Offsite in times of a pandemic… Yes, it works, from TPCL Brazil

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At the end of August, TPCL Brasil conducted its first live offsite since the pandemic began. Our client believed that her team needed to be together and reconnect. It was amazing to be with a live group, building the future of the organization!

All participants, including us, we’re very happy to spend a day together after 5 months out of the office.  The day was filled with interaction and learning.

We are very happy and thankful to our client for being able to be together “in real life” again!

Some best practices from the offsite:

  • The meeting was outdoors, and we had a rain date, just in case…·
  • The location was chosen 1-gas-tank-away,  eliminating the need for roadside stops.
  • All participants were tested for Covid two days before the offsite, with a new saliva test, more accurate than the rapid pharmacy test.
  • We left free spaces between each person during the work sessions and everyone wore a mask, an essential condition for the moment.
  • Food was chosen in advance and individually packed and served in lunch bags. (felt a bit like taking your lunch to school 😉 )
  • Breaks were also outdoors and we avoided· activities that would make people stand too close.
  • Alcohol gel for hand sanitization was made available all over the venue.
  • Participants drove themselves to avoid close contact.

Our main learnings were:

  • Our experience shows that a meeting flows better if we have everyone in the same “space”: either online or live.

We had some participants via video conference, and it was essential to have a person focused on them, making sure that they were listening,  doing “breakouts” together and monitoring written questions. It is more challenging to make them contribute to the meeting without breaking the “flow” of the offsite as the technology can fail and the group that is “live” disperses.

  • At the beginning of isolation, many clients spoke of the end of the physical office, which was completely unexpected in a Latin country like Brasil.  After 6 months in isolation,  face-to-face interaction remains fundamental. People are tired of screens and the lack of connection with others. As we begin the “new normal”, a hybrid way of working will likely emerge. The home office, which was previously regarded with reservation, is now accepted by everyone, but people still want, and need, to be together!

We’re happy to share our experiences and help you and your company to build a better organisation.

Find out more here about TPCL Brasil and TPCL Managing Partner Paula Abramovicz Erlich

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