Employee Away Days
5 Reasons Why They’re More Than Just “Forced Fun”!
The promise of an away day with your team can sometimes be met with cynicism and groans. With workloads increasing, we often think we can’t afford a minute outside of the office, let alone an entire day. Studies also show that social technologies are making us less social face-to-face, and less attentive of the people around us – including fellow employees. With the general pressures of work to contend with, managers can place low priority on away days. However, successful staff event external to the workplace have proven benefits for employees at all levels of the organisation.
In truth, we often need to be reminded that our colleagues hugely improve our working experiences and lives. Done right, away days can offer the ideal setting to improve bonds between teams, encourage lateral thinking and refresh employees outside of their work environment. As workplaces become more informal and companies improve their consciousness of good work-life balance, there’s a clear case for the power of away days to improve our wellbeing and make us more productive when we do return to the office.
1. Bringing remote or satellite staff together
In today’s brave new world of work, members of the same team can be thousands of miles apart from each other. As much as technology has enabled easy communication between people on opposite sides of the planet, it has also created a barrier to face-to-face contact as we choose to write an email, instant message or text to get our views across. Good away days will bring satellite workers into the heart of the team, minimising the potential for isolation and boosting their rapport with other employees.
2. Building teamwork skills
Even for the most independent employees, aligning to shared goals is vital for any successful organisation. We often don’t realise how much we work in teams, particularly if we’re situated outside a main office location. Time and again, people will say things like “I would explain to Colleague X how to do this task, but it’s quicker if I just do it myself because I’ll waste time explaining”. This is a false efficiency, as the correct process is held solely in the mind of the worker. While this might save a few seconds, the organisation as a whole loses out on their shared expertise. Good away days with opportunities to interact outside your normal team will boost confidence and build trust. They will help staff position themselves within certain roles, foster creativity and help to identify the value of sharing.
3. Putting employees into a different setting
When people are removed from a familiar environment, they adapt quickly and begin to show different elements of their personalities. Away days also help you identify skills in employees that may not be apparent in their existing role. For example, when you put a team in an escape room, you’ll observe someone taking on the lateral thinking tasks, someone hunting for clues, someone taking charge of overseeing the strategy. Their response to the problem could be worlds apart from their usual roles in the workplace. New skills and personality traits can be harnessed by senior management to get the best out of employees in different scenarios.
4. Seeing who steps up
Similarly, you might be surprised by who takes charge and who volunteers for certain tasks at an away day. Employees might undertake something personally challenging, illustrating they are willing to take risks for the good of the team. Likewise, those you have earmarked for promotion may fade into the background or show less willing than you expected. Signals like these can help to guide you when making leadership decisions, or rejigging roles within a department.
5. Making memories!
Away days are not only work-focused training events. You might choose to take staff to a fun sporting event with no agenda beyond spending informal time together. A key benefit of the away day is bringing people together, reminding of the fun element of work. Away days can be warm and memorable experiences that are looked fondly upon for years to come. They can also act as a shared reward for the hard work your employees have achieved. We spend more than a third of our lives at work; it’s important to have evocative, happy memories of the positive aspects of your position.
Mauve Group’s Events team can help to bring your international or domestic employees together at a bespoke away day or team-building event, no matter where they are based in the world. Check out our social feeds and picture gallery on this post for examples of fun trips we’ve organised. Need more information? Please get in touch with our Events team via the Contact Form for a no-obligation quote.