Does sitting for hours staring at screens while monitoring the endless flow of interruptions lead to improved engagement, innovation and creative thought? What about unplugging, going to a gorgeous, off-the grid location and spending a few days with the crew as a way to boost team performance, inspire better leadership and promote wellbeing? Science suggests that taking the team outdoors could trounce training time in conference rooms when looking for ways to optimize performance. Here are five scientific reasons why:
Feel Better, Naturally: Help for those who are constantly tired, stressed, distracted or overwhelmed is as close as the nearest green space. Far-flung adventures take us to natural environments, precisely the places science has shown to decrease stress levels, improve self-perception and relieve tension.
Discover More Hours in the Day: Researchers from Stanford and the University of Minnesota found that people who experience states of awe (common in wild places, less so in board rooms) feel like there is more time available, were less impatient and experienced a boost in their satisfaction with life.
A Change of Scenery: Increasing evidence shows that time completely away from work supports creative thinking, improves access to new ideas and promotes mental clarity. By changing the scenery, we discover new approaches to our usual challenges.
Action Requires Activity: Activity leads to improved fitness, better sleep and increased immune function. A study from the Yale Stress Center recently demonstrated that exercise (rarely found in meetings, often found during wild sojourns) boosts mood-elevating hormones and even improves stress-damaged thinking.
Discover More by Doing Less: Brain imaging research reveals that being relaxed is restorative and leads to a clearer memory and better intellectual understanding. So yes, we might solve our biggest problems by going outside, relaxing and letting answers come to us.
For those interested in taking a more holistic approach to improving individual and team performance, it’s time to try an off-the-grid retreat. We’ve all spent days in conference rooms enduring professional development sessions; we know how they go. Instead of that, why not go someplace wild, discover true clarity and focus, get creative and feel inspired again? Science says that a retreat with lasting impact is just outside the door.
Eli Shostak serves as the Operations Director for Think NewCo. Creating custom retreats in beautiful, off-the-grid locations is a core element in Think NewCo's Framework for Focus™. We believe that lasting change comes when we combine new and inspiring experiences with an actionable curriculum delivered by excellent facilitators. To learn more about us, please visit Think NewCo's website.