Offsite Meetings at Rock Springs

5 Reasons Why Offsite Meetings Are More Effective

Rock Springs Retreat Center / January 5, 2023 / rockspringsrc / 0
The end of another year has arrived. As most of us know, reflection and goal setting is critical for a prosperous and productive year to follow. We should all invest the appropriate time to brainstorm; what we should start, stop, and changed based on our reflections. The key to achieving a successful strategic environment is keeping your team at the heart of the business. The question is, “How are you going to grow, set goals, or create an environment that allows for the emergence of new ideas?” Rock Springs Retreat Center has multiple options to fulfill these needs for your team, but more importantly, let's learn why it’s important to get your entire team out of the office through offsite meetings that spark creative inspiration.

1. Change of Scenery

One of the significant shifts resulting from COVID was the possibility of working from home. Initially, attending meetings in your pajamas and working from home seemed to be a fantastic idea, but daunting for business leaders. Now that it's been almost three years since the pandemic started, remote work continues to increase in popularity and has proven sustainable.

Working remotely isn't bad; as a matter of fact, there are many benefits. But remote work can also lead to a sense of disconnect, isolation, can be overwhelming, and create a lack of comradery among employees. Remote workers aren't facing these conditions alone as they can manifest in the workplace as well. If not addressed, these stressors can lead to increased errors, decreased productivity, absenteeism, and will eventually be felt throughout the team. A temporary change of scenery (AKA offsite team meeting) disrupts these underlying rip tides and sets your team up for success by creating a safe, inclusive, and inspirational environment. In addition, it allows workers, especially remote workers, to meet new people and engage in new environments, ultimately stimulating their creativity.
Offsite Meetings - Space at Rock Springs
You may be thinking to yourself, “As if overcoming those emotional barriers isn't enough, what about the impact on creativity and productivity due to constant interruption?” Have you ever tried to have a short meeting or focused personal production time, and it felt like the whole world needed your attention? The phone keeps ringing, there’s an issue that needs your attention, and someone has a "quick" question that needs your immediate attention. Holding an offsite meeting allows you to create boundaries to protect this time and establish guidelines for acceptable disruptions.

Finally, changing the location of the meeting can change the mental focus. Too often, our best people are focused on the biggest problems instead of the biggest opportunities. An offsite meeting changes the scenery so everything we are exposed to generates new ideas and fresh thoughts. A stagnant environment does not force our brains to view the same issues in a new way. Like a child seeing something for the first time, they are heightened to see all the details. Wake up your senses and inspire new opportunities by looking through a new lens.

2. Team Bonding

Compassion isn't a word that most people would use to describe the environment they work in. Not because they feel their boss or bosses aren't compassionate people, but it’s likely they don't know their leadership outside of the work environment.

As a child, do you remember when you saw a teacher outside of school it would blow your mind how different they appeared? Almost human-like? They may be one way inside the classroom, but in the "outside" world, you'd see them a little differently. Leaders of your organization can experience the same thing. They need a safe space where they don't have all the answers, can explore ideas, openly debate, and ask for help without feeling like they've let their team down. Because your leaders are often considered experts within the organization, they might not allow themselves to be as vulnerable in “the office” often limiting their subconscious openness to new ideas.

You can provide your core team the opportunity to build meaningful bonds by providing an environment for them to interact with each other in a safe space.
When team players bond, they build a relationship with one another that not only reduces friction and prevents misunderstandings, but also increases the effectiveness and “speed of delivery” of your meeting’s objectives.
Employees care more now than ever before about the mission, vision, and values. According to corporate team building statistics, employee satisfaction increases by up to 50% when they’re surrounded by people who are friendly to them and where they feel safe and valued. By taking a moment to consider thoughtful strategies, you can increase employee retention and buy-in to your organization's goals.
Offsite Meetings - Team Bonding Group
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3. Effective Use of Space

The space in your office is extremely important, and when planning a meeting, big or small, it's easy to not see the actual size when you spend most of your time there. In order to produce a more purposeful meeting, many logistical factors have to be taken into consideration including but not limited to…

