4 Reasons Why Your Company Should Have a Staff Retreat

August 10, 2018, 12:07 PM UTC
Green Business Team in the Park
Rawpixel Getty Images/iStockphoto

Seem a little quiet around here? It should be—on the day Fortune published this story, its staff were on an offsite retreat.

Here at Fortune, we try to practice what we preach. And lately, in our always-on, Internet-connected world, we’ve been preaching respite. There’s a growing body of work arguing that working long hours is harmful and not helpful, that culture each technology for breakfast, and that unstructured opportunities to think help foster true innovation.

In other words: Breaks are good for business.

So we’re taking a summer Friday to recharge. (Thanks, boss!) So should you. Here are four reasons why.

1. Company retreats refocus employees.

Studies in recent years have consistently shown that working less leads to increased productivity. Company leadership is in agreement. A 2017 GfK survey conducted for Project: Time Off found that 78% of managers felt time off improved the focus of their employees; 70% said it renews staff commitment. It may seem counterproductive, but an off-site free of standard work tasks could lead to a reinvigorated office in the long run.

2. Offsites encourage team building and bonding.

Whether your retreat is a “workcation” dedicated to accomplishing a specific goal, or simply a day of fun and games, off-sites can help foster close-knit teams. And that’s important beyond just company morale. A recent MIT study reported in the Harvard Business Journal found that teams that communicate directly with each other—and not just with management—are more productive and creative. Socializing away from workstations also played a significant factor in boosting efficiency.

3. Retreats show that value your employees

Expensing a trip away from the office to participate in recreational activity indicates that you care about your employees outside of just work. That goes a long way towards reducing turnover and keeping team members committed. Research from the University of Warwick found that happy workers are 12% more productive.

4. Offsites give everyone a time to reflect

After months of hard work, it’s beneficial for staff and leadership alike to take a moment to reflect on what’s been accomplished during that time. An off-site retreat away from the office—but with all team members still present—is the perfect opportunity to do so. Reflect on what has worked, what hasn’t, and how to address that discrepancy going forward. Just don’t forget to enjoy the company of your colleagues at the retreat. Have fun!

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