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Offsite is the new out-of-office experience.

November 14, 2022 by Erin Brand

The Parcel team recently returned from New Brunswick for our second off-site since we started our #WTFWFH experiment 25 2-1/2 years ago. Since we opted not to go back to the office full-time and maintain a hybrid model, we’ve started using these off-sites to get some much-needed face-time we’ve been lacking by not being on-site. 

Canadian Business hosted a great panel discussion based on their research into ways to make hybrid work by making the most out of onsite and offsite meetings. What’s been observed is that having people come into an office to do what they’d be doing at home is a waste of time.  

Work has indeed become much more transactional: you get what you need from a Zoom call and get out. Chit-chat is viewed as eating into our time. That means that when we think about onsite meetings, we need to start thinking about them as events that allow us to invest in social capital and rebuild culture. 

So our objective with this offsite wasn’t productivity. It was about sharing an experience. 

We chose Saint John, New Brunswick, partly because none of us had been there but also because one of our friends from #EO recently purchased Clifden Manor, which comfortably fit all of us. (If you’re ever in the area, it’s a fantastic place to stay!)

Our agenda was less about the state of the business and more about the state of ourselves. While we’ve gained efficiency while working at home, we’ve admittedly put social capital at risk by not seeing each other daily. 

Instead of financial reports and forecasting, we covered:

  • Our favourite good food memory 
  • What each of us was like in High School
  • Our favourite attributes about each team member
  • Personal goals we’re working on for the next three years

Team building included breakfast, lunch and cocktail-mixing challenges. We left feeling more connected — unsurprising given how cool our people are.

While participating in our off-site wasn’t hard, planning wasn’t easy. Fortunately, Julie leveraged her experience as an EO facilitator to keep the energy up, coming up with creative discussion ideas and ensuring everyone could participate in a way that was authentic for them.  She’ll be sharing these tips under our Iterate platform — so be sure to follow us there to learn more. 

 


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