willingness to have each other’s back suffers when employees don’t share personal connection.
Even if they only see each other one or two days per year, knowing the guy in the accounting department who is always looking for your receipts is a nice person who coaches his kids’ sports teams goes a long way. Employees are less likely to feel mistrustful or resentful of someone with whom they’ve made a connection.
Think Outside the Box
People are creatures of habit, and daily routines bring a level of comfort, especially in a world where we’re bombarded with too much. But, being comfortable can also make people less open to possibilities and new ways of doing an old thing. The ways people solve problems, approach new information, and respond to challenge can become just as rote as the duties they perform each day. Taking employees out of the literal boxes they work in can go a long way in jump-starting creative thinking and innovation. A change in scenery can literally get your team thinking outside the box.
Maybe you don’t want your employees to do anything different. Maybe they’re already a lean, mean production team. But, inviting new, creative ideas on an already solid operation could open opportunities that weren’t visible before. Something as simple as hosting an offsite meeting, might be enough to get everyone seeing their work through a completely new lens.
Emphasize the Importance
When a business announces an upcoming retreat or all-company offsite meeting, interest is piqued. Nothing says this is important like getting everyone together in one room, especially if it doesn’t happen very often. Depending on the culture of the company, people may feel apprehensive or excited about such an announcement. Either way, all eyes and ears will be open.
For a leader who wants to turn over a new leaf, redirect the company, or reignite a stalled project, an offsite meeting can be just the punctuation needed. Showing the team you’re invested in what needs to happen next will inspire enthusiasm. By shifting the location, energy shifts allowing necessary change to occur more smoothly.
Choosing the Right Location
Scheduling an offsite meeting may be the perfect idea for your organization, but the logistics are important, too. If the accommodations are inadequate to meet the needs of your team, the meeting will not be a success. Something as simple as the availability of coffee could sour an otherwise great idea. Having catering services, overnight lodging, office equipment such as a printer are all things to consider when planning a business retreat.
Find out if The Guest House would work for your next offsite meeting. Contact Us.