The New Playbook for Offsite Meetings

There is no doubt there has been a significant shift in the way we work, how we meet and where we meet up in person. The pandemic forced organizations worldwide to adopt remote work as the new norm. However, rather than fixating solely on returning to the office, it is time for organizations to embrace a new approach to work by reinventing the offsite meeting.

During Covid, many of us experienced a version of "work from home." Now, as we navigate this transitional period, and we embrace more of a hybrid work approach, we have an opportunity to strategize our time together like we've never had to before.

We've discovered that remote work doesn't necessarily mean moving away from in-person interactions. In fact, it has forced us to develop a crisp in-person strategy that we never needed in a traditional office setup.

When reimagining offsite meetings or events, it's crucial to prioritize the things we can't adequately accomplish over platforms like Slack and Zoom. Creating dedicated time and atmosphere for people to connect is essential. The highest return on investment for in-person time is to use it for activities that cannot be replicated virtually. Breaking bread together and building rapport over dinner creates a much richer experience than any virtual gathering over zoom.

Moreover, it's important to consider different learning and interaction styles during offsite meetings and events. People have varying preferences when it comes to absorbing information and engaging with others. By incorporating a range of activities and formats, we can cater to different learning styles and create an inclusive and productive environment for all participants.

One valuable concept to keep in mind is the 80/20 rule. This principle suggests that 80% of the value from an offsite meeting comes from just 20% of the activities. To maximize the impact of your offsite, identify the key objectives and focus on those areas that will yield the greatest benefits. By streamlining the agenda and prioritizing meaningful discussions and collaborative sessions, you can make the most of your time together.

It's important to be cautious of falling back into old habits though. As humans, we tend to rely on familiarity, and offsite meetings often evoke memories of intense "war room" group strategizing sessions. While there is value in such activities, it's crucial to evaluate their effectiveness in achieving desired outcomes. Instead of defaulting to what we've always done, we should challenge ourselves to explore new approaches that align with the evolving dynamics of our work environment.

As we move forward, organizations must recognize the transformative power of offsite meetings. They offer an opportunity to break free from the constraints of traditional office settings and encourage fresh perspectives and innovative thinking. By embracing a new playbook for offsite meetings, we can create experiences that foster collaboration, connection, and growth.

The global narrative may be fixated on a return to the office or even a hybrid approach, but it's time for organizations to take a different approach. Offsite meetings provide a valuable platform for reimagining how we work together. By prioritizing meaningful in-person interactions, we can create productive and transformative off site experiences. It's time to shift our focus and embrace the new possibilities that lie ahead.