The week before last, we decided to hold our regular team meeting at the seaside. The initial reason behind the trip was to meet our social media team member, Malissa. She lives several hours away and we had only ever met her through Skype or webinar.
We decided we would all travel down together by train and hold the first part of our meeting on the train. As we all greeted each other and found a table for us all to sit a on the train, I noted the air of excitement. Yes we had a day of meetings ahead if us, but we were also going to the seaside!
We worked hard and effectively on the train journey down and only lifted our heads to look outside as we saw the sea and coastline rise to meet us. The winter sun was shining and excitement beaconed.
We got off the train and waited to meet our team member Malissa for the first time. Malissa arrived and it felt as though we already knew her. As though we’d met before. Even though we had only ever met through the use of the internet it felt as though we had already met in person.
Malissa showed us around her home town and took us down to the sea front. It was so beautiful to connect as a team and to do so without the formality of a boardroom but by walking along the sea front.
We held the second part of our meeting in a local pub and then headed back to the station. I felt we connected as a team and felt a little tearful as I said goodbye to Malissa. I felt moved how productive the day had been yet how there was also space for real human connection and a day trip to the seaside.
All too often people hide behind the formality of desks and computers and forget that a productive working day can also involve connection and humanity. Our team agreed that our team away day had been the most productive team meeting we’d had and also the most fun. We’ve decided that we will be going to the seaside for our team meetings four times a year and who knows we might even bring our bathing costumes next time!
Thinking outside the boardroom box,
Eudora Ralph Pascall