Coffee Talk: What do you think of team off-sites?



Here at Asana, many teams find value in team off-sites as a way to facilitate team bonding and creative thinking. Some teams will take a day-long offsite at a space outside the office for a change of scenery and intensive idea workshopping. Other teams will do what we call a “work from woods,” where they’ll gather in a house (in theory in the woods) for a few days to get to know each other and intensively plan for the year.

What do you think of team off-sites? Do you find value in them for your team and productivity, do you think they’re not as productive than we want them to be…? Would love to hear your thoughts!


Our team finds off-site gatherings extremely productive! It helps to escape the whirlwind every now and again to intensely focus on those things that help move the needle. They make for great team bonding events as well. Most really enjoy and appreciate making the escape together. The challenge is the expenses that often times come with it so unfortunately we don’t get away as often as we like. I’m a fan and advocate of them!


I’m neutral about it either sucking/being gigantic waste of everyone’s time or it being an awesome way to get ideas and productivity out of people that you otherwise wouldn’t. A lot of our customers tell us their firms do these trips annually or even monthly and I never really get a clear explanation of the logic behind it. I find myself wondering if Google or any big company’s HR department has researched this topic before to see if science can shed light on this strategies validity and reliability??? Questions I’m thinking are:

  • Can we prove that changing work-space environment affects productivity metrics? If so then at what frequency and what group size of employees?
  • If we could establish that changes in environments do affect productivity can we filter this down to who it matters for and who it doesn’t? Does the effect have more to do with the individuals personality?
  • If indeed it’s a positive effect is it due to the actual environment/sensory experience of the off-site or simply variation.
  • If the effect of these off-sites is highly positive then WHY doesn’t our own workspace replicate the off-site environment (assuming it’s the actual environment that’s causing the positive effect and not just variation stimulus).