When we asked the UK workforce what they’d like their employers to do more of to help improve their wellbeing, one of the top answers was Away Days. After the last few years, team bonding and connection are more important than ever, so it’s no surprise it’s high up on the list of wants.
Away Days are the perfect opportunity to give your team some time away from the workplace, provide them with new skills, and create stronger bonds. If you want to run the perfect Away Day for your team, here’s what you need to know.
The Purpose of Your Away Day
Before you begin, it’s important to know why you want to run an Away Day in the first place. What are you hoping to achieve? What’s the purpose of your Away Day? Remember, this shouldn’t just be your team working somewhere else for the day, the key is that it’s a day ‘away’ from work.
When we put together our signature Five Foundations of Wellness Away Day, we considered this first and foremost. Here is an example of our purpose for the day:
- To provide employees with different tools and techniques to help improve their wellbeing
- To ensure that there is a long-term impact on wellbeing, not just for the day itself
- To bring employees closer together, allow team bonding, and promote connection
- Give employees a real break from their work environment
Consider what you’re hoping to achieve from your Away Day first, as this will make it so much easier to plan going forward.
How to Plan Your Away Day
Once you know the purpose of the Away Day, it’s time to start thinking about what you want it to include and what this is going to look like for you. Use each of the points you made during your why to create a how. Going back to our example, here’s how we then broke this down:
To provide employees with different tools and techniques to help improve their wellbeing
By providing a variety of classes and workshops that show different tools and techniques, not just yoga or meditation. Giving people an opportunity to find what works for them and to try lots of different things out using our Five Foundations of Wellness Framework.
To ensure that there is a long-term impact on wellbeing, not just for the day itself
By proving physical workbooks that the team can fill in throughout the day and take home with them. Access to our platform of courses and classes for 3 months afterwards so that employees can continue their wellbeing journey. Teach different ways people can fit wellbeing into their busy lives and schedules.
To bring employees closer together, allow team bonding, and promote connection
By providing opportunities for reflection and activities such as time to talk, so team members can really bond and build a connection outside of the workplace.
Give employees a real break from their work environment
By creating a whole day of activities without having a work objective in mind. Employees are there to enjoy themselves, relax, learn how to improve their wellbeing, and feel less stressed at the end of it all.
How can you achieve each of the things you want to achieve by the end of your Away Day? If you want more team building, will you include activities that enable the team to work together? Do you want one activity for the whole day or several different ones?
Your Away Day Checklist
Once you know how you’re going to set out your Away Day and what you want to include, you’ll want to organise the following:
- A Date – When is your Away Day going to be? Ideally, it should be a day away from work so within working hours.
- Who’s Coming – If you have a small team then keeping everyone together works best. However, if you have thousands of employees then splitting these into smaller departments and teams works better.
- A Budget – How much can you afford to spend on your Away Day? How much does this work out per person?
- A Venue – Where is the Away Day going to be held? Will it have enough space for what you need? Does it provide catering or do they have a dry hire option? There are sites like Peerspace and TagVenue to help you find somewhere suitable.
- Food and Drink – You’ll want to provide sustenance all day, so consider your options for catering.
- Activities and Workshops – What different types of activities will there be? Will there be just one or several? What about workshops or the learning aspect of the day?
- Facilitators and Experts – You’ll need people to run the activities and workshops, and facilitate the Away Day. You may also need staff to help with things like serving food and drink.
- Any Equipment Needed – Do you need certain equipment to run the event? Even if it’s just pens and paper.
- Insurance – Don’t forget that you will need public liability insurance to run your event.
- Follow Up – How are you going to follow up with your team afterwards? How can you ensure the Away Day has a long-lasting impact?
As you can see, there’s quite a lot to think about and plan when it comes to an Away Day! We cover everything pretty much everything in our Away Day packages, to make planning easier and as stress-free as possible. The only thing we don’t provide is the venue, but we’re always happy to recommend and help you find something suited to your budget.
Example Away Day Schedule
So, you’ve booked a venue, you’ve organised the catering and now the Away Day is looming. What is the format of the day going to look like? Below is an example of our schedule and a typical Away Day format.
9.30am – Welcome, tea, coffee and pastries
10am – Five Foundations of Wellness Workshop covering our framework for less stress and better wellbeing. Includes time for questions, reflection and open conversation.
12pm – Break for lunch and Foundation 1: Nutrition lesson (mindful/intuitive eating)
1.15pm – Foundation 2: Gentle movement class (eg, yoga)
2pm – Foundation 3: Meditation or Breath Work class
2.30pm – Foundation 4: Time to talk session to improve mental wellbeing and team connection
3.30pm – Foundation 5: Set your wellbeing goals and create your own schedule to take forward
4.30pm – Wrap up
If you are planning on just one activity then it would usually be set out:
9-12pm – Welcome and workshop/key learnings for the day
12-1pm – Lunch
1pm-5pm – Planned activity with important time to wrap up and reflect at the end
Reflection time and breathing space in between activities are both extremely important, so don’t forget to include this in your schedule.
Now it’s over to you to plan the best Away Day for your team – good luck!