Could this meeting have been an email? Today, more often than not, the answer is yes.
Any meeting, no matter the length, should do one of four things: solve a problem, make a decision, develop a plan, or answer a question. How many meetings have you been in where one team member is distracted by another project, one team member is late, one team member isn’t contributing, and one team member is taking over and leaving no room for input?
Have meetings always been this way? Well, we can’t answer that — for the sole reason that we haven’t been in every meeting to ever exist. And neither have you! Although, if you have, let us know — we’ve got questions. What we do know is, the word “meeting” is rarely met with excitement anymore. Think what you will, but we believe that should — and can — change. How? By incorporating more offsite meetings into your company.
We hear you. Offsite meetings are expensive. Why would you pay for a meeting space when you’re already paying rent at an office? Office meetings are often full of interruptions and multitasking employees. According to Fast Company, these workplace interruptions cost the US economy $588 billion a year — what is it costing your company? Not to mention, the more inefficient meetings your company holds, the more disengaged your employees become. How does that impact your business? Employees who disconnected and unmotivated result in an 18% decrease in productivity, which lowers profitability by 16%, according to Harvard Business Review.
How can an offsite meeting change this?
Increase productivity and focus
Offsite should also mean your out-of-office reply is on and you’re offline. Signing off for a whole day can feel a bit overwhelming, but the benefits are well worth it. In a recent study, when asked whether offsite or onsite meetings boosted their productivity, 63% of respondents said that offsite meetings increased individual and team productivity. A singular focus and distraction-free environment allows everyone to be committed to the same outcome — and often leads to success faster than an onsite meeting.
Spark creativity and team engagement
When you’re feeling stuck on anything, what’s the most helpful thing you can do? Go for a walk, take a break, and a breath. Quite simply, change your scenery. Onsite meetings often lead to employees falling into their routine workplace behavior — such as multitasking rather than giving their undivided attention and input. Allowing your team to get out of their usual routine can stimulate creativity and result in a refreshed approach to solving a problem.
Streamline efficiency and impact
What’s the big picture? A lot of the times this gets lost in the bustle of the everyday. Offsite meetings are the perfect opportunity to get every team member on the same page. What are your goals for the next quarter or the next year? What’s working? What’s not working? This is a chance to be as transparent as possible. When employees know what’s going on, they’re more likely to change their work to be able to create the right results.
While we highly encourage employee appreciation days, offsite meetings are also a great way for team building. Through both formal and informal activities, employees are given a chance to network and socialize with members of their team they may not work with on a day-to-day basis. Removing employees from their office routine and comfort zone gives them a chance to bond with their team outside of daily work needs, which improves team relationships.
The nature of an offsite meeting typically is more creative and collaborative than routine office meetings. Their success depends on everyone contributing and working together on a larger outcome. Do you currently have a team dynamic where it’s the same people talking during meetings and the same people who don’t contribute as much? An offsite meeting is a great way to shake this up. Before the meeting, send out an agenda and let team members know what to come prepared with. People rarely process information the same way, while some people can hear an idea and bounce off it, others need to take time, absorb, and prepare. This way, everyone will have time to organize their thoughts and be ready to contribute.
No matter what business you’re in, how big your team is, or what goals you’re trying to meet, the benefits of an offsite meeting greatly outweigh the cost and are proven to create lasting results. Employee satisfaction, improved production, and efficient processes are crucial to your company’s success. So next time you’re struggling to get everyone on the same page, may we consider leaving the office?
Ready to plan your next offsite meeting? Hornblower Cruises & Events offers private yachts equipped with wifi, plenty of space for your team to work, and catered meals. Plan your next offsite meeting with Hornblower today!