Episode 17 – Offsites: the Key to Building Connection – with Sally Page
A big question on the minds of organizations is how to rebuild culture and foster effective collaboration. Given that trust is an essential ingredient for a team to work at its best, it’s important to create opportunities to build that trust. Yet, it’s not easy to do. Enter Sally Page, co-founder of UK-based WorkTripp, a company she refers to as the “Airbnb” of team offsites. In this episode, we explore being intentional about event design, the value in cycles of work, and how to not just get people together but to have them pulling in the same direction.
Sally is an experienced leader of high-performing distributed teams, and WorkTripp is the platform she wished she had much earlier on. Previously VP of Content & Partnerships at Series-C ScaleUp Blinkist, and a Senior Director at Audible, she made a habit of connecting big thinkers - like non-fiction authors and coaches - with avid learners. At remote social enterprise, Hoxby, she helped businesses ensure they were fit for the future of work as Managing Director of Futureproofing.
00:06:00 The “Airbnb for offsites”
00:10:30 Cycles of work
00:13:30 Building connection and relationship
00:15:15 Focus on one thing
00:16:00 Get yourself out of the normal environment
00:18:52 A TED talk is not the same experience
00:22:30 Integrating time for connection
00:24:00 Motivation and psychological safety are linked
00:25:47 We need all the emojis
00:27:50 Fostering connection
00:30:18 Start with leadership teams
00:33:39 Onboarding cohorts
00:34:00 Breaking bread and making fire
00:39:15 Scaffolding for diversity
00:40:42 The value of a third space
IMAGE CREDITS (see on Youtube video)
Team at Offsite - BodySwaps at Elmley Nature Reserve - credit WorkTripp
Clare in musical - credit Clare Kumar
Clare on The Social - credit The Social
Sally Page headshot - credit WorkTripp
Man on park bench - credit Depositphotos
Sally Page and Sophie Bailey - credit WorkTripp
WorkTripp, Bedruthen - credit WorkTripp
Learn more about and follow Sally and WorkTripp:
Highly sensitive executive coach and productivity catalyst, Clare Kumar, explores the intersection of productivity and inclusivity continually asking how can we invite the richest contribution from all. She coaches individuals in sidestepping burnout and cultivating sustainable performance, and inspires leaders to design inclusive performance thereby inviting teams to reach their full potential. As a speaker, Clare mic-drops “thought balms” in keynotes and workshops, whether virtual or in-person. She invites connection through her online community committed to designing sustainable and inclusive performance, the Happy Space Pod. Why? Because everyone deserves a Happy Space.
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Audio and Video Editing by: To Be Reel
Production Assistant: Luis Rodriguez
Song Credit: Cali by Wataboi from Pixabay
Sally Page: You can understand why certain corporations have taken that leap to saying, we've got to have everyone back in the office.
Clare Kumar: You're listening to episode 17 of the Happy Space Podcast. Today we're talking about designing work experiences your employees will want to travel to with co-founder of WorkTripp, Sally Page.
Welcome to the Happy Space Podcast, where we talk about designing inclusive performance through the lens of a highly sensitive productivity catalyst. Uh, that's me! Executive coach, speaker, and brand collaborator, Clare Kumar. Join conversations with authors, culture shapers, space designers, and creators of products, services, and customer experience, as we highlight astonishing contributions, tempting a more tender world. We know that diversity leads to richer results, so let's accept that productivity is personal, and commit to designing with respect for humanity. I aim to leave you with ideas to better support your family, colleagues, customers, community, and not least of all, yourself. For everyone, including you, deserves a Happy Space.
Hi, and welcome to this episode of the Happy Space Podcast. As companies grapple with the reality of a dispersed workforce the question of building and holding on to company culture and connection is top of mind for so many organizations. I started my career back in technology at a global firm, and so I had to learn to work in an environment where employees were dispersed over many time zones.
Way back, and this is, you know, 20, almost 25 years ago. This comes in handy today. You know, when I had my own team that was dispersed across Canada, I found it really, really valuable to be able to have the team come together. Now, we did this more broadly as a function of the larger team, but I can still remember a snowy winter offsite and a whole lot of laughs.
