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Corporate Retreats and the New Normal
In hybrid-work environments, regular Corporate Retreats are becoming a must-have for high performing teams, departments, and companies.
The mass migration from in-office work to remote work comes with its own set of challenges. Increased loneliness and isolation of employees, changes to productivity levels, and a lack of team morale within organisations are all issues that are becoming common in the workplace.
Corporate retreats, an activity that was previously sporadic or ad-hoc, must become commonplace as we collectively figure out how to build the real-life personal connections that are critical for high performing teams.
During pre-Covid times, we had team or department retreats on an annual basis. Often, these were simply off-site meetings and a nearby hotel or meeting venue where we could get away from the distractions, and the interruption driven office environment, to focus on our strategic plan or a key initiative.
As we move forward, quarterly retreats will become the norm. The more “remote” work that is allowed by management, the more “retreats” that will be necessary to build and maintain interpersonal bonds and facilitate communication. This is even more critical in teams that are growing or experiencing change.
As you plan your corporate retreat schedule for the coming year, you must first understand your budget. You will probably find that a combination of 1 day “off-sites” and multi-day “retreats” will be most economical and effective. Off-sites are great for focused business discussion, and retreats are great for combining team building, brainstorming and business discussion.
Consider travel time when deciding on venues. Generally, off-sites should be optimized around minimizing team disruption with travel time and travel logistics. Thus, an offsite meeting place nearest the majority of team members usually makes the most sense. For less frequent retreats, it is OK to move around, maybe nearer to a remote office with a fun venue or resort.
When it comes to a retreat agenda, be thoughtful. Include a mix of:
- Business meetings
- Fun physical and outdoor activities that build teamwork and trust (make sure to offer a variety of physical activities with different levels of strenuousness).
- Varied meals - not the same place, same time every day
- Mandated breaks to catch up on work or take care of personal matters
There is much to think about as you plan your retreat. However, once you have your agenda and attendee list in place, be sure to consider CalUp Planner - a great new tool for attendee engagement. You could easily create a dynamic agenda on CalUp Planner and publish it to your employees. Each employee then receives a personalized agenda on the CalUp Mobile App with the full event and activity details: date/time/location, meet points, document attachments, web links and more as appropriate. In addition to keeping your crew fully informed, updated and on track, CalUp enables fun social features such as group chat, 1:1 messaging, and photo sharing to help foster collaboration and fun.
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