Ditch that dreary conference room for an outdoor retreat.
Company retreats inevitably have very different goals between employers and employees. While employers want to increase morale, relationships, creativity and, ultimately, profits, employees need a day away from their desks doing anything but work.
Can both sides win? The answer is YES!
Many professionals can recall claustrophobic conference room meetings that are uncomfortable and distracting. Taking your meeting outside allows the team to spread out, to escape the everyday four walls they’re used to. Studies have proven that being outside in the fresh help people think clearly, decrease impulsivity and decrease stress. More time outside can increase Vitamin D, which is essential to mood stability. All of these factors lead to happier, healthier employees.
It’s no secret that being outside makes people more active — which improves concentration and memory. Physical activity can benefit your team in a variety of ways. Increased heart rates will help your team be creative, stimulating different parts of the brain. Taking part in physical activities can also help build relationships between team members. A day doing physical team-building activities like ropes courses or feild games could increase your team’s morale and relationships. If your office is not getting along or needs a little push, consider getting them outside and active. Planning outdoor team building exercises that gets the body moving is a great way to engage and to inspire your staff .
In one study, the ability to proofread was dramatically improved when the subjects spent time outside rather than simply taking a break. Spending time outside can help your team focus more on the task at hand in and out of the office — bringing your company more productivity and better efficiency.
Free Planning Guide
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Getting out of an office will bring life back into your team. Outdoors is innately more casual than your office. Letting your team be more casual may bring out new personalities and friendships that you never expected. Encourage people to be themselves and more relaxed than the office by encouraging shorts and t-shirts, serving food made to be shared or playing games that bring out fun facts or jokes. Allowing your event to build relationships and break down the walls of formal offices can help emotional dynamics and respect within an office.
Take your team to a place that will spark new ideas. Interesting gardens, meandering forests and wide open spaces can all inspire new thoughts to your conference table. Some neuroscientists suggest that time outside can improve problem solving skills, thanks to our evolutionary roots from thousands of years ago. Wouldn’t you like your team to solve problems with better, faster solutions?
Beyond short-term benefits, taking your team outside and encouraging physical activity can help your employees lead healthier lives. We all know that fresh air and exercise is good for us, but employers who advocate and reward these behaviors can benefit by reduced costs and improved revenues. To make sure your business is reaping these benefits, make time in your busy company schedule to encourage outdoor activities. Better yet, practice what you preach and give employees time outdoors to be active and creative. Include fun, active games that get employees moving. Who knows, you may even have fun participating with them.
If you still aren’t convinced that an outdoor retreat is right for you, contact MIT Endicott House. Recognized as a “Top Pick Outdoor Venue” by Unique Venues, the MIT Endicott House covers 25 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens including several walking paths and a ropes course. Skilled event planners are ready to assist with your event, no matter your needs. If you would like to visit MIT Endicott House or book your upcoming event, please contact us at 617-253-5211 or fill out an online contact form and you will hear back from us within 24 hours!
Thinking about a getaway for your group, department, or entire staff? Find out more on our Boston area business retreats page.