Nearly half of all U.K. businesses are expected to have held at least one meeting in an offsite location by the end of this year, revealing the enduring significance of offsite gatherings and meetings even in this era of hybrid and remote work.
The data stems from a Business Opinion Omnibus report published by BVA BDRC, which surveyed 1,200 respondents and revealed that 47% of business leaders expect their companies to have used external facilities for meetings by year’s end.
Among the respondents, hotels and similar venues were found to be the most popular choice, with 64% of respondents indicating their preference for such settings. Almost half, or 49%, said they would have used meeting rooms in shared or serviced offices, while 9% stated that they are open to unconventional venues like museums, galleries, or cinemas.
The figures are driven by the belief shared by 48% of the survey’s respondents that face-to-face gatherings are beneficial for business. A quarter of those surveyed also felt that external venues offer a more impressive setting than their commercial space can offer. Some businesses, despite having meeting space on their premises, also seek additional amenities like in-house catering, which are typically available offsite.
While in-person collaboration and team building are still prominent now, economic factors and the perceived value of external venues will play a major role in how and if these spaces continue to be utilized by businesses. The future might see a slight dip in meetings at offsite spaces in 2024. As the report suggests, 27% of businesses plan to reduce offsite meetings next year — primarily due to projected financial constraints.
As the workforce evolves, business leaders who value offsite meetings will likely strive to maximize the benefits of using such spaces to ensure they remain a viable and effective collaboration option for their workforce.