Being part of a remote team can oftentimes feel isolating and and lonely. Team members can begin to lose connection to their fellow team members as well as lose connection with themselves.
A great way to counteract this disconnect is through team retreats.
Retreats are just what they sound like...a chance to treat ourselves to a recharge, some relaxation, and receive a renewed sense of purpose within our company.
Retreats give teams an opportunity to connect with each other in real time as well as reconnect with nature and self in a new environment.
The three areas that company retreats really help teams connect are with the self, others, and the planet.
1. Connection to Self
Through travel, we gain a new perspective and outlook on the world and ourselves. By placing ourselves in unknown territory, we test our ability to handle the unpredictable.
It is through new experiences that we learn who we really are. If our team feels disconnected from themselves, then how could they even begin to connect with other team members?
Offering retreats for your team gives them more opportunities to have new and exciting experiences, increasing their self awareness. This increased awareness can also stimulate more creativity.
"[R]ecalling a multicultural learning experience: (a) facilitates idea flexibility (e.g., the ability to solve problems in multiple ways), and (b) increases awareness of underlying connections and associations...Overall, multicultural learning appears to be an important mechanism by which foreign living experiences lead to creative enhancement." (source)
2. Connection to Others
Traveling increases our connection to others, in turn increasing our happiness. And happy, connected team members produce better products and services.
When teams travel somewhere together that is unknown to all of them, everyone is starting at the same level. The entire team will be pulled out of their comfort zone, in a new place, a new culture, and it is out of our comfort zones that the magic can truly happen.
The team will experience this vulnerability together and begin to form bonds that are unbreakable.
"Cross-cultural experiences have the potential to strengthen a person’s sense of self....'We found that when people had experiences traveling to other countries it increased what’s called generalized trust, or their general faith in humanity...When we engage in other cultures, we start to have experiences with different people and recognize that most people treat you in similar ways. That produces an increase in trust.' ...Sometimes all that’s needed for a creative boost is a fresh cultural scene." (source)
As teams begin to feel more trusting and trusted, they will be able to open up more, walls will come down, and these connections will be carried back to the “office” to strengthen the team long after the retreat has ended.
3. Connection to the Planet
When we are reminded that we are all part of a bigger picture and a bigger plan, we inevitably feel more connected with each other.
On retreats, teams have opportunities to be outside in nature and see a part of the world they may never have before. We naturally feel better and more balanced in nature, and what better time to experience that than with our team?
Teams can use the opportunity of being together to give back to the local community hosting the retreat and feel connected with each other by making a global impact. By feeling a sense of global purpose, the team will find more purpose in their position at work as well.
When we realize that we are not alone, but instead, we are all in this together, we are motivated to stay connected so that we can do more and be more together.
Rebel + Connect creates custom retreats for remote teams. A Colorado based company owned and operated by Charlie Birch, Rachel McGehee, and Summer Weirich, we operate remotely and service clients from all over the globe. Join us as we create cultures of meaning and celebrate human connections in a digital world!
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