Businesses thrive on individual contributions, but it’s in meetings and business planning sessions that minds come together to equal more than the sum of those parts. Ideas build on one another, understanding expands, and realizations happen. Creativity takes over.
However, this isn’t a given. Many strategic planning meetings fail to achieve the goals on their meeting agendas, so businesses large and small now regularly take meeting participants out of their everyday surroundings to engage in the strategic planning process.
Why Plan Offsite Meetings & Planning Sessions?
So what makes offsite meetings and planning sessions so beneficial? Find out below!
1. Cover More Action Items
When people meet in usual places, a strategic meeting may start slow and lack energy, especially if you host that meeting at 8 AM. People shuffle in the door. They may not be fully awake yet. Or, if it is later in the day, they may be mentally-focused on getting back to their desk to get all of their work done.
A company offsite meeting is different.
Team members find themselves in new and often inspiring surroundings. When they attend the meeting in an offsite location, it renews energy, creativity, employee engagement, and focus, so you cover more action items on the meeting agendas. You may even find you need fewer meetings because of this increased productivity.
In fact, Hilton Worldwide conducted a study within their organization that found that 63% of meeting planners said having meetings offsite increased productivity.
2. Each Voice Is Heard
Something interesting happens when you take everyone out of their comfort zone. Those who might typically dominate the conversation may be more apt to listen. And those who have great ideas but often feel drowned out are more encouraged to speak up. New meeting dynamics emerge.
This offers your business the diversity of ideas you need to build more robust initiatives, campaigns, and programs. Don’t let employee strengths and ideas go untapped. Offsite meetings have a way of bringing these ideas out.
3. Team Building
Taking your team offsite can work wonders for team building. When you take people out of their usual surroundings, unhealthy work culture and patterns often stay behind at home office. This gives a leader who’s trying to draw a team closer or change toxic company culture a clean slate on which to improve relationships and begin building a more constructive unit.
Work with your team on trust, communication, collaboration, and even workplace empathy in this novel and exciting setting.
4. Key Questions Answered
Email-tag is not the place to share ideas and encourage creativity. Even video conferences can drain creativity because it’s hard to convey energy and ideas through a screen. But many businesses don’t have space or the ability to bring people together. Taking your strategic planning meeting out of these settings ensures that key questions get answers and projects move forward on schedule.
5. Increased Productivity
A Forbes survey found that 17% of employees and say that they are actively disengaged in their own offices, and 51% say they’re not fully engaged at work.
Not only do they encounter distractions in the office. They’re also more likely to be interrupted (even when in a meeting). It’s hard to stay focused.
Moving an important strategy meeting offsite conveys just how important that meeting is. It renews commitment and focus to take advantage of this opportunity to work in a new and inspiring place.
Harvard Business Review also notes that offsite help employees recognize the “greater expectations, the higher stakes, and the unique nature of strategy discussions that require special planning”. This may be why they’re more productive.
6. Work on Fewer Assumptions
In business, employees learn to read between the lines. They don’t want to appear incompetent or professionally needy, so they may not ask all the questions they need to deliver the desired results.
While modern business encourages professional independence and using your head, this also leads to employees working on lots of assumptions.
Because offsite meetings encourage greater creativity and communication, your team members ask more questions and gain a greater understanding of how what they do and what others do works together. They can see the bigger picture. Working on fewer assumptions and instead actionable information helps everyone from the front-line employee to C-suite make smarter decisions.
7. Have More Space for Small Business
The cost of office space in Atlanta has skyrocketed 22%, leaving many startups and small businesses working in the smallest areas possible. Often a conference room just isn’t in the budget. And other options like asking employees to pull their chairs around the manager’s desk might work for a morning motivational for a sales team. But they’re not ideal for a productive meeting where you’re planning the long term success of your business in a strategic planning session.
Having meetings offsite is a cost-effective alternative to maintaining a more substantial workplace.
Find Your Next Offsite Meeting Venue
SharedSpace has two locations in Atlanta. Here businesses bring their teams together to be more productive, increase creativity, and share ideas. If you’re looking for a way to revitalize your team and grow your company through strategic planning, we invite you to take a tour of our facilities.