5 benefits of having off-site meetings [+ How to prepare for it]
Meetings are an essential part of the work-life, and sometimes it becomes necessary to bring a group of people together for the better part of the day to discuss certain matters.
Before COVID-19, you had the option of just doing it in the office, or booking an offsite venue such as a hotel board room for the purpose, or even choosing a beautiful location like Spain or Hawaii if the budget permitted.
Offsite meetings are popular with workplaces not only as a break from the routine but also as a way of facilitating new ideas and better networking. But ever since the pandemic began, working from offices, let alone having offsites, have become a thing of the past.
We are sure you are very much itching to step out of your home, get back to your workstation, and meet with people face-to-face. But even with help from vaccines, our battle with COVID-19 is far from over.
However, that does not mean you cannot look forward to enjoying the benefits of offsite meetings. Have a look:
1. Face-to-face interactions
Offsite meetings invite people from different departments who may otherwise not have known each other very well. By meeting on neutral ground, the attendees can get to know each other better and form healthier workplace relations.
Without a doubt, many new employees may have joined your team or company in the past year. Having an offsite meeting will give you a chance to interact with them face-to-face.
2. Higher productivity and focus
Attendees at offsite meetings consistently report higher levels of focus and productivity than at office meetings. There are certainly fewer interruptions. This makes offsite a great option, particularly when business-critical decisions may need to be taken at the meeting.
3. Better access to amenities
Commercial meeting venues tend to come with everything you need for a productive meeting, including comfortable seating and the necessary tech. This allows the meeting to be run and managed more efficiently.
4. A spur to creative brainstorming
The novelty and comforts of a well-equipped meeting place outside of office tend to spur people’s creativity, which is perfect for when new ideas need to be generated. Imagine meeting with your team at a clean, sanitized business centre in your area next month? Would that not help you kickstart 2021 on a high note?
5. Team-building activities
Offsite meetings bring together people with different skills and backgrounds and allow them to work together on team-building activities and solve problems. This will enable them to respect each other’s skills much better and have fun while doing it.
How to plan the perfect offsite meeting
If you are keen to do an off-site meeting with your team members in the New Year but are clueless about how to get started, do not worry. The next section takes you step-by-step on planning the perfect off-site.
1. Have a concrete goal and outcome
Know precisely what you want to accomplish with the meeting and plan your sequences of activities based on that. Be sure to share the meeting goal and agenda with your attendee list in advance – things will proceed more smoothly if everyone knows what the meeting is aiming to achieve.
2. Decide how much you want to invest in the venue
The location and ambience of the meeting venue play a significant role in how productive the meeting will be. Everyone prefers a venue that is airy and well-lit, and that is suitably connected by road and public transport.
However, bear in mind that the more amenities a venue offers, the more expensive renting it will be. You also need to ensure that the meeting space follows the COVID-19 sanitation protocol. That is non-negotiable.
It is best to go with something modestly priced that accommodates everyone comfortably without too much opulence.
3. Set up the equipment you need
Check that the venue has sufficient seating for your guest list and includes a projector, a microphone, speakers, a whiteboard and anything else your meeting might call for. You could also arrange for stationery so that everyone can take notes as they like.
4. Set up virtual access
For outstation attendees or those who cannot make it in person because they live in a different city or country, it is essential to have an online meeting link set up.
Given that many may be nervous about attending physical meetings in a post-Covid world, having a high-quality virtual access option is a must. Google Hangouts, Zoom and Microsoft Teams are all great options and are free to use.
5. Decide on catering
To keep the meeting momentum going, it may be a good idea to have some refreshments in place. Tea and coffee should ideally be available throughout the session, while snack breaks can be scheduled for the morning and the evening with lunch in between. You can even ask your coworking space to handle catering for you if that is something that they do and can be provided in a Covid-safe way.
6. Include fun activities
Offsite meetings are most effective when some fun team-building activities are incorporated into the agenda. From a game of charades to a Pictionary contest to a scavenger hunt, you have plenty of options to pick from—provided none of the games disturbs others in the coworking space and can be participated in in a Covid-safe way.
7. Keep the attendee list small
Meetings of any kind are most effective when the people who attend are those who are vital to the outcome of the meeting. Choose your attendee list discerningly – do not unnecessarily invite people whose time is better spent elsewhere.
Over to you
If you are reading this now, please make sure you circle in at least one offsite meeting by March, provided your team is not as dispersed as others. Find out a coworking space in your area and book it for a day or a couple of days.
It will be great to not only meet your team members but also take critical business decisions of the year without delay. So, what are you waiting for? Triassic Hub is proud to offer a clean, modern and flexible place to work for small business teams.
We are cost-effective and give access to excellent facilities all day. Book your meeting rooms today!
As you continue to move forward with hosting your event in-person, here are a few recommendations on how you can prepare for event safety.
A recent survey from a company that provides employee assistance programs as well as resources and reports on behavioural health, found that around 59 percent of all employees describe themselves as “highly stressed.”
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