This was the opportunity where we really came to know each other. We came to understand more about who we were and it really became an underpinning for much of the work that we were able to do together going forward. It was the start of building that psychological safety, which many of us talk about and think just happens because we're co-located in an office, but it's not necessarily the case.
When we've got a dispersed workforce, we've got an opportunity now to be more intentional about crafting the time that individuals can come together, and that is why today I have my guest Sally Page, who's the co-founder of UK-based WorkTripp. That's WorkTripp with two P’s, a company described as the Airbnb of offsites.
Now I don't know if that sounds good to you, but it really sounds good to me. Sally is an experienced leader of high performing distributed teams and WorkTripp is the platform that she wished she'd had when she was in that environment. If organizations can find ways to count on establishing the culture and collaboration they're looking for.
My hypothesis, and I think Sally's too, is perhaps they won't be so afraid of the evolution of work. We're not putting this genie back in the bottle. We have to find ways to go forward and design inclusive performance. So have a listen as Sally talks about her view of the future of work, how to kick off a tiger team, for example, and if you're interested in bringing your team together offsite, exactly where you should start.
Welcome, Sally. Thrilled to have you here to talk about a wonderful opportunity you have to bring organizations together in designing and offering an experience for them to really have a magnificent combination of connection and collaboration. So I would love it if you could bring us a little bit on your journey of how you came to work at WorkTripp, and why it's so important.
Sally Page: Yeah, sure. Well, I'll probably start up with a little sort of introduction to what WorkTripp is. So sort of think about WorkTripp, it's a bit of a sort of Airbnb for team offsites, right? With a sort of learning and development edge to it, and I found my way to it because I have been fortunate to work at companies that do invest in offsites and that has been amazing, particularly as I work remotely most of the time.
And I've been in a remote leadership team and there is something very beautiful that happens when a team comes together in terms of their motivation and their kind of performance-when they really come together with purpose. And that's something that I had experienced at Blinkist, which is the company that I was in before I joined WorkTripp.
But it's really hard to do. It's really tough to get people together with that purpose so they're all pulling in the same direction, and to make it a meaningful experience that is this sort of supercharged moment for this sort of team connection. And WorkTripp is all about making that easier. So I was very invested in joining Sophie, who's my co-founder on this journey because it's a problem I've experienced myself and I know what amazing looks like and feels like, and what impact it can have on the team.
Clare Kumar: I love that you mentioned that you've been working remotely for a long time and you've been in tech-based organizations using, you know, the forefront of technology.
I began my career in tech and I think my first job was at Nortel and I was writing the business case for video conferencing back in the early nineties. It's like we have this new thing, it's going to mean people don't need to travel. Here we are, you know, 23 years later. And we're finally, we've been invited, in the pandemic, of course, to figure out this remote work option. And now all the people that haven't had experience managing dispersed workforces are realizing, oh my gosh, hybrid is harder, if you want, hybrid is harder. And what, how do we tackle this? How do we build culture and how do we foster the sense of a team caring for each other?
Way back in my corporate history, I came up with the idea that we need an inter, we need some way where people are sharing it about each other and we need also, we need a budget to bring people together. So you've been privileged to work in organizations that recognize this. Can you give a shout out or some flesh out a little bit?
What's the importance of bringing people together and, you know, how much should a company be looking at investing in this and how often. Give us a sense of what, you know, amazing looks like and how do you construct that?
Sally Page: Yeah, it’s super interesting because I think a lot of attention has been paid to the technology that allows us to connect remotely and that is amazing. And I couldn't do my job without it. So I think that's absolutely phenomenal. But what it does mean is that we have neglected what that looks like and what it should look like when you actually bring people together. I think for quite some time now, and there's quite a lot of research.
There's some really interesting research that comes out of Stanford. and they were looking at sort of distributed workforces and collaboration and, and really creativity.. and one of the things that they that they, they found out from that was the quote is something like, the best outcomes are when we modulate being alone and being together.
And I thought, isn't that absolutely right? You know, we’re social animals and some of us like being together and some of us like being a part as a preference, but that modulation between the two when you're talking about team dynamics and team performance and all those elements of psychological safety and motivation and perceived performance that go into success there.
All of them are impacted by those in-person moments. which I think is really interesting. So what is my experience?
