Most meetings take place at the office and are often held quickly in between other tasks. Those meetings are put in the agenda, followed by the meeting that takes about an hour in order to discuss important matters. Often times you are far too busy for the meeting, but you still have to attend. During the meeting you are not really with it, as you are too focused on your busy agenda. Sounds familiar? It is most likely a good idea to introduce the idea to your team of holding your meetings outside of the office! Chances are you will return to the office full of creativity, good ideas and a clear planning. However, there are many other benefits too…
1. Inspiring : new ideas
Holding meetings at a new location has a positive effect on the course of the meeting. A new space brings with it new ideas. Get inspired by the space and energy of a meeting house outside of the office. A new location also provides you with new impressions and ensures participants pay closer attention and have a deeper focus. This way everyone becomes an active player, which creates a positive energy within the group.
2. Awareness of urgency
The focus at an out of office meeting is often times noticably higher. Why is this the case? We firmly believe that when you are on location with a group, you consciously go to that meeting house with certain results in mind. It gives a certain priority and importance to the meeting. First of all, participants won’t easily be inclined to cancel. Next to that, the participants will feel more engaged and have a proactive attitude.
3. Take the time to hold a meeting
A big difference between having your meeting at the office versus out of office is that a (part of the) day is scheduled solely for that purpose. It’s no longer about having a rushed one-hour meeting, in which all points on the agenda are quickly discussed. During meetings outside of the office people take the time to thoroughly go through all the agenda points and plans, followed up by a clear plan of action. This way you prevent certain colleagues from feeling overworked, as they might otherwise be thinking about all of their other meetings and things they still have to do after the meeting.
4. No outside distractions
At the office there are a lot of potential distractions, such as forwarded phone calls, incoming e-mails or noise down the hallway. On top of that people have to deal with the tedious repetitiveness of their office job. By disconnecting from those daily perturbances as a team or company, you will no longer get distracted. This then leads to a stronger focus.
5. Higher productivity
Because of the fact that the meeting is taking place out of office, people will get inspired, focused and the meeting will run much smoother. The effect is obvious: your meeting will be a lot more productive than an in-office one. You can all go back to the office afterwards with new ideas, plans and potential solutions !
6. You are completely unburdened
When you hold your meeting in a meeting house, the catering and facilities are dealt with by others. This means you won’t have to worry whether there will be enough coffee and water for everyone. It will be taken care of for you. The only thing that will have to be communicated is whether or not you want a certain type of lunch and in-between snacks.
7. Experienced professionals on location
External meeting houses are specialised in making sure your meetings run as smoothly as possible. This translates into good facilities and catering. These locations are provided with the best necessities, such as fast internet, a clear projection and beamer, flip-overs, notebooks, post-its, etc.
8. Take a break!
It is always a positive to plan in a break at some point during the meeting. Participants can go for a walk, stretch their legs and come back more focused, because don’t be mistaken : meeting for hours on end makes you doze off a little. You could use this break to hold a fun activity. In other words : empty your head before getting back into it !
Make sure you properly finish your meeting out of office! After an intense brainstorm session or meeting it is a good idea to take a moment to do a fun activity with each other. Hold on to that positive energy and have a bite and/or drink together. This fosters your future collaboration within the team or company.
10. The new normal
This era of lockdowns has instilled the rule of teleworking. We have heard it increases the productivity of certain meetings. We lose less time, not being on the road. We most definitely need to carry the positive sides of this experience with us to the post-corona era.
On the other hand, the phenomenon of ‘team-out’ is popping up. Employees feel less connected and involved with each other and the company. That’s why it is of paramount importance to see each other ‘live’ from time to time. Make that connection.
Source (point 1 – 9): Ondernemersbelang 12 October 2018