As the world of work becomes increasingly distributed and flexible, external websites have become an essential tool for enhancing company culture and team building. Although outdoor locations are often seen as a fun thing to do, they are now a prime opportunity for colleagues to meet in person. In fact, outdoor sites have almost doubled in popularity as a major reason for the trip since before the global pandemic! Teams want and need to meet in real life. This does not mean that the 9-5 office form is the only solution to achieve this. Teams spread across industries and countries are finding new ways to bring people together, with offsite meetings being one of the best ways to do this for many. With that in mind, what are some of the advantages of off-site meetings? Why are they such powerful tools for businesses and employees? Let’s find out. They lead to help build relationships between team members Whether your company operates on-site, remotely, or in a hybrid format, it is possible that not all team members will be able to get to know each other as well as they would like. External sites are a way for everyone on the team to communicate in useful ways beyond their daily tasks. Especially for your first remote teams, it’s a great opportunity for them to take their relationship out of the metaverse into the real world. Through things like team building activities, employees are able to come out of their shell and develop a sense of camaraderie together. Whether it’s through a structured team-building exercise like a scavenger hunt or something more spontaneous like after-work drinks, taking the team out of a professional environment will help them get to know each other on a more personal level. It enhances employee interaction, let’s face it – external locations are a great feature that employees actually enjoy. Whether it’s a two-day offsite at a country hotel full of workshops or a summer party to celebrate success, the bottom line is that employees look forward to these events. One of the key performance indicators for the success of off-site work is whether people are actually enjoying themselves — and that goes a long way toward employee engagement. Off-site events are a way to show employees appreciation for them. By organizing things like workshops, you give employees a chance to hone their skills, learn something new, or increase their getting along with other team members. Seasonal parties are a great way to celebrate not only the successes, but each other. Annual kick-offs help everyone in the business understand your company’s goals and what they need to work towards. All this helps in creating happy, engaged and motivated employees. Get the creative juices flowing Ever been blocked on a project so you don’t even know where to start? What did you do to restart the idea engine again? It’s possible that you’ve moved away from your computer, had a cup of tea, gone for a walk, or talked to someone about something unrelated. Basically what you did was physically remove yourself from your routine for just one moment, and this change of scenery opened up a world of ideas and possibilities to help you solve the task at hand. The same goes for off-site. By taking people out of their daily work environment, you separate them from your pre-established working patterns. A new space can be very useful for creative thinking, which is why outdoor locations are great moments for organizing brainstorming sessions or working on projects that require a great deal of out-of-the-box thinking and teamwork. The office environment is, of course, a productive place to work every day, but introducing a “new” item away from regular meeting rooms will provide the spark of energy and creativity your team needs! If you’re in the midst of planning your next offsite meeting and looking for the perfect offsite venue, why not check out this list of what you’re looking for? It’s Great for Strategic Thinking Much like creativity, strategic thinking can benefit greatly from a changing landscape. Especially when you need teams to really look into their quarterly plan or tactics for the biggest project of the year, for example, getting out of the office into a more neutral meeting space can really help. Think of it this way. When working on a major strategy, what you need is focus and teamwork together. Within a traditional office space, there are a myriad of distractions that can interfere – from colleagues showing up to say hi to the other meetings scheduled into your day. If you work at home, strategic sessions around video conferencing tools can be stressful. However, in an off-site team, you can specify a specific time period that is dedicated only to this and your team. No distractions. It’s the perfect setting to detach from everything else and reconnect with your project. Let’s face it…it’s good fun putting productivity, creativity, strategy, and team building aside…off site is also a really good time. We spend most of the year at work except for a few days off and public holidays a year. We’re always on the move, always looking for ways to do more, achieve more, and make more impact. Sometimes it can be overwhelming, or we feel overwhelmed, underappreciated, overwhelmed, uninspired, and detached. This is completely normal. But there is something companies can do about it! By injecting a dose of fun a few times a year, employees are more likely to feel energized and appreciated. You don’t have to organize huge company-wide events 10 times a year to make it happen. Even giving teams a small quarterly budget to arrange get-togethers every 3 months can be the breath of fresh air that everyone needs. So why not consider giving teams the chance to dabble in a karaoke bar, escape room, or outing for a day? They will thank you for that.