I think that the future of teams is going to be cycles of work. So I think you are going to come together really purpose driven. Why are we here? Is it to improve connection and belonging? Is it to learn and develop new skills? Is it to do something completely different? Is it for creativity and innovation because we just need to break out of what we're doing.
And have those moments where everyone who's going commits to that, so they're coming, they know the purpose. The whole agenda and program is built to facilitate that. And then you have this real momentum, which is going to continue through those team dynamics as people disperse and they go and work from whatever location they want or whatever time scale they want, whatever work style that it is that they want.
And it'll maintain it until the next point when you come back together. And you have those moments that are designed for review and reflection and rebooting. You know, where do we want to go next and what's our focus for this next cycle of work? So I think that's going to be really interesting. And I speak to a lot of customers of WorkTripp who invest in offsites.
I adore them for doing that. and I think it looks different for different teams and there are different seasons of a team. We all know that, right? If you're trying to move a team through those kind of five dysfunctions of a team pyramid, right? There are different seasons for a team and some will really benefit from doing that quarterly.
Some I've even heard doing that monthly when they're in the really early stages of team formation and there isn't a lot of psychological safety and trust there at the beginning. I think that can be really interesting. And there are others. You have well established teams who are like, yeah, do you know what we're good meeting once a year. That's fine.
Clare Kumar: Well, and even, even within the season, I'm thinking of an example where you might have a toxic team member and maybe you've managed to evolve them out of the team resetting. There's so many events that happen within the team that can shake it. Yeah. So whenever you need to, to bring that team together and have some sensitivity around the growth, maybe you've gone back down the pyramid and you need to come back up again.
Sally Page: Right? And there are lots of arguments that that's a new team. That s a new team. And even if you have the same team, but roles have shifted, suddenly a dynamic shifts. You know, Blinkist had four co-founders initially, and when one of those co-founders stepped up into a CEO role, it felt like a different team. And you do need to go through some different modes there, you know? It's really interesting.
Clare Kumar: Absolutely. And there's always flux, right? So we can look at that overall season and have an intention, but then to be able to respond to that individually, it’s interesting. I mean, I love this whole concept and why we're talking is because I really believe. Getting this sense of building connection and building the relationships is so critical. A really prevalent question out there is how do I build culture if people aren't in the office?
And I can tell you that culture was lacking or a good, healthy culture was lacking from a lot of offices where people were together. So it's worth looking at no matter what the construct is. And this sense of understanding what to offer and how to bring people together invites autonomy around everything else it does.
So, yeah. So yes, look at each team and the frequency with which you need to come together. And don't be afraid to augment that when something shifts or when a new team member comes in or when somebody leaves, like, like you said. So, as somebody who's listening and thinking, “Gosh, I do need to focus a little bit more on my team”, where would somebody start in figuring out what, what would I do here? This sounds amazing. What's the process to really start designing this kind of performance and experience?
Sally Page: So, With my head sort of firmly in offsites. ‘because I think that's a really nice way to kick something off, especially if you want to do something different and something new.
It's a really nice way to do that because it's sort of a moment in time. I would really think about what you want to get out of that offsite for your team and people say, what's kind of everything? It's like, well, it can't be everything, you should focus on one thing and it can be a big thing, like improving connection and belonging is a big thing that's not small.
Right? But really sort of focus on that. And we ended up creating a little quiz with just sort of six really easy questions for people to answer to get them to sort of think through some of those things like how new is the team? Have there been any of those big shifts? Are there tensions that are frequently not constructive?
You know, all of these things that mean that you should probably focus on slightly different areas for your, for your offsite and your on your kind of coming together. and then something that we believe in very firmly at WorkTripp is getting yourself out of the normal environment. So Sophie and I are both country girls.
So we, lap up all the research around what being in nature can do for you as a human being, right? For the improvements in your mental health, your physical health. Also as a team, you know, connecting in a different environment. It gives you a lot more creative ideas and innovative thinking, and quite a lot of teams are stuck in a certain way of doing things, and that may be their ways of working.
