Destinations Magazine

Top 5 Reasons to Have a Work Retreat on a Tropical Island

By Davedtc @davedtc

Or I should rather say, the top 5 reasons to convince your boss to take your team to work on a tropical island to reboot and think strategy ?

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Adapting to the local climate can be ardous.

What is a company retreat on a tropical island? It is the process of taking your team to a remote location and mix having holiday times together with working, on a tropical island.

This practice has gained in popularity over the last years, primarily because it is a great way to reboot the company after a year of hard work and create the goals for the year to come together. But how does one manage to deliver qualitative work when being abroad in an exotic location?

Here are five reasons why you should seriously consider a company retreat on a tropical island:

Reason #1: Have fun but in a serious way.

Traveling is one of the things that make you richer in life, you folks at Dave’s Travel Corner know that more than anyone.

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A bunch of Poki team members hard at work.

Creating the right context for work and amusements to happen can, when the right balance is found, enhance both of them for your team. Keeping in mind and communicating that such a trip is about working will ensure that your team is productive and enjoys a good dip in the pool once the day is over.

Setting a set of goals beforehand, both individuals and team-wise, helps to make sure that every employee is committed to delivering to the best of his or her abilities. Having a mentality of work hard play hard helps your employees to stay focused during the day when you are having special and fun activities together in the evening. These guys have written a pretty good articles about managing this balance.

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Do not let an exotic place distract you from your work.

Collaborating, involving every single employee in your strategic discussions, having cross-team assignments, for example, can give birth to unexpected outcomes. Making that happen in the right way can be the catalyzer for great things to happen. Keep in mind that it should not be at the expense of enjoying yourself.

Reason #2: Prepare for the year to come to boost your performances.

Company retreats are a great way to get together, reflect on the previous year and make up ambitious plans for the upcoming 12 months.

There is no point in organizing a company retreat if you do not have a clear goal for it. It is about taking some time off and working in a completely different environment, sure, but going away for the sake of going away is not what it should be about. If you do not have a strategic reason for such a trip your resources are better allocated elsewhere.

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Experiencing local wonders is a great way to come back richer.

There are many different goals you can choose from: think together about an important strategic move, define a new operational strategy, come up with several creative promotion plans, re-structure your company’s management process, and many more.

Reason #3: Bond with your colleagues to improve productivity.

There are different secondary goals you can choose from when organizing a company retreat such as: strengthening bonds between your teams, discovering more about your colleagues, have unforgettable moments together, etc. Communication is the key to a successful company.

Company retreats offer the opportunity to have better quality time together than more conventional team days, arguably.

You are all together in this exotic place where the occupations outside of work are completely different than the ones you have around where you live. Bowling, pizzas or Friday evening beers are replaced by sightseeing, trying out new food and relaxing by the pool. Doing new and unconventional activities together not only make up for good stories but also shared camaraderie.

Having a 3-5 minutes presentation done by each employee of the team about a non work related topic they are passionate about is a great way to value each and everyone within your team. After all, “A journey is best measured in friends rather than miles” (Tim Cahill).

Reason #4: It is a sound investment to make to improve your employees’ happiness.

It is affordable. Flying over a whole team and arranging an accommodation can be a bit pricey at first but the daily life costs make up for it a lot. In Thailand, for example, you can eat at a restaurant for an average price of 2,50 euros. Working one full day for 8 hours should ensure that you can go to the restaurant every evening of the week, drinks included. Throw in a common pot with some additional funds from your HR budget and the nom noms are covered (a contribution from every employee is a good idea). Cooking yourself to lower these costs is possible too. It is simpler than you might think.

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Ok now those people are definitely taking a break ;-).

However, that is not the only reason why it should be seen as a good investment. This money you invest in arranging the trip is about having a unique and rewarding company culture, treating your employee in a very nice way (seriously, “nice” does not even cut it),

Reason #5: Exposes your employees’ hidden talents.

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And a great view too – ideal for reflecting on your work at the end of the day.

Company retreats are a great way to discover things you didn’t know about your employees. Often times you miss someone’s talent because they are not invited to share their opinion on a project a different team is working on, simply because they are not sitting next to each other at your workplace.

Simple things like cross-team collaboration are often hard to put in place within an organization. Having people from different teams work with each other on a special project like a competitor analysis can yield surprising results. Put together a developer, a marketer, a social media strategist and a business development operative together and have them study a potential new market for you to enter; you will be surprised with what 4 different expertises can come up with. It is all about creating the context for the unexpected to arise.


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