Corporate retreats make a comeback

Whether big or small, corporate reunions are a business priority this year as companies look to maintain staff motivation.

Integrating wellness activities into corporate retreats are encouraging event attendees to look at work-life balance.
Integrating wellness activities into corporate retreats are encouraging event attendees to look at work-life balance. Photo Credit: GettyImages/plustwentyseven

Face-to-face gatherings have never been more important, given that people have been starved of in-person contact over the past couple of years.

Michelle Sargent, director, Australia & New Zealand at CWT Meetings & Events, says the agency’s clients are very keen to reunite their teams, big or small, and have made this a business priority.

“We are seeing a big increase in corporate retreats/internal company get-togethers,” she says. “People are keen to reconnect in-person and have a change of scenery. Our clients are also keen to reignite the passion in their team with an event that can motivate and inspire them for the months ahead.”

Groups who meet in a relaxed environment are much more likely to get their creative juices flowing, while time spent gathering together as a group is invaluable, promotes open dialogue and creative ideas, and increases team motivation levels.

Michelle Sargent, director, Australia & New Zealand at CWT Meetings & Events, says that companies have much to gain from hosting retreats of any kind.
Michelle Sargent, director, Australia & New Zealand at CWT Meetings & Events, says that companies have much to gain from hosting retreats of any kind. Photo Credit: CWT Meetings & Events

“Our clients are incorporating wellness sessions that encourage their delegates to look at a holistic approach to their work-life balance,” says Sargent. “We are able to create bespoke team-building activities ranging from yoga and cooking classes to sleep therapy sessions. Working from home has not necessarily meant better habits, as some people are less mobile and are spending longer periods sitting in front of a computer.”

Olinto Oliveira, general manager, MCI Hong Kong & Macau says that rather than look at an activity in a vacuum, analyse the outcome you are hoping to achieve through a given activity or process, and consider whether that is still the best vehicle to achieve that outcome.

“If retreats and internal company get-togethers are about building camaraderie and gelling a team to create stronger synergies and chemistry - then absolutely, there are few better, more effective options for creating shared experiences and memories,” he says.

“That being said, perhaps the structure of such programmes needs to change to ensure that the impact that they deliver is maximised, since travel within the APAC region is slightly more complicated than it was in the past.”



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