Or it may be something completely different, just their modes generally, if they're a sales team, the way that they do that, right? and getting people out into a natural environment together for a period of time. And it could only be a couple of days. It doesn't have to be, you know, like a week long thing. Really just stimulates some different kinds of discussions. So that's what we focus on, is making sure that we've got venues that are suitable for teams to kind of come together in. and, and we vet all those and curate them on our marketplace that people know that they're suitable for those in these sort of inspiring natural locations that can kind of mix things up a little bit. And then it's thinking about the program. And that's another area I think people find really challenging. They think, “okay, we're going to all get together. We've got dates. I know how many people there are. We'll go to this place because it's a couple of hours away from the, you know, the main office or the main city where most people live”. Super good. We really, really encourage our customers to come with this goal focus so they know what they're building around. So there are certain activities or sort of third party speakers who engage in very specific topics.
Like I was speaking to one of our customers the other day and he has a sales team and he's bringing them together in January. And he's like, they've had a rough year. They've had a really hard time. Like every week I feel like I've been delivering news to them that makes their life harder, and they have to come back in January and do the whole thing over again.
And so resilience is going to be up there, and I want to build everything around resilience and what that means and for us to define that together. And they brought an amazing speaker called Bruce Daisley. Who's really does some incredible work on resilience, but also then building the other sessions around that, maybe building some team building, you know, experiences or some, some other things so that by the end of it, everyone really feels like it's a topic that's been addressed and they've got some tools and things that they can move forward with and applying their work and having done that together is so much more powerful than them having watched the same TED talk on their computer. Right? TED talks are amazing, don't get me wrong. But yeah, it's not the same experience.
Clare Kumar: So give me a little if you can, around the neuroscience, because I think about when I was a child, we had a couple of trips to India where my dad is from. Those moments that are outside of your regular routine.
They stand out in my memory. Whereas the regular day going to school, eating the same bowl of Shreddies for breakfast for years, I mean, they didn't stand out. But the things that shifted and changed my environment also really made them poignant memory. So I imagine it amplifies whatever you’re exploring in that time.
Sally Page: I mean, I am by no means a neuroscientist, but you know, new things, our brain loves it. It releases dopamine anyway, right? Any kind of novelty. That's why we're always drawn to new things, and so putting yourself with the same team, but in a new environment naturally stimulates different synapses of the brain, different experiences, memories, and you are sharing them with someone else.
So you talk about them afterwards. And then the more you talk about those experiences, the more it strengthens those memories and pathways and, and all of that good stuff. So if you want your team to do something differently or think differently, and that doesn't, that doesn't just apply to innovation, I think.
I think it's really critical for ways of working. I think that's really, really important. Those are built into the habits in our brain. And actually taking some time away to maybe reform what some of those are and recontract with each other as a team. It's really interesting. I mean, that's my personal experience. I find that incredibly good.
Clare Kumar: Yeah, I get you. It's so much time is spent on what we're doing and defining the tasks, the how we're doing it needs a lot more focus and it's not been on the table as much ever before now I think in this moment. As we're saying, “okay, we recognize there's this tension between leaders and employees and, and most organizations ought to be looking at hybrid work or some model of dispersing the workforce and adding flexibility in.”
So then what do we do? How do we learn to work again in a new fashion? Luckily some of us have some leadership in it because we've experienced it before, so I love that you're bringing that to it. I love the point about nature though. It's actually I have a little picture on my homepage of somebody sitting on a park bench because, just to get out, not where I'm living today, it’s pure fog, I can't even see anything out my own window, I don't think… I'm not sure going outside is going to help me any today. But it probably would, actually. But this sense of the natural environment connected to human wellbeing as something that needs to be embraced in how we construct our individual days, but also the broader experience of work, I think is really powerful.
I wanted to come back to a question. You talked about focusing on connection being its own topic, if you will. It's worth its own two or three days away together to build that. That might be a luxury for some. And I think it's so important that we figure out how to build it in, in all of our interactions.
So let's say that it's recognized as a priority, but I also, I really want to focus on creativity. Do you have any thoughts or any wisdom to share with listeners around how you're integrating or how to think about integrating that connection build in all of our experience, especially an offsite experience or coming together?
Sally Page: I mean, I think you are right. I think there's a feeling that connection is a bit of a luxury. And you don't have to get on brilliantly with everyone. That's true. But if you were looking for a high performing team, and most of the people who we’re working with are looking for a high performing team, there's a reason why that bottom piece of the five dysfunctions of a team period is trust.
There's a reason for that. You know, if, if you're talking. injecting creativity into your team, being creative is usually doing something a bit different, which is quite a vulnerable place to be. And if you don't have trust in your team, it's unlikely to happen.
