Remote work culture is flourishing. More and more companies, particularly start-ups, are getting accustomed to the virtual workplace. It has become possible operate a business without renting and occupying office space. Outsourced labour and remote teams are cost-efficient and streamlined alternatives to get work done.
Nevertheless, connecting with the members of your remote team is all the more necessary, because there is no opportunity for physical interaction on a daily basis. Workflow is more efficient if smooth work relations are established, and a start-up retreat is an effective way to make this happen.
Before you get all excited, pack your camping gear or tell your remote staff to hop on to the next plane out of town, consider these guidelines on planning a company retreat for your remote team.
Know your objectives.
What do you hope to accomplish at the end of your company retreat? Do you want to boost your staff’s morale? Streamline processes and encourage productivity? Do you want to draft company goals as a team or simply learn about each other’s personalities to improve work relationships among co-workers?
Consider your budget.
Reality check: ask yourself can your start-up can actually afford running a company retreat at this point.
If having a retreat with your remote team will cause delay in this month’s payroll, then it’s probably not the best time to have a remote team meeting. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, but you will have to spend on fare and accommodations, among other things.
Choose a safe and conducive venue and location.
Company retreats should allow members of your remote team to get to know one another and actually talk. A crowded resort with hardly enough accommodations and no available function room is probably not the best place to achieve this.
Also, keep in mind to choose a venue that is safe and geographically convenient for all of your team members to go to. If you’re uncertain, digital nomad-friendly start-up retreat venues are a good place to start.
Pick a schedule that is convenient for everyone.
It would probably be best not to schedule your retreat during crunch season or to be part of the holiday rush. Make a survey on when it would be most convenient for the team and pick a schedule and duration that won’t hamper your operations.
Plan your activities and assign facilitators.
To make sure that time spent during the retreat is time well spent, plan ahead and choose activities that will drive towards fulfilling your objectives. Don’t forget to select facilitators and include them in plotting the activities, so they know what they’re doing come retreat time.
Do not pressure your team about work and operations.
While company retreats for your remote teams or start-up retreats may serve as a venue to generate ideas and set company goals, remember that it is not intended to be spent on fulfilling daily work tasks.
It won’t hurt to have a stable internet connection to check your email, but do not attempt to operate your business whilst conducting the retreat, or expect members of your team to do so.