There was a time when the idea of heading abroad with your teammates and colleagues was de-rigeur, however in the past decade or so, (possibly with the advent of better communication systems) these endeavours seemed to quietly fall out of the playbook.
Thankfully, there seems to be a resurgence – and where better to escape, than to the mountains of The Alps.
Zooms, Teams meetings, Google hangouts and any other manner of digital interfacing system has proven to be highly valuable in the past 3-4 years, but for many, the realisation in the power of real-world togetherness is very much front of mind and proven to deliver rewards. Building and reinforcing a team is critical to business success and with The Alps on our doorstep, there’s never been a better reason to pack up and go.
Over the past 2 years we have seen an undeniable increase in company travel with colleagues and teams, whether that be a long weekend or a week-long escape. Having caught up with these clients on their return to better understand their motivation and insight, we found some interesting drivers for why they chose to head to The Alps:
- Travel is back on the cards and is seen as more of a luxury and treat than it ever has done before
- The convenience of The Alps makes the concept as convenient as convening in a conference centre in the UK – but with much better views
- With a more dispersed workforce, a central European destination in the mountains is a much bigger motivator to staff
- In a competitive recruitment landscape and with foreign travel no longer being a commodity and more of a novelty, these sorts of trips are a great tool to recruit and retain staff
- Putting staff in a unique and totally different environment helps everyone disconnect with the day to day and engage with one another more meaningfully
- For many, skiing is not something they have done before, and The Alps provides the perfect backdrop to challenge themselves and grow as individuals, learning new skills and learning about themselves, we could all do more to learn something new
- Geographically, France, Switzerland and Austria all serve as doorstep destinations making long weekend far more appealing and valuable
Of course, every business has its own motivations to plan and execute an alpine escape, and these are just some of the business justifications which clients have shared with us recently. The truth is, The Alps is just a great place to be and has always had a healthy balance between work and play – ultimately just ensuring everyone is having “Fun” – something many feel is simply in too short supply in their day to day lives.
Taking a pragmatic look at the opportunities and options, the key element of any travel activity is the accommodation - get that right and the rest will fall into place. With the option of luxury chalets or luxury hotels, there is a variety of choices based on the requirements of the group.
Luxury Catered Chalets are unquestionably one of the single biggest draws of people to The Alps. It is like nothing else on earth – from the décor to the service, the appeal draws clients from around the world. Stand alone chalets would ordinarily have 5-6 bedrooms, however combined with adjacent partner properties, it is possible to increase this significantly to accommodate 20-30 people. The stand-out benefit of chalets is that it pulls guests together as a unit. Sharing space and time together, building relationships, unearthing shared experiences all within the confines of a shared property. With pools, spas and massage rooms, there remains time to relax and be away from the group, whilst never having to leave the premises. Ordinarily booked for a whole week, clients are able to choose whether they have a single group for that period, or indeed split the week into two short stays – perhaps one for the team and one for their customers.
Luxury Ski Hotels are especially well suited to larger groups, with exclusive use often being considered by clients looking to celebrate or collaborate with teams of up to 100. Of course, exclusive use allows total access to the hotels facilities, but even smaller groups can benefit from the significant infrastructure and support of a hotel. As guests, you are able to benefit from shared spaces in a hotel, whilst retaining a level of privacy afforded by the suites and rooms on offer. Benefitting from a significant dedicated team, luxury ski hotels provide all the infrastructure you could ask for, assisting with ski passes, ski rental, restaurant reservations, ski guides and ski school, and any other elements you wish to explore. Ideally suited to shorter stays and long weekends, hotels offer greater flexibility for clients looking for an escape which doesn’t fit into the 7-day chalet booking mould.
Ultimately the concept of an alpine escape has never been more attainable, popular and of benefit to a business and its team. It helps individuals grow, teams to develop and businesses to benefit from a huge amount of good will amongst them all.
So, whether it is a business of 100 or a team of 10, elevate your next corporate escape and head to the mountains for all they have to offer. It won’t be forgotten. It will be appreciated.
For further information on corporate alpine escapes,
please contact Rupert at Oxford Ski Company