Clare Kumar: If you're afraid to share your great new idea, it won't even come out.
Sally Page: It won't even come out. And so we lean quite a lot into that team belonging and connection and the offsites that we help our customers organize. We do these sort of pre and post WorkTripp surveys. Just short quick questions, but they're based on, you know, the research of your lovely Amy Edmondson's and, you know, various other people to look at how it affects, how the WorkTripp has affected motivation and psychological safety and perceived team performance.
And those things are linked. You know, if you just say, well, we're going to go in and focus on performance, but you've ignored some of the other things, as a team, you're going to have some great individual contributors who are complete rockstars and are always going to perform… I have worked with many of them.
I've had many of them on my team. But if the reason why we have a team is to actually pull together and be greater than some of our parts then that connection is really critical in terms of the way you should build that in, in general, I think those connection bonds… I mean, this is my own experience, but rather than anything scientific, I think they are built when you have memorable experiences together, and the most memorable experiences do tend to be when you've come together in a kind of purposeful way to do something, to solve like a really big challenge.
If you think about the bonds that are created between teams of individuals who don't know each other when they do something like climb mount Kilimanjaro, or they go on something like a big challenge. There's an intensity there and some connections that have forged, which they change,
I think, the mindset of when you're working together afterwards. There's a lot more generosity of spirit that comes after that, and especially when we're doing a lot of asynchronous written communication where tone is very difficult to distinguish, even if you are skilled at that and some people are more skilled than others.
Clare Kumar: We need all the emojis. We need them all!
Sally Page: I'm afraid I do use a lot of emojis. But here's a lot of room for misinterpretation and what I find is that when people have been together, suddenly when I've been together with the team, even if there's been a lot of tension beforehand and we've got to some moments of connection that bond us together, there tend to be fewer of those miscommunications afterwards because you, you take everything, all that communication with the spirit of generosity, I know who this person is.
They're unlikely to be trying to undermine me in this situation, so they'll, although I might feel undermined, I know them well enough to know that probably wasn't their intention, right? And so that you start getting into these cycles of, you know, radical calendar and all that good stuff that actually is really built off this basis of trust.
So I definitely think you can improve connection virtually, but those shared meaningful experiences, especially solving tough challenges, I think are a real supercharger.
Clare Kumar: Yeah, it's bringing me right back to Tokyo. I was in a musical and, talk about bringing people together with a common objective and the challenges to learn all your parts, sing, dance, move, and pull off a good show and the bonds that came out of there. I'm still in touch with several cast members, and this is 20 years later. Oh, right. You've got to trust each other. You know, I often talk about trust building, I was on a show here in Canada called the Social for about three years.
I was on there regularly, and this is a female hosted show. And at the beginning of every episode, they would gather and huddle and arms around each other and say, “I've got, I’ve got, I've got your back.” Right?
Sally Page: What a nice ritual.
Clare Kumar: What an amazing thing for them. What an amazing privilege to witness that as a guest to, to even know that how, if they're taking care of each other, like that, they’re probably taking care of me too. Like everybody wants to make a good show as we are right now. You know, so creating that, psychological safety is absolutely paramount. And you talked about, you know, the sense of the spirit of generosity, that coming from knowing someone well enough. That leads me to my next question, which is what's the minimum here if an organization wants to think of fostering those connections so people know each other well enough. It's not be in a meeting task focused the whole time. It's on the margins of the meetings where things happen. Yeah. Or it's in the dinner or it's on the walk to the next place. So what do you think the minimum is?
Like, what should organizations do? I think Salesforce has it, right? I think they do. They're making an effort, I think, quarterly to bring people together if I've read it right.
Sally Page: Yeah. And there are a couple of companies over the last years as we've become much more distributed and I think also meetings have been distributed, right?
There's actually an intention towards that, not having everyone in the same place, which is quite interesting. Salesforce is a wonderful example of a work from anywhere policy that starts coming in, but then what are those moments of, of connection? You can understand why certain corporations have taken that leap to saying, we've got to have everyone back in the office. ‘because they're like, well, if culture is built in those moments between…
Clare Kumar: I want more of those.
