Delhi is a hot place to live in for most part of the year. That’s probably why local organisations seek out cooler destinations for teams offsite. In any case, an offsite seems that much more exciting when you are going out of the city you live in, even if it is to a Jaipur, Agra or Amritsar which are all equally hot!
At d’frens, we have been to various destinations and resorts for our own offsite – Chikmagalur, Goa, Bangkok, Mysore, outskirts of Bangalore, Wayanad and so on. Except for Chikmagalur, at all the other places we stepped outside the resort we were staying in; did different things like zorbing, boating, shopping, and the occasional sightseeing.
But if you were to ask any of us which offsite we best remember, we would probably be unanimous in choosing Chikmagalur.
So, what was special about this offsite at Chikmagalur?
Did we see anything different like historical monuments?
Did we do anything unique like sky-gliding, a jungle safari, a shopping expedition, visit bars, discotheques or chill on the beach?
Did we have the most amazing food we have ever had?
Did we have a DJ party?
Did we stay at a fabulous property?
No, none of the above – in fact we probably did most of these at other offsites.
What made this offsite special was the time spent together. The agenda was structured to include a lot of interactive activities, some competitive, some collaborative but all were focused on improving team efficiency. And it was a lot of fun and learning. A few business discussions. Very few external distractions – no shopping, no sightseeing plans, no external restaurant visits. It was an offsite that had a clear focus – to get everyone to bond better, know each other, understand each other and learn to work better together.
Yes, we’ve travelled to many other destinations before and since and yes they have had their own charm and highlights, but the experience and memories of our Chikmagalur offsite still trump the others.
Here are 5 tips for planning your offsite
#1 – Simple Agenda
When it comes to an agenda, keep it simple. Don’t pack in too much just because there seem to be hours to kill. You’d rather kill the hours than the interest of your participants.
# 2 – Stay Focused
What is it you want to achieve? Why are you doing this offsite? If it is to enervate your team after a long year then that should be your singular focus. If it is a strategy meet for planning the next years, don’t include the DJ or gala night.
#3 – Choose your Activities
Activities make a difference to your offsite. But choose activities that complement your requirement. If you are planning a strategy meet, then it’s best to have activities that bring this aspect out rather than zorbing on a beach. A good team building partner will help you identify the ideal activities based on your requirement.
#4 – Factor Time
If your intention is to showcase a new destination, then factor in the time for it. A two-hour sight-seeing expedition in say, Bangkok will neither be memorable nor satisfying. Give your group a day, if need be or more.
#5 – Participants
Plan your offsite for the participating employees, not the committee that is making the decision.
Oh and without doubt, please take the weather and destination into account when considering your next offsite.
I am eager to hear your experiences on best offsite you’ve had.