Senior executives in the USA spend on average 23 hours a week in business meetings. However, 71% find them ineffective and unproductive. Supposing going outside the business premises could turn all this around? Here are five reasons to give off-site meetings a go.
© credit: Factory Forty
Creating away breaks to get your colleagues out of their daily grind
In meetings, especially, those held in-house, there are always constant interruptions: unwanted emails, a colleague’s head appearing round the door to ask “have you got a minute?” etc.
You can avoid some of these distractions by leaving the building. But why not go the whole way by running the meeting totally offline with all telephones switched off?
Disrupting the routine to restore productivity
It’s natural for us to associate a particular place with our previous experiences in that location. Your company’s meeting rooms – usually impersonal – can actually be sources of stress, boredom or loss of motivation. Why not go for the positive and summon a breath of fresh air by running your meetings somewhere totally different, more welcoming and more people-friendly? Such meetings will turn out to be far more productive.
Use more space to create more interaction
A study carried out by Washington University has shown that when people are seated throughout a meeting, they develop their own territorial space and this distrust is hardly conducive to a spirit of collaboration. To stimulate the creativity of participants, it is recommended to book a space that is large enough to be split up into several smaller meeting areas, each with its own set-up: with or without chairs, providing stools or cushions …
Your inspiration will guide you!
Encourage more free-ranging discussion by different arrangements of the meeting room
According to MPI, the international meeting and event industry association, there’s a whole art in creating the right atmosphere for off-site meetings. For example, putting the chairs round a small table emphasizes a sense of belonging to a team. But the lighting, the colours of the walls and furniture, or even the reverberation level, can also contribute to building the confidence of your colleagues and encourage people to speak up. That is the moment to take up your pilgrim’s staff and tour round all meeting venues offering more exotic meeting rooms!
Make the most of meeting breaks to increase productivity
If you are organising a strategy meeting or the “kick-off” of a major project, you often need to set aside half a day, or even longer. Inevitably you will have to include some breaks. However, according to Stanford University, mental performance is enhanced if there is a chance to get outside to commune with nature. A place with some greenery is therefore ideal to help your teams refill their energy tanks. More and more meeting venues are including garden spaces in their design.
Want a change of air?
At Factory Forty you will find meeting rooms of all sizes, each with a defined personality, and there’s also a large garden with terrace, lake, planted garden and even a chicken coop and a beehive! There’s certainly enough to encourage people to recharge their batteries between two working sessions.