  • Is there enough capacity in your facility to accommodate a training or meeting for multiple teams at the same time?
  • How comfortable will it be for your team to take notes?
  • Does the traditional boardroom style stimulate the right conversation/creativity?
  • Will there be enough area to move around when engaged in team-building activities?
  • Does the facilitator have the space they need to deliver the session successfully?
Analyzing your space is critical to choosing the right environment for your meeting because having a crowded room, especially for training sessions, can result in the attendees becoming frustrated, or even worse, not paying attention.
Offsite Meeting - Room Space at Rock Springs

4. Movement For Inspiration & Well-being

Did you know that movement enhances your creative thinking? Research has shown that various exercises, including standing, can improve motor function, mental speed, and attention, all impacting work performance. Offsite meetings are a great opportunity to change your meeting structure and try something new. With everything from break-out sessions to walking meetings, team challenges, and team-building activities, movement can be strategically or spontaneously built into the meeting to change the energy and productivity of the team.

Starting off with something as simple as a walking meeting can improve collaboration skills and produce higher levels of engagement versus a meeting sitting. As a low-impact exercise, walking is an activity almost everyone can participate in, and an unexpected benefit of a walking meeting is the minimization of hierarchical structures. Once you start walking and everyone gets to the same pace, typically, a relaxed atmosphere is created, and hierarchies dissipate, creating a more natural and honest conversation, or dare we say "collaboration?"
Offsite Meetings - Movement for Well-being
Many health risks are associated with long stretches of slouching at your laptop, including cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes, and depression. Once you've experienced the benefits of incorporating movement into meetings, you may bring this concept back to the office benefiting the entire workplace. Now that sounds like the kind of environment where you nurture a productive, happy employee!

5. Team Building

Team building has been a hot topic for years in the business world. The concept can be done in a host of different ways each and every day, but offsite meetings have "team building" built right into the event simply by the nature of providing a safe place for a team to work together.

Now, we want to emphasize the ability to incorporate team-building activities into your offsite meeting.

Announcing a team-building activity can be met with different levels of enthusiasm within the team. Some will be so excited they offer to help; others will roll their eyes. Some will ask over and over about the details of the activity; others will lobby to cancel the event because they don't have enough time to do their "actual" work. Some will anxiously await a fun event; others will come up with any excuse to be absent. Of course, this is to be expected; after all, there’s a high level of diversity in personalities and levels of participation in company functions. Don't let this sway you from making the decision to invest in your team. Your job is to challenge the group beyond its comfort zone and strengthen the team, which ultimately strengthens your business.
Offsite Meeting - Team Building
We recommend choosing a unique and not-so-run-of-the-mill activity to encourage employees to come together in a new way. Team-building activities can be used for communication, leadership development, service delivery, conflict resolution, critical thinking, interpersonal relationships, culture, diversity and inclusion, and many other topics. When a team truly embraces the activity, they often self-identify issues, strengths, blind spots, and opportunities to improve and grow as a unit. Studies show that organizations that promote collaboration and communication are 5 times less likely to lose their most valuable employees. What better reason to put the time and effort into team building?

Bonus: Vitamin D

And our bonus reason why offsite meetings are more effective is focused on doing something in the great outdoors. Most employees spend the majority of their day in an office. An online health risk survey of 10,646 employees within a Midwestern integrated healthcare system conducted in 2014 showed that employees with low vitamin D levels had a reduced level of employee productivity compared to those with high vitamin D levels. In addition to boosting productivity and lowering employer health care costs, providing your employees with the opportunity to replenish their vitamin D naturally is one of the low-cost, high-return activities you can do. So, if you invest in an offsite meeting, why not choose a location that promotes fresh air, movement, and a stimulating environment that fosters creativity?
Offsite Meetings - Outdoor Space
In conclusion, offsite meetings have the potential to go a long way in increasing team productivity and morale. They provide opportunities for teams to get creative, get to know each other better, and discover new perspectives. Getting your team offsite and focused on opportunities instead of problems is one of the best investments you can make, so why not get your biggest investment offsite and focused on the opportunities to come? After all, the strength of your company's future depends on the strength of the individuals that make up your team.

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