You can probably come up with a million excuses for not doing a company retreat – the most common of which being that you simply don’t have the time – but have you thought about all the ways it could benefit your team?
For both remote teams and teams spending most of their time together in the office, company retreats offer a unique opportunity for team members to come together in a different environment – for work and time-off.
On a company retreat, a team or division (or sometimes even the entire organization) stays together in a location that’s not the same old usual workplace. While you can always find locations that are able to accommodate teams, you shouldn’t settle for just that. Today, there are more and more concepts that are custom tailored for company retreats. They enable you to combine business with relaxation and get the most out of your time away together.
Our team threw its first company retreat in October, at an Outsite location in Lisbon, Portugal. While our initial goal was simply to get to know each other a bit better (since we had new additions to the team) and work some strategic matters – what we got out of the retreat was far more than we anticipated:
N°1 — A break from the stress of day-to-day tasks
We all know it, once you’re in the rhythm of your daily work, you certainly get a lot done. But one thing you often forget to do is re-think the way you actually complete your tasks. For us, taking this short break together and discussing the way we were doing things at that time actually led to a treasure trove of ideas and suggestions that we’re now implementing – improving our methods and making our daily work more efficient and fulfilling.
N°2 — Time to get to know each and every team member
We usually sit together in the office, and from time to time, we host or attend events together as a team—as well as the occasional afterwork drink. What we discovered, though, is that “living” together for an entire week is something quite different: you really have time to talk to everyone – during breakfast, exploring the city, working out new ideas, or simply chilling out in the common space or in nice bar or neighborhood cafe.
N°3 — New memories, made together
Bringing the whole LEXR team together in a new, vibrant and interesting environment created an opportunity to explore the city in a different way, getting to know each other’s quirks and perks along the way. The benefit of this – we share new memories, made together, and we are all eager to build on them.
N°4 — Big decisions that will enable us to grow
Big decisions aren’t made in a lunch break or short meeting. We found that during our retreat we had enough time to discuss all the different angles of important decisions and inspire the team about the new course and all the positive outcomes that would result.
N°5 — A productive environment
While staying at Outsite, we noticed a general spike in productivity. We found that spaces designed specifically for company retreats have the perfect infrastructure to enable you to just plug in and work. The intelligently- designed workplaces and interaction with other company teams are added benefits in many locations.
N°6 — Value and appreciation
Aside from being extremely productive during our off-site week, we had plenty of time slots (especially during the evenings) without a formal agenda, so we could just hang out as a group, laugh and talk to each other. This time away from the usual workplace is an opportunity to show the appreciation we have for each team member and a chance to just have a good time together.
When considering your first company retreat, keep the above points in mind, because whether you have to make major decisions or just want to do some team building, company retreats can have a long-lasting positive impact on your team and business.