Why many companies go on a retreat and why you should do this as well.

Yannick KhayatiBoard Of Innovation

Those who know Board of Innovation just a little might know that we’re all about getting people out of their comfort zone. With summer getting really close, we even want to translate our motto into ‘getting people out of the building’. Lately we’ve been thinking very much about retreats, company retreats to be more precise. With the temperature rising, it’s getting really hot behind the desks. Time to get a ‘workation’ planned.

Working on vacation = workation

In the past years, company retreats got very popular. Companies like Buffer and Zapier are flying their whole (remote) teams all over the world to boost productivity, collaboration, … An event like this is perfect to get closer together and dive a little deeper into the company’s philosophy. It’s very important to set a goal before your trip: what does your team want to achieve? What has to be done, when you’re returning to the ‘corporate castle’?

Where should you go?

What’s great is that your team can experience new cultures together. That’s why you have to make sure you let the people choose where your retreat will take place. At Buffer for example, they’re just using a Google Form in which every team member can submit his / her favourite destination. After everyone has submitted at least one location, they just vote where the next trip is headed to.

If planning and organizing are not common in your company, there are always organized retreats with business as a purpose. Some of them might be great actually, they’ll give your team an entrepreneurial twist. Here are some examples:

You’ll get more done together

What’s so great about these (international) trips, is that you’ll get so much work done. The fact that the atmosphere is loose and more informal will make your team way more productive. Buffer is once again a great example, they took their whole team to Thailand for 10 days and launched  ‘Buffer for Business’ right after the trip. This proves that getting things done, sun, tropical pools and cocktails are actually a great combo.

Reach out to your (local) community

A retreat is also a very good opportunity to reach out to your community (abroad). Let’s say you’re in Japan for two weeks, then you should definitely organize an event over there. It will give your Japanese ‘followers’ the chance to meet you, give them a look behind the scenes and use this moment to ask them for feedback. The perception of your company might be totally different in Japan. Is your product a service? Show it over there! Is your product software? Host a demo day during your retreat.

Our team always tries to bond with the local community, even when we’re facilitating workshops abroad. For example, in June some of us are heading to Berlin and they’ve already made contact to visit some events in the Berlin startup scene.

Let’s wrap it up in 5 takeaways

  1. Get away from your day-to-day
    1
  2. Set clear goals before your retreat
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  3. Hook up with the local community
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  4. Be active and have a lot of fun
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  5. GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
    retreat

So, going to new, exotic places broadens your horizon. It really gets you out of the comfort zone and that’s what this is all about. At Board of Innovation we care about self-development, teamwork and lots of fun at work. And the good news is, we’re currently hiring.

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