When you think meetings, you typically imagine dragging a couple extra chairs into the boss’s office, or a stuffy conference room without windows that you’ll be trapped inside for the next couple of hours. So it is no wonder then that approximately 91 percent of us spend time daydreaming during a meeting and nearly 40 percent have actually dozed off! Whilst a typical boardroom meeting is heavily geared toward results, with an agenda and pressure to arrive at a concrete outcome, the most productive and effective meetings are now thought to have been attended off site – at a location outside the office.
In fact, in a recent survey of 607 businesses in the United States – nearly two-thirds of respondents stated that they find off-site meetings more productive than meetings held onsite at the office. This sentiment was especially resonant with administrative assistants and meeting planners: eight out of 10 said they found off-site meetings to be more productive than those held in the office.
Getting out of the office shifts the focus from outcome to process; removing factors like workplace body language, electronics and daunting action items can make room for innovative thinking. Simply moving outside the office can spur an influx of new ideas. Author and business innovator Nilofer Merchant told TED Talks that changing the scenery, whether you decide to head outside or not, can affect the way your employees do work in general. If you have a particularly creative agenda set for a meeting, like brainstorming your next big marketing campaign, take the team somewhere new and energising and see what it can do to affect your employees’ ideas.
So why might this be the case?
Casual setting = casual attitude.
Just as people act differently depending on what they’re wearing (a term referred to as “enclothed cognition”), they also act differently depending on their physical environment. Usually, we tend to act a little looser outside than we do at the office. Taking the opportunity to chat on a casual level and open up the conversation beyond work can help people feel more comfortable.
When people attend offsite meetings, they’re not distracted and they’re more fully engaged. Today’s technology makes it easy for us to communicate but also easier for us to get distracted. When we aren’t distracted by our nearby technology we get a chance to be amongst hand gestures, facial expressions, body language – especially by the members of the group who don’t have the floor – and other behaviours that allow members to better relate to one another.
Sometimes, getting your staff out of the office is necessary to get them to think outside of the box. Hosting an offsite work meeting is just the thing to jumpstart your employees’ creative thinking. Since they are not sitting in the same room, in the same chair, with the same view of the hallway, they will feel more open and stimulated. A new environment can help them see things in a different light and make creative additions to brainstorming sessions.
There’s incredible value in working together in a different realm. Participants get the chance to interact with one another on a different level than they do in the office to achieve whatever the goal of the exercise is in a different way. Team-building exercises are a common feature of offsite work meetings.
While many of your conference rooms may be outfitted with technology we use regularly, using a different facility could provide you with access to different or newer technology. Oftentimes, this access allows you to be more creative both with what you present and how you present it. When presentations are more engaging, people tend to get more out of them, making meeting time more effective. It’s a win-win.
Having your next meeting offsite in a meeting room or conference room in Perth will give your business the opportunity to be creative like never before. And from $35/hr, Workshop 38 is your best solution.