We know… you’ve got work to do. Most of your team hasn’t even taken a vacation in months, so it might seem both counterintuitive and counterproductive to close up the office and take everyone on a corporate retreat. The benefits of doing so, however, far outweigh the costs of pulling everyone away from their desks for a few days.
Face-to-face interaction is imperative to strengthening company culture, fostering a sense of belonging, and boosting collaboration. In the era of remote and hybrid work, it’s imperative that companies intentionally create opportunities for employees to get that face time with their colleagues. A retreat is the ideal way to do just that.
The benefits of an in-person retreat are further amplified when you choose a location that puts people back in touch with the soul-nourishing effects of nature. In other words: You need to take your team to the mountains.
Poets and authors have long heralded the power of nature to heal and inspire. Scientists have confirmed this hypothesis again and again, and now leaders are finally beginning to leverage the restorative properties of nature to foster happier, healthier teams. A corporate retreat that simply herds employees into yet another conference room in a different building fails to realize the full potential of retreating in the first place.
Consider these five reasons for taking your team a little further off the grid:
- Ditch the Routine A memorable retreat that delivers a true return on experience can’t feel like just another day at the office. Hosting a corporate retreat with the same old routines in the same old setting would be like taking a vacation in your own guest bedroom. To truly rejuvenate, de-stress, and come back to the office with a fresh perspective, employees need to fully disconnect from the distractions of their usual work routine. Taking your team to a remote, serene location surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty is the perfect way to do that.
- Create Nature-Enhanced Team Building The great outdoors has been teaching human beings problem-solving, cooperation, and communication skills for a long, long time. And when we move our bodies – rather than sitting behind our desks – innovations come into view as our brains become more open to creativity. In this hyper-technical age, when answers to nearly all our questions are just a “Hey Siri” away, what better way to stretch your team’s capabilities and uncover hidden talents than to conduct your team-building exercises in a natural, outdoor environment?
- Inspire Creativity & Innovation John Keating (aka Oh Captain My Captain) in Dead Poets Society had the right idea when he prompted his students to stand on their desks and look at the world from a different perspective. Sticky problems tend to stay sticky when we fail to look at them in new ways. The tranquility and majesty of the backcountry provide a new context in which to approach your team’s stickiest problems while stimulating creative thinking and innovation. The result: fresh ideas and solutions that might not have ever emerged in a typical office setting.
- Encourage Personal Growth and Reflection Does any leader want a team of employees who don’t grow or progress? Not likely. Yet the daily grind at the office leaves little time for those employees to engage in the necessary reflection that would foster that growth. The serene environment of the mountains is ideal for personal reflection and introspection. Employees can take this time to set personal and professional goals, assess their career paths, and head back to the office with renewed determination.
- Foster Health and Wellness A healthy team is undoubtedly better equipped to conquer organizational goals than an unhealthy one. To that end, it serves every company well to take a vested interest in its employees’ wellbeing. In addition to the health benefits of face-to-face interaction, time in nature has been linked to stress reduction, mental clarity, enhanced mood, reduced fatigue, improved sleep, and a boosted immune system. A corporate retreat in the backcountry delivers these benefits in spades.
The San Juan Mountains of Colorado are standing at the ready to soothe minds, inspire creativity, and teach countless lessons in teamwork and problem-solving.
Mount Hayden Backcountry Lodge offers rustic luxury at 11,100 feet, just 9 miles from the village of Ouray. With beds for 18, two chef-prepared meals per day, indoor plumbing, Starlink internet (see, you don’t have to completely disconnect), and miles of alpine wilderness to explore, it’s the perfect place for your next nature-enhanced corporate retreat.