What are the advantages of an away day?
Some employees are not really enthusiastic about going away days. It then also depends on how you sell it. Will they have to listen to long speeches from the management team in a hotel meeting room or will you be going to an inspiring away day location to discuss long-term goals with the team led by an external chairperson? Find out about the advantages of a day in the woods in this article.
Time for the long term
How often do you really discuss the strategy of your organisation’s long-term goals?
An away day can be the ideal opportunity to make future plans. However, make sure that you balance it out between:
- Letting all participants have their say
- Exhausting ‘days of talking’ without clear goals
Therefore, an away day cannot be organised without proper preparation. It must be especially clear what your goal is with this meeting. It can of course also be something like team building or getting inspired, but even then, it’s important you know how and why.
Privacy of participants
An away day often cannot just be organised. Instead of conference venues London, politicians who cannot agree on something will take an away day in green surrounding, just like management teams of large companies. For major decisions about reorganisations, for example, you don’t want half the company listening in.
As well, there are often many opportunities to discuss privately at the away day location. For example, by taking a walk with a colleague in the woods/park/nature reserve/island.
An important reason to plan an away day is that you are outside the office and outdoors. However, the brain takes more time to come around than the body. Make sure that you don’t plan a tight schedule for an away day. Ideally, once in a while plan an away day for several days, instead of just an away day or half a day.
An away day could start with a walk or another relaxing activity. Make sure that it’s not too much of a forced ‘fun’ character. Not everyone at age 50 wants to be pushed out of their comfort zone by a zealous coach.
Relaxed employees mean higher productivity and creativity during an away day. Of course, the environment contributes to this. Staring at a tree is sometimes more inspiring than staring at a computer screen. Some companies choose to leave all smartphones behind during an away day (during certain sessions) temporarily.
Reflection with an external coach
At work, an external coach may feel like an intruder, but at an external location, it seems to be a lot more logical.
An away day is then also an excellent possibility to dig deeper on how you as a team collaborate on what goals you want to achieve on the long term. An external coach dares to ask difficult questions and does not shy away from workplace sensibilities.
Ideally in the woods
Maybe unnecessary, but an away day in some back room will not provide the same results as an actually day in the woods.
It’s calm and space that makes people feel more relaxed, which in turn will lead to better results. As well, an away day does not have to take place far outside the city. And if you’re looking for venues in London or a meeting venue, in Hackney you can often opt for a nice quite environment.