Meetings offer a unique space for employees and leaders to hash out ideas, pitch suggestions and improve the company as a whole. Common Sense Leadership notes that, if used correctly, meetings can be conversations that shape the way a company does business.
Over the past several years, the popularity of offsite meetings has seen substantial growth. According to a recent study, 63% of planners agree that offsite meetings are more productive than those that happen within a company’s walls. Internal meetings are safe and predictable. A change of venue can alter group dynamics and increase effectiveness by encouraging interaction between participants.
Increased Productivity and Focus
Being in a new place with strange surroundings can sometimes be off-putting. However, being in an environment that’s too familiar can often lead to complacency. Forbes notes that more than half of workers in a cited study acknowledged that they weren’t actively engaged within their workplace environment; nearly one-fifth of respondents stated they were utterly disengaged.
The only way a business can effectively tap into employees’ thoughts and skills is by encouraging focus on core session objectives. By moving a meeting offsite, you signal to attendees that this session is important enough to upset the status quo.
Change of Scenery
As mentioned before, employees can become complacent if they’re in the same environment for an extended period of time. A change of scenery provides new stimuli and helps them to feel more engaged. This, in turn, affects their productivity positively. According to PayStream, a UK-based study done by Regus International showed as many as 53% of workers tended to display cabin fever-like symptoms due to their office environment.
A change of scenery is refreshing, helping workers reconnect with the things they like about their job. Creative surroundings allow employees to escape their standard situation, letting their minds wander. This can provide a fresh perspective on old problems. This kind of thinking is crucial to the success of business meetings.
Addressing sensitive issues within the confines of the office can lead to discomfort and awkwardness within the workspace social setting. Moving meetings that deal with confidential information to an offsite location means only the appropriate internal parties attending have access to sensitive information. In a world where a company’s ideas are the basis of its business, this extra consideration is exceptionally critical.
Additionally, hosting meetings that audit company or departmental performance offsite can help reduce the typical anxiety and tension surrounding these scenarios.
Demonstrating Employee Appreciation
Offsite meeting spaces often come with additional perks and amenities beyond what usual office spaces can provide. Hosting an event in a different venue is a great way to show appreciation and help demonstrate that the company considers attendees essential to its goals. Since offsite meeting spaces usually offer more opportunity for customization, it’s also easier to create a special experience that will delight attendees.
Promotes Team Building and Camaraderie
While many offices have a dedicated room or space for regular meetings, not all meetings should follow the same formula. Onsite offices are often poorly equipped to handle certain types of necessary interactions, such as team-building activities and exercises. Being isolated in a new environment away from their usual resources, employees are forced to rely on one another to get the task accomplished.
Even within teams that already have a cohesive dynamic, offsite meetings serve to strengthen the bond between employee work mates.
In industries where technology and training devices change rapidly, it can be expensive for a business to keep their training facilities equipped with the latest hardware and software. Offsite training and meeting spaces compete for client business, which means they have to keep their facilities up to date to remain relevant. In many cases, outsourced venues can provide state-of-the-art infrastructure at a fraction of the cost it would take to source and deploy those resources in-house.
Setups usually include features such as onsite presentation tools as well as overlooked infrastructure, such as high-speed internet and high-quality printer access. Being at the cutting edge requires having access to the latest technology, something offsite meeting spaces pride themselves on being able to offer.
Effective Way to Convey a Message
At its heart, a meeting serves to help employees communicate effectively with one another. As industry experts note, the goal of most business meetings is to facilitate the exchange of vital ideas to all present. Within a work environment, dedicated communication sessions are a necessary component to facilitate the exchange of ideas. Some employees may feel that their opinions aren’t appreciated within the regular work environment. An offsite meeting encourages those personnel to express their feelings without the social pressures of the normal office hierarchy. Businesses can’t afford to have one or more members feeling alienated, as this could prevent good ideas from being shared. Offsite meetings are a perfect opportunity to encourage more reserved employees to speak up.
Better Meetings Mean Better Results
A company seeking to compete in the 21st century requires all the resources at its disposal, especially the creative, human ones. Encouraging occasional offsite meetings can do wonders to boost productivity, build relationships, and increase communication between colleagues. A company’s employees are among its most abundant untapped resources. Many businesses miss out on leveraging their employees’ ideas because they simply can’t get them to share. By leveraging the power of offsite meetings, not only can businesses start seeing more productivity among workers, but also have more ideas to expand and improve existing practices. AC&F
Mercy Ehrler has been marketing for corporate events and learning organizations for more than 15 years. She is the director of Marketing at Attune, a global leader in meeting and training venues, virtual collaboration solutions and end-to-end event coordination services. Ehrler’s extensive background in the industry has given her unique insight into the challenges faced by organizations when developing and executing corporate events. Drawing on this experience, she helps shape Attune’s positioning of its innovative meeting and training delivery solutions. Visit attune.com.