Offices are the traditional place to hold business meetings, but that doesn’t mean they’re the prime place to get things done. In fact, a FlexJobs survey found only 24 percent of employees said they were most productive in the office, with the other 76 percent saying they avoid the office like the plague when they’re trying to complete important tasks.
That same environment could be a bust a for business meetings, which may become much more productive if you hold them outside the office.
Change of Scenery Can Mean Change in Thinking
“A change in environment can help our brains think differently,” according to Erin Hochevar, community director at a business lounge. “[It can] open the door for new information to process or ideas to take shape.”
Business lounges can certainly serve as a change in environment, with workspace primarily designed for freelancers or small business owners who lack personal offices. But such spaces often have private meeting rooms companies can use if they want to generate fresh ideas with a fresh change of scenery.
Other options can include conference centers in hotels or even establishments solely designed to combine work with, well, zen. One example of the latter is Wisconsin’s Colerget Conference Center.
An immediate sense of serenity comes from the Asian-inspired architecture, and each room has a view of the garden directly outside the facility. The beauty of the space can prompt big dreams and even bigger creativity, notes center manager Kathy Barker. Those who have attended meetings at the center note a definite change of mentality.
Says one, “You don’t walk in thinking you have to do work today. You walk in thinking you are going to do great work today.”
What to Look for in a Meeting Space
Of course, your company needs a bit more than zen gardens and Asian architecture to help ensure a productive offsite meeting. A short list of must-haves includes:
- Ample space for attendees
- Comfortable chairs
- Any necessary desk or table space
- Workplace technology
- Café or other area for food and beverages
Holding your next business meeting in an offsite environment may not only come with a change of scenery. It can bring that much sought-after change in thinking to generate fresh ideas that better your overall business.