Because of the physical logistics, team retreats are a massive investment: financial and environmental.
Though, until VR steps up, physical gatherings are the only way to deeply connect. Whether you need to create a new relationship, improve it or ask for support to get things done, humans prefer face-to-face.
By the time you pay for the venue, accommodations, and transportation, costs stack up and you get the attention of your CFO, already. Though, the only thing this buys you is to gather everyone in the same physical space, that's it.
Given the high financial and environmental cost of the offsite, we have the responsibility to maximize its transformative power. Experience design & delivery enables that, it is the investment with the most leverage.
The anthropologist Arnold Van Gennep shared how humans transition from one stage of their life to another through rites of passage. Rites of passage have three moments:
1) We separate from the world and from what we used to be (old identity)
2) We transition from what we used to be to what we are becoming (identity is suspended)
3) We return to the world as what we have become (new identity)
In a computer system, a sandbox is a testing environment in which new or untested software or coding can be run securely. The offsite is a place where you can switch from performance mode (where you want to avoid mistakes) to development mode (where your mistakes are expected, and welcome as deep learning opportunities)