Sally Page: And logically you can understand it and it makes sense, but then you lose all that goodness you've had of being able to hire people in different locations, different experiences, and I think that they have the potential to unlock a lot of diversity for our teams, which can also be really good if the right scaffolding is in place.
You lose that, right? You lose it again by saying, well, again, everyone has to be within a certain, you know, geographical radius of one place, which just seems crazy to me, and I understand the logic of it, but it doesn't, you know, it doesn't get to where we need to be. I think it's a looking back route as opposed to a looking forward.
So your question was around what's the minimum? So there's a reason why this tends to start with leadership teams because it is very easy as a leadership team for everyone to come together. And I've experienced this at Blinkist, which has the most amazing culture, award-winning culture.
But in a distributed team, you can very easily come together as a leadership team. Everyone reports on what they're doing. And it's like, great. And what are we all doing next? And then everyone says what they're doing next, and we miss those opportunities for doing some things together. Right. And where are the synergies actually between what all of our teams are doing, how do we identify those?
How do we do that if we're just in a task focused environment and it's very difficult to do it right. So I think there's a reason why people focus on leadership teams. I think a quarterly cadence, having been on a couple of management teams now is really, really good because if you're coming towards the end of the quarter, you've got enough to be able to kind of look backwards and see what you've done, what you said you were going to do, what the challenges have been.
Regroup, what do we want to do going forwards for the next quarter? It's always useful. Ar Blinkist, we used to do it before our board meetings. So we're all very much aligned and we are presenting the same story and we're all speaking to it in the same kind of way. So that had a business rhythm to it that was really useful for us as well. But one of the other things that we found is that when we are starting these potentially complex cross-functional projects and you know, you put together your tiger team or whatever it is that you call them, actually finding a way to kick that off in person, which can be challenging. But from an accessibility point of view, and we've had lots of conversations about that, but if you can find a way to do that, it really pays dividends for their focus on the work that they're doing and what success looks like. Because they all start off there in the same place.
Everyone asks the questions that are on their mind, you know, but what if we discover this? What if it takes longer than this? What if we need more X? And people bring all of that in and everyone's on the same page. So when they disperse and go and do all of their work asynchronously there's so much less communication, weirdly, that is needed.
Which is really interesting for me. And I love, you know, Alex Hirst and Lizzie Pennie’s work on Workstyle, and they set up Hoxby, which I was part of for many years. That is all about how you create really strong, good asynchronous communication that is focused on a goal and a project without losing some of that heart and connection aspect.
Clare Kumar: Yeah, absolutely, absolutely critical. I think that understanding the objectives and when you're launching a team, it reminded me as well of when I started at Nortel back in the day, and we had a two week onsite, anyone that was hired new to the company got together for two weeks to learn, explore, and grow and understand the company but in a cohort.
Sally Page: Yes! Onboarding cohorts, fabulous!
Clare Kumar: That's another time where, so it's not a new team yet, but you're introducing someone into the company and what's it going to look like and feel like to be part of something. I'm still in touch with some of those people too. And it was that being together that did it. Okay, this might be my last question for you. I think there's something about eating together.
Sally Page: Oh, that's definitely something to highlight.
Clare Kumar: People say breaking bread, whatever it is. I don't eat so much bread anymore, but this idea of coming together over social interaction and conversation and you know, not at a whiteboard, but actually being together and sharing that kind of time. When you're designing your offsites how much thought is put into, I'm sure it's a lot, but what kind of thinking goes into the dining experience or these in between the subject matter. What else is thought about in the offsite experiences? Maybe especially around dining.
Sally Page: Yeah, absolutely. And I think when you speak to experienced offsite designers and there are some we speak to who are absolutely amazing. A huge amount of thought is put into those moments.
And there was someone else who was speaking to the other day and she was talking about the importance of having the different elements in there as well. So there's a reason why people gather around fires. There's a reason for that and water and ice experiences and, you know, it's really interesting that there's quite a lot behind it.
And I think in answer to your question, with very few people who are organizing team offsites themselves, because most don't pay an offsite designer and, and nor should they, very little emphasis is put on that and very little thought is put into it. So one of our roles we see at WorkTripp is to actually, whilst having this lovely marketplace where people can go and explore, offering those hints to make people think about those experiences.
