What is the value of unplugging with your team?
Published By Tim Lucier on March 10th, 2023 in Compass Connections
Since 1995, we have hosted unplugged team building retreats for leadership teams and corporate groups. In this day and age, when our work and resources are all online, and family members are always a quick Facetime call away, it can be scarier than ever to intentionally unplug and take time away from our devices. It’s hard to imagine going even a few hours without checking our smartphones or laptops – yet it’s more necessary than ever.
So: Why bother to unplug?
At it’s root, unplugging is all about connection which research shows increases productivity, promotes quality of work, and stimulates creative problem solving. A primary goal of most corporate & team-building retreats is to create connection between participants and with strategic planning objectives which enhances business outcomes. When we have access to our personal devices, we have unlimited distraction at our fingertips. On a retreat, it is those distractions that can be our biggest obstacle in creating connection with each-other and a shared investment in the tasks ahead. You’re investing thousands of dollars in fostering these objectives by planning a focused off-site – so unplugging limits distraction and helps your team focus on the things which matter most?
By disconnecting from the distractions of technology and being fully engaged in face-to-face interactions with colleagues, participants can better seize the opportunities for deeper communication, creativity, problem-solving, and collaboration that arise in the moment. This can lead to improved team bonding and productivity, as well as a better work-life balance.
Although we provide opportunities to make digital presentations with a large projection screen, we invite visitors to consider what they can accomplish here with face-to-face time you might not be able to do at the home office or over Zoom.
Disconnect for Connection
Here are five benefits your team can experience by unplugging for your offsite meeting:
- Improved team bonding: Replacing disengaged team members is very expensive. Stepping away from the distractions of technology will help team members get to know each other better and build stronger bonds, leading to a more engaged, cohesive, effective team.
- Increased focus, creativity & problem-solving: Without google at our fingertips, we are encouraged to think more creatively. Your meetings will be supercharged with team members coming up with new and innovative ideas by relying on their own resources and problem-solving skills.
- Deeper communication and collaboration: Again, without distractions, team members can listen to and engage with one another on a deeper level. Conversations and projects that matter will receive a higher level of contribution and collective input from your team.
- More focus on the goals of your retreat: In business, it can be difficult to step away from the spotlight issues of the day. While it’s important to attend to our regular work, it is ever-more important to shine a floodlight on the bigger picture of your enterprise engaging team members to collectively address your medium and long-term personal and collective goals. Sharing an understanding of the relevance of your goals invites contributions from each team member to apply their talents autonomously.
- Modeling work-life balance: Planning an unplugged retreat models healthy life practices for your team which can create a more resilient team capable of creative problem solving, quality improvements, and productivity gains.
- And more: the variety of activities your team can engage in together, while disconnected from technology, can provide a reward, a necessary break, opportunities for wellness & adventure, all while building community & meeting business goals.
We promise – although your team may express worries about unplugging at the beginning of your retreat, by the end everyone will be very glad they did!
Up for the challenge? Here’s how the Edge can support you in unplugging with your team:
The benefits are many – but what about those necessary presentations & meetings, facetime calls home to family members, and important work calls? We understand that for many of our corporate clients, unplugging represents a big fear. Here’s how we can work around the need to be “plugged in”.
Presentations with digital or printed elements:
If you are planning on offering a presentation at the Edge, we do come equipped with a high-quality projector & screen, and will be more than happy to get you set up. It is important for your presenters to pre-download all elements of their presentation. By knowing in advance that you will not have the capacity to stream video or slideshows, you can come prepared and delivery the same quality of media.
In regards to printed items – please print everything you need ahead of your departure to the Edge. Our nearest printer is 22km away, so come prepared with what you need.
We no longer offer wi-fi access to just the leaders or presenters during a retreat, as we have found that this access will spread to half the team by the time your retreat is over, removing all the benefits and purpose of unplugging. Trust us: it’s not as necessary as you think.
Meetings and conversations that matter:
Although the world has become used to the idea of hybrid meetings and gatherings, we advise that everybody you need in your meeting be at the retreat. The in-person connection your team will experience together will enhance all of the meetings you plan to have during your visit.
If a necessary person cannot be here, establish an opportunity to receive their contributions before or after your off-site. If your strategic planning event requires traditional projector-based presentations we recommend limiting meetings & presentations to one per day. There are many other ways to bring your attention to the issues that matter during your retreat, and we look forward to introducing you to non-traditional meeting spaces indoors and out, as well as unconventional ways of addressing your business needs. Looking to have important conversations outside of your regular meeting format? Our retreat facilitators can help you to stage unplugged, organic discussions on topics that matter.
Important phone calls and communications:
If it is necessary to keep the fires burning in your business with important communications, please delegate to a team member who is not attending the retreat. If all team members are attending your retreat, that’s amazing: Please set away messages or automations and commit to creating space for the growth and connection of your team members.
Be at ease.
If you need to be reached in case of emergency we will work to assure you receive any messages and have the opportunity to reach out. If you need to make an emergency phone call, or your team members feel the need to check in with family members, we have a tablet with wi-fi calling that can be used in our main lodge in lieu of giving folks access on their personal devices.
We hope that you can see the benefits of unplugging with your team for a retreat at the Edge. Curious to learn more? See why the Edge is the perfect place to plan your corporate retreat.
Are you looking to plan the ultimate corporate retreat?
Our comprehensive guide walks you through everything from picking the perfect location, planning activities and team games, creating meaningful agendas, and more. With years of experience in hosting executive retreats, delivering team-building and strategic planning retreats – we know what it takes to make your corporate retreat one that will be remembered for years to come.
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