3 Big Reasons Why Your Team Needs an Offsite Meeting

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“If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be ‘meetings’.”
– Dave Barry, American Writer and Humorist

And yet there you are, on your way to another meeting. It’s inevitable that there will be many more after that one too. Heavy sigh. So what is there to do? How can these meetings actually become impactful and fulfill their productive purpose? Especially when we are all aware that today's work environment is rapidly changing? We must make quick decisions and remain nimble in order to succeed. Worry no longer, because we have the answer to achieving productive and impactful meetings: Take your team offsite.

The fact of the matter is; your office space is meant to function for you on an everyday basis, and while it works well for the daily, it can actually be harmful when you’re looking for creativity and focus. Making those quick and high impact decisions to keep your company competitive become tough when you’re sitting in the same conference room for every major meeting.

So how can your team break out of their same old everyday to-do jungle and reach goals of utmost importance? How about heading to an offsite location for your next team meeting? While offsite, you’ll be able to cut out distractions, foster creativity and connection, and impress your colleagues, all in a place designed to maximize productivity.

Don’t let distractions break your focus. When you’re in the office, it’s easy to check a couple emails, allowing your mind to wander away from the meeting at hand. If you’re making the effort to take the team offsite, they’ll be less resistant to clearly verbalized expectations for the experience. Setting parameters like specific start and end times will communicate that this isn’t any ‘ole meeting –– you’re here to get a specific, important, goal accomplished. Since team focus will be at an all-time high, it’s important to use offsites to work on a larger goal, rather than trying to get a lot of small tasks done in a little amount of time. (Because remember –– that stuff should be saved for less-focused in-office time).

Creativity and connection, vital to team work, are rarely well executed in a typical office environment. At an offsite you will have the capacity to utilize a fresh space, with of all the tools ready for your creative process. Playdough, whiteboards, natural light, and post-it notes –– what do they have in common? Bringing your team together in new physical spaces with these engaging physical tools is sure to shake up the norm and shake off the dust. As the environment shifts, a sense of connection and creativity will emerge within the team. Ben Dattner of the Harvard Business Review advises: “Don’t let the team’s old dynamics constrain the new dynamics that you’re trying to create.” You can introduce your team to a fun and exciting space that is reflective of the new perspective you want to see within your group. If you decide to step beyond your norm, your mind will step beyond as well, and you will be encouraged to see ideas and colleagues in a new light. Plus, who doesn’t get excited about a field trip? Especially when that place is inviting and aesthetically pleasing.

Make an impression when it matters. Let’s say you have an important guest in town (Senior Executive or VP, maybe), or perhaps you simply feel the need to turn up your team’s energy. An offsite could be the exact game-changing experience your meeting needs. Everyone could use a little wow factor now and then, and when executed well, this can reinvigorate your entire group. Going that extra mile to schedule an offsite shows your attention to detail and commitment to the group's success. It’s important to know when to step up your game, to put your best foot forward, to make that extra difference. Bonus –– your team will take note, matching your commitment all while enjoying an impressive meeting. Double win.