Have you thought about this pit yet? By the way, here's some of the research you might be interested in, which is why this is meaningful and why they can help bring your team together. So offering a bit of advice, offering some nudges to help people create something that's going to achieve the kind of connection that is the whole point in the first place.
because, you know, offsites are very expensive. And they don't have to be expensive in terms of money, but they certainly are expensive in terms of time, every meeting away from there, right?
Clare Kumar: Every meeting is the most expensive thing you can do. Bringing all these salaries and time, energy, and attention together.
And then add travel on top of it and all the risks that come now with that, you know, weather, illness, otherwise, it's a big investment. So to have some safeguard and buffer around that. But it made me think of immediately my mind went to conferences where there's a tea in coffee station and they can be so much better designed to promote conversation while you're waiting for the coffee or, and having that hot water and the teas that like, ah, we need to redesign those so that it can have a better outcome because those are the moments where the side conversations are happening. It's like you meet someone new in those lineups, right? So, super fascinating. I'm thinking right now Nokia has just opened new offices in Toronto and, technology firm, and I'm really excited to see what they've done.
They've located their building on the water which makes the location of the office itself a beautiful destination. I'm like, there are very few offices I will want to travel to that are better than mine, but that one's just down the lake, if you will. So I'm like, great. But it's this sort of, if you have that as your anchor, that's amazing.
I still think you need this third place. Like writers will often say, I need a third location, not my home, not my office. I need a third place. JK Rowling went to write in a hotel. So we need this mind expansion opportunity, and I love that you incubate that or you combine that with nature.
I'm going to ask you one more question because I love the word modulate, and we need to modulate our individual time versus time together. Maybe we can close with this as being part of an invitation for leaders to understand that productivity is personal. And I just want to connect back to your point about diversity, that this is really fundamental to combine as an initiative.
We know you want the best performance from your team. We know that diverse teams give you the best performance we need to anchor them in work design that promotes that inclusivity amongst such a rich workforce. And I think this kind of thinking around understanding how to design amazing come-together experiences is super critical to do it.
So maybe that's the last piece is to just talk about that and your final thoughts there.
Sally Page: Yeah. Diverse teams can absolutely give the best performance and Rebel Ideas by Matthew Syed, one of my favorite books of all time, which talks all about that and cognitive diversity, which is also a really interesting perspective on it.
But the scaffolding needs to be right, because when you have diverse teams, you have diversity of thought and experience, which can be an absolute strength, but if it's not harnessed in the right way, then you have a lot of people talking past each other, and then the loudest voices will win, which is usually me.
But what shall be, you know, it's true and I do think that. That scaffolding needs to be there and I, and I see these cycles of work and these purpose-driven offsite experiences as the key anchor in those, in those cycles, in that scaffolding. So yeah, I mean, I would encourage anybody who is really seen the benefits of hiring from, you know, a distributed team, especially over the last couple of years, where it's become so much easier to hire people from almost anywhere with a few restrictions depending on where you are based. I think anyone who's been excited about that, especially on the people and culture side of things, think about how then you are going to bring people together to make sure that that purpose for that team and their connections stays strong while they are distributed.
Because those meaningful in person connections are really going to matter, and that third space will give you a lot more creativity and freedom to be able to get the most, I think, out of that team.
Clare Kumar: Absolutely. Sally, I want people to know where they should find you and the fine work of WorkTripp.
Sally Page: Ah, amazing. Well we are WorkTripp with two Ps, so you can find us worktripp.com. I am email@example.com if you want to shoot me an email, and I would love to hear from anybody who is interested at all. And we're also looking for more and more incredible venues. So if you have taken your team anywhere or experienced any offsite and you're like, this place was perfect, I would love to have those recommendations.
Clare Kumar: Amazing. Well, I'm excited for all of the connection that you're going to be building and the support of the connection that's required to build incredible teams and have great work happen. So thanks for being there and thanks for doing the great work. Everyone, check out WorkTripp.com and say hello to Sally.
Sally Page: Thank you so much.
Clare Kumar: Thank you so much for listening. You can find all of the Happy Space Podcast episodes over happyspacepod.com. That is also where you'll find a link to our online community. Please leave a review over at Apple Podcast, Spotify, or wherever you tune in, and if you liked what you heard, please share. After all, doesn't everyone deserve a Happy Space?