“It was a great day, discussing the future and spending quality time with everyone.”
Not the sort of thing you’d expect to hear from a remote worker, is it?
That same remote worker who conjures up an image of someone still in their pyjamas, headphones on and beavering away on some complicated coding or design work.
Now is the time to banish that image once and for all - because remote working is indeed on the rise and it’s not just for geeks in their pyjamas! Indeed, according to Fast Company, remote working is set to increase and is even proven to produce more engaged and productive employees.
There are cons to remote working though - the obvious things include loneliness and a lack of team bonding, the more subtle things are speed of execution when you can’t just ask the person sat next to you for ideas and input.
But luckily there are a multitude of things that can be done to overcome these drawbacks. From collaboration tools such as Slack, to online games that can be done in lieu of the more physical ‘Beer Fridays’.
And of course, there’s the all important Company Retreat, something we’ve been doing at Whitesmith for quite a few years now and which we’re proud to say we’ve perfected the art of running! Don’t be caught out though, as good retreats require amazing planning both before and after the event, as we’ve found out over the past few we’ve run!
Our Top 5 Tips for Company Retreats
Here’s our top 5 tips for running awesome Company Retreats…
-Put a dedicated team together to work on it like you would a proper project.
- Create a project plan with goals, milestones and owners, even put it on a tool like Trello
- Define a budget and do proper research into where you’ll hold it, for how long and how things like transport is going to work.
- Make sure everyone pitches in - even the CEO has to do the dishes!
- Assign sub or mini teams to specific evening activities like quizzes or a movie night, and try and do something like this for every evening of the Retreat.
One that’s pretty specific to Whitesmith but we feel is worth sharing is setting one day aside as a ‘family day’. Half of this day is assigned to a form of company meeting that’s designed for everyone to be completely open and honest about what’s working and not working in the company. The other half is where we get out for a good long walk - ours tend to be in amongst the most amazing landscapes and nature areas so we’re also breathing in lots of good clean air - especially important for our friends in from London!
And if you aren’t convinced about this idea, just read this snippet from the feedback on our recent summer retreat:
“Family day felt like breathing after holding your breath for quite a while. As in, I think it was an honest sharing moment, I think these moments make us grow as a company and as individuals. The balance between “talking” and “walking” was also nice, just walking to get to somewhere beautiful, getting dirt on your shoes as a healing power.”
In fact, it’s exactly this sort of feedback we strive for with our company retreats - creating a sense of community when we normally all work remotely from one another, engaging in activities that improve teamwork when we’re all back at our desks, and fostering a sense of transparency where everyone gets the chance to talk in a completely different setting.
We’re already looking forward to our next one in winter - how about you?
Why not take a look at the pics of our summer 2019 retreat over here on Instagram.