What is a virtual offsite?

leadership Apr 14, 2020

2020! What a year it has been! 

The worst drought in history, a tragic bushfire season that wrought havoc and pain across the nation and then we go into lockdown because of COVID-19! And it’s only April. 

For many people, their worlds have been turned upside down and there is this weird feeling of grief for what was, possibly incomes and opportunities lost, stress and fear about the virus (the invisible enemy) and what our world will look like in a few months time, and maybe even some relief and joy in the ability to slow down for a period of time. 

And still, the show must go on.  

If you are fortunate enough to have a team that is still able to work at this time, chances are you are either working from home or you might be in the front line dealing with high levels of stress on a daily basis. 

If your team has had to be stood down, you will still need to check in with your people on a regular basis to ensure that they are going okay and to nurture those people who are critical to the overall wellbeing of your business or organisation.

People need people

We are no longer able to shake hands or give a hug to someone in our team who is struggling.  Some people are totally isolated. For those who live by themselves, work was their social space where they had their people time.  This has suddenly disappeared. 

No incidental chats as you make a cup of tea or grab a document off the printer.  No quick catch up on what you did on the weekend. 

But humans are social beings.  We need other people. Even those of us who are introverts.  

Virtual Offsite

Just because we can’t go to a beautiful offsite location for a day for a team building session or to ensure that we are connecting and communicating well doesn’t mean that we can’t continue to work on developing our teams or working through how we could work together better once this crisis is over. 

We can do it virtually.  It won’t be exactly the same but we can do it in a way that is incredibly engaging and fun. 

We can break it up into small chunks (90 minutes max for up to four sessions over a week or two) because it’s too hard to be engaged on-line for a full day. 

We can play games; make the most of break out rooms, tap into the incredible goodwill that many people are feeling and ensure that we connect.  Really connect. 

Use this incredible time in history to develop your team; to work out what respect looks like in your workplace and in your team.  Spend some time working out what works really well and what are your challenges (now and into the future). Create some ground rules about how you will meet together over Zoom (or other platforms).  Improve your communication skills. 

Seize the day!

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