A group of five people in business casual clothes stand close together in a line and smile for a selfie. The camera phone is held horizontally by the man on the far left of the group. Everyone in the group holds a glass of champagne, except for the man in the very middle, whose arms are stretched behind the people on either side of him.
Some of the biggest benefits from company retreats come from the in-person interactions that your employees may not normally experience in their day-to-day work. — Getty Images/Pekic

In a post-pandemic, remote-first world, many companies may waver on whether holding a corporate retreat makes sense for their business. However, research shows that giving employees some time to work outside of their usual home or corporate office can be well worth the planning and investment.

These eight statistics show how a company retreat can benefit your employees and your business overall.

Fulfills the desire for in-person contact

According to TravelPerk, 25% of employees in a remote or hybrid work environment miss working with their peers and having regular interactions with coworkers. An annual or semi-annual retreat with group work, collaborative activities, and one-on-one time can meet this need, especially if the retreat is held in person. This may also bring coworkers closer together and cause team members to meet up more often outside of work.

Strengthens professional connections

In a Skift survey of over 1,000 corporate travelers, two-thirds of respondents said it is difficult to build professional connections in a virtual environment. For example, frequent Zoom meetings and instant messages can cause more miscommunication than if the same conversations were held in person. A retreat allows for more “face-to-face” interaction time than a 30-minute video call. This can help colleagues better understand one another’s body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice.

Encourages creativity

Another study from TravelPerk found that more than a third of employees feel at their most creative outside of a traditional work environment, whether that’s in an office or at home. Of the more than 1,000 respondents, 34% said their most creative ideas happen during business trips, with 53% of corporate travelers between the ages of 16 and 24 echoing this sentiment. Based on these results, hosting an annual retreat can help your business and employees see this creative freedom come to life.

[Read more: Best Remote Team-Building Activities]

Sparks excitement

The early days of the pandemic required many companies to put in-person conferences and work travel arrangements on hold. However, as group gatherings have become a more realistic option over the last two years, a Skift survey notes that 63% of corporate travel managers are excited to host regular company off-site meetings and retreats again.

A retreat allows for more “face-to-face” interaction time than a 30-minute video call.

Encourages innovation

Zoom burnout is a real phenomenon sweeping the world as companies host their meetings, events, and company retreats on the video telecommunication platform. In fact, a 2021 study published in the journal Nature found that Zoom brainstorming sessions may actually hinder creativity. An in-person retreat can jump-start innovative ideas when all of your team members are in the same space.

Boosts employee morale

According to Stratos, 83% of workers see corporate travel as a benefit to their job. Give your employees a change of scenery by hosting a destination retreat and paying for travel expenses. This will boost employee morale and can even be a job perk to attract top talent.

Combats loneliness

Social interaction is not only good for collaborative efforts, but it is also essential for boosting your mental health and well-being. According to Entrepreneur, 72% of the global workforce reported feeling lonely at least once a month and 55% weekly, with 94% of leaders saying their teams are growing lonelier while working remotely. Company retreats may help offset the loneliness employees are experiencing by providing an outlet filled with human interaction, group collaboration, and contact off-screen.

Improves culture

It is difficult to maintain a strong company culture in a remote or hybrid working environment. However, this doesn’t stop it from being a significant factor in job satisfaction. According to TeamStage, 46% of job seekers see company culture as a deciding factor when applying for jobs, while 88% say company culture is, at the very least, relatively important. A company retreat focused on employee well-being and engagement can improve the company culture outside of the office and make your company more attractive to top talent.

[Read more: How to Create Positive Hybrid Office Culture]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published November 23, 2022