Most meetings take place in the same meeting room on company premises. At first glance, it seems easier and more practical. Unfortunately, it also means teams are being held back from the many benefits that come from holding your meetings off-site. Breaking out of your everyday workspace can help bring fresh perspectives to a meeting from start to finish.
Here are seven reasons why your meetings are better when you hold them off-site:
1. Boost creativity
There’s no scientific formula for a perfect meeting; what works for some, might not work for others. But there’s one thing every team can do to boost creativity at a meeting - host it off-site. When we shift environments, we also prompt our brain to think differently and consider new factors and approaches.
Or as Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Airlines states it: "A boardroom and a powerpoint is enough to put anyone to sleep. If you don't have a private island or yacht, try getting outside or using a different space."
New surroundings inspire and stimulate us to think outside the box - exactly the kind of mindset you want to have in a meeting.
2. Harness the travelling-time to prepare
Picture these two scenarios:
The last minute-rush
You’re half out of your seat, poised to send one last email. You’re also skimming the meeting agenda and printing the latest version of the meeting minutes from last Friday. On the way to the meeting room, you just manage to squeeze out an SMS to a friend that you have to cancel the coffee date later.
Arriving focused and calm
You’re cycling through the city in cool air and sunshine, a welcomed reprieve from the office. You’re not entirely sure of the route, so the GPS guides you through the winding inner-city streets that you haven’t crossed in years. Turns out, your old cafe is still just around the corner. On the way, you mull over your agenda and think about how to best present your suggestions. You’re growing excited to share your ideas.
Sounds too dreamy?
Okay, maybe a little. But taking new routes to a meeting does give you a chance to take a breather and get inspired by your surroundings, so you can think differently and let go of ingrained habits before the meeting starts.
3. Differentiate your meetings
We’re used to conducting all our meetings, whether small or large, critical or relaxed, in the same old meeting rooms. After a while, they all begin to blur together. By holding meetings off-site, you break with the sense of routine. An off-site meeting is not “just another meeting” - it’s a new meeting in a new space - and one that deserves your focus.
4. Fewer interruptions
It’s obvious, but no less important - meetings run much more smoothly when you book them off-site because you escape interruptions. There’s no risk that your colleagues will stick their heads in to ask about the status of a project or to let you know about a client phone call. When you leave the office and work, you leave behind distraction. That’s reason enough alone to book a meeting off-site.
5. More goal-oriented
Internal meetings often seem to run longer than planned! People will drop in late, while others leave early to make yet another meeting. Because it’s just down the hall, internal meetings within the workspace are taken less seriously or often end up dragging on. By holding the meeting off-site, you commit yourself to a start and finish time, leading to a more goal-oriented meeting with a clear agenda.
6. Less is more
When you book a meeting room off-site, one of the first questions you’re asked is how many people will be attending. Plus, you have to factor in transport time for your attendees. That means you have to seriously consider every single participant and their relevance to the agenda. Holding your meeting off-site means you can invite only the key players, streamline the meeting and run it more smoothly.
7. Higher satisfaction
Booking an off-site meeting can be done so easily that it doesn’t take much extra effort to get all the great benefits listed above. What’s more, going the extra mile to select a new location for your meeting means that every single participant will feel more valued - it’s a small effort that makes a big difference.
Hold your next meeting off-site
It might sound like extra work, but it doesn’t have to be. Choosing to ditch your usual surroundings and hold a meeting off-site gives participants a better focus and a better mindset for decision-making. On gaest.com we have more than 3,000 off-site meeting spaces waiting to be discovered!
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