Going on a work-sponsored retreat can be an amazing opportunity to gain more insight into your job, co-workers, and the company as a whole. If you’re lucky, you will be surrounded by beautiful scenery, experience amazing company-paid dinners, and even enjoy a few leisure activities. However, no matter what luxurious perks your company offers to you at these events, it is important to remember that you are still working. While you should enjoy yourself, aim to navigate these retreats in a way that will be good for your career. Here are some dos and don’ts of attending your corporate retreat.
Do: Be Punctual and Prepared
As stated previously, a corporate retreat is still work. So like you should show up on time for work, you should show up on time for events at your retreat. Showing up late or during presentations is not a good look for your reliability. Also, come prepared with everything you need to be engaged. This can include bringing a laptop, notebook, paper, business cards, or anything else that can help you get the most out of the experience professionally.
Do: Dress To Impress
Retreats are typically held in a more casual setting than an office. Nevertheless, this does not mean you should dress casually. You might not need to show up in a full pantsuit and heels (depending on where you work), but you should at least be dressed business casual. This means avoiding obvious “no-nos” such as flip-flops, over-the-knee shorts or skirts, and anything revealing. If you are still not sure what is appropriate for your particular retreat, try reaching out to a trusted and experienced colleague beforehand.
Do: Network and Get to Know Your Colleagues Better
One great thing about company retreats is that you get in-person face time with coworkers and executives that you might not interact with daily. This can be especially true if your job follows a remote or hybrid model. Use this time to network and connect with your coworkers on a deeper level. Part of creating a healthy work environment is building meaningful relationships and connections with the people on your team. Ask them about their career goals and projects that they have enjoyed recently or even their hobbies and interests outside of work. Also, don’t be afraid to engage with colleagues you’re not as familiar with. You might be surprised with what you have in common.
Don’t: Get Too Personal
Discussing things outside of work can be a great way to deepen your relationship with a colleague or executive, however, it is highly important to have boundaries. Don’t cross the line from casual conversation to sharing intimate details of your life or making inappropriate comments and jokes. It might also be wise to avoid sensitive topics like politics or religion. Be aware that you are still in a professional environment and keep things PC. This also can serve as a warning to be aware of the amount of alcohol you consume at these events since having one too many might cloud your judgment of what is appropriate.
Do: Take Notes and Leave with a Few Takeaways
Along with retreats being an opportunity to connect with your fellow teammates, often the purpose of retreats is to also gain perspective, strategize, and gain tools to further develop your practice. This can be done through presentations, lectures, or classes led by people in your organization or guest speakers. Use this opportunity to be fully attentive and engaged in the information being presented and use what you’ve gained to improve your work ethic when you return to your regular scheduled work hours.
Don’t: Miss Out Entirely
Whether your company retreat is required of you or not, we heavily encourage you to participate. To some, the social and personable aspect might induce anxiety or seem like something that isn’t needed to perform the job. Regardless of your feelings about it, attending your company retreat can be highly beneficial to your job performance and office morale. It can also give you a better idea of what your company stands for and what it can do for your career.