Get out the office

Jan 28, 2019

Another meeting. Another conference. And it’s all done in the company’s special in-house corporate conference or meeting facilities. Of course, it makes sound business sense – costs can be cut effectively for a company by doing this.

At least, this is what we’ve come to believe. While it seems that there is a shift in keeping conferences in house, many planners and managers are missing out on exceptional benefits if they were to hold their event at a venue that is not the workplace.

To begin with, let’s dispel this idea that having conferences in another location is likely to be more expensive. There are a number of venues that are open to negotiate on their per head cost in order to assist their clients in creating a great event that is also value for money.

So, why opt to take everyone out of the office for a conference? It’s simple. There are several distinct and impactful benefits to doing so:

  1. Less distraction: If your staff are accessible to co-workers who are not in the conference, there is a possibility that there may be interruptions. There is no “switch off” from the work that needs to be done at the office, either. Of course, we think about when we are away from the office, but we are less likely to turn the volume down on thoughts of work while at the workplace.

  2. Staff relax: When the event is off site, staff feel more capable of relaxing than if they were still in the workplace. A more relaxed staff member is able to focus more on the work done in the conference and retain that information for longer.

  3. Appreciation: Taking staff out of the office and into a completely different environment gives the sense of being important, special and valuable enough to be ‘treated’ to an event – even if it’s just a seminar or workshop. Staff who feel appreciated will certainly favour the company with their loyalty and added effort.

  4. Participation: Staff may feel more inclined to participate in activities and contribute in discussions if they feel they are not under the watchful eye of the heads of department in their own workplace.

  5. No more comfort zone: Taking staff out of their comfort zone into a different environment is both psychologically and mentally stimulating, allowing them to be more alert and direct their energy and attention to what is going on in the conference and what they are learning on the day.

Getting out of the office is like a breath of fresh air – which everyone needs. It clears the cobwebs and hones the mind. Not to mention that taking your staff to a different location can significantly boost their morale.

Many businesses have embraced the concept of caring for staff wellbeing to ensure greater productivity. Conferences will usually take your staff out of their work for a day or more – it may be worth providing them with the opportunity to not only experience a great conference but to have their senses – and sensibilities – surprised by a completely new environment.

By Heinrich Oberholzer, Food and Beverage Manager, Michelangelo Hotel, Sandton

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