47 seconds. That’s the average attention span of those who work on screens.
And what’s worse, it takes on average 23 minutes to refocus after a distraction.
When you or your team have a project that demands focus, the constant cacophony of distractions can be a real productivity-killer. Every distraction takes you out of the zone a little bit more.
Whether office-based or working from home, blocking the time and space to really focus is not easy. If you’ve ever found yourself thinking, “If only I could get a few days without distractions, I could get this done in no time”, it’s time to consider a working retreat.
Working retreats can offer all sorts of benefits to companies and their employees. Whether you need space for team innovation or a solo getaway for post-project downtime, a few days working in a new and relaxing location can make all the difference.
Below, we’ll explore how a focused retreat away from distractions can give your team’s work the productive boost it needs.
We’ll then introduce you to 3 of our best UK locations for individual workers, co-workers and small teams who need to focus and recharge.
First, let’s look briefly at why you might want to invest in a corporate retreat in the first place, and the various types of corporate retreats available.
The words “working retreat” might conjure up notions of going abroad to find yourself, or doing gimmicky, facilitated workshops and meditation sessions with your team. You’re probably thinking that’s not what your employees need—or want.
All they need is someplace to work well, and where they can let their mind and body rest when the day’s work is done. And that’s what Ashore offers: working retreats with custom-built, best-in-class workspaces, set in wonderful homes and locations around the UK. It’s simply a case of finding the right place with the right facilities for what you or your team need.
Here are some types of corporate retreats you might consider.
Your hybrid team might need some dedicated time together to plan and develop a new project. Maybe they could use a change of scenery to collaborate and get fresh ideas. Or maybe they’ve worked hard, and deserve a break before getting started on the next big challenge.
Team working retreats can be a great productivity perk for getting colleagues together to work and relax in fresh surroundings.
Co-working retreats gives remote workers and digital nomads the chance to balance work and social interactions, and create a healthier lifestyle at work—all while also having their own space in attractive surroundings.
From time to time, managers and employees need to get away by themselves to work—to focus on their business, get some perspective, spark some creative ideas, or recharge after finishing an intensive project.
The change of scenery of a solo retreat can give that space and freedom from distraction to get on top of things and come back to your regular routine fresh and reinvigorated.
With 62% of UK workers experiencing burnout since the pandemic, employee wellbeing is a growing priority for businesses. Employees who feel their employer is looking out for their wellbeing are more productive and profitable.
Wellness work retreats are a wonderful, restorative perk for employees to unwind, boost resilience and build connections for a better work life.
Busy open-plan offices and hectic home lives make it hard to focus. Emails and notifications, schedule clashes, colleague requests, manager demands—it’s death by a thousand cuts for attention.
And if you or your employees are among the 43.5 percent of remote workers who struggle to separate work life and home life, you’ll know how easily it is to get pulled away by the distractions of daily life. And how uninspiring the same four walls can get.
This is where a focused working retreat can really be a shot in the arm for productivity. A few days of solid focus can get the job done, without burning you out—leaving you feeling both refreshed and productive instead.
A focused retreat in a quiet countryside or coastal space helps eliminate the distractions that are the enemy of focus. At the same time, being close to the natural world is great for avoiding stress and recharging after a serious focus session. That's what makes them great for executive retreats, too.
As Gloria Marks says, “just as we can’t lift weights nonstop for long periods of time, we also can’t hold sustained focus for long stretches—in both cases, you’re going to need to rest at some point to replenish your resources.”
That’s what a focused working retreat is all about.
Ashore offers corporate retreat locations for individual workers and small groups to get down to business and to wind down afterwards.
Here are 3 of our favourites for focusing:
Set among the hills and fields of The Cotswolds, The Windmill offers a countryside escape on a working farm on the outskirts of Avebury in Wiltshire. Ideal for two co-workers or a working couple with a family.
For that work-life distinction, the workspaces are in a separate office, so you can even have the novel experience of “going to work”.
Twin, fully equipped workstations, include:
• Apple Studio Display, Magic keyboard, trackpad II and laptop stand.
• Herman Miller Sayl chairs and sit-stand desk.
• Super-fast WiFi, with 200mbps download, 120mbps upload speeds.
The Windmill has two bedrooms, an extensively-equipped kitchen—and even farm-fresh food waiting for you when you arrive. You’ll have everything you'll need for the kids, however young—and even for your fur babies. That’s right, your pets are welcome too.
If you don’t want to drive, The Windmill is 20 minutes by taxi from Marlborough train station. Walking distance from the village of Avebury, with its UNESCO-recognised megalithic stone circle, The Windmill also offers wonderful opportunities for long walks when you need some downtime.
£790 or 2 Ashore credits (£395 each) for a 4-night stay (Sunday to Thursday)
Sitting right atop the Suffolk cliffs, The Warren House is an ideal, secluded spot if you need more space for a small team, with nothing to distract you but big sky and wide sea. Exceptionally bright and spacious, with two workspaces and a variety of breakout areas, including a furnished balcony and outdoor deck.
The two workspaces are separate—one upstairs and one down—for that additional focus space. They are both equipped with:
• Apple Studio Display, Magic keyboard, trackpad II and laptop stand
• Herman Miller Mirra II chair, and the classic Michael Buick-designed Pegg desk
• Starlink broadband handles downloads at 105mbps, and uploads at 34mbps
With four bedrooms and space for 8 people, The Warren House is perfect for a small team, or co-workers with families. You’ll find stunning views out over the North Sea throughout the house. The integrated kitchen includes a Nespresso machine, when you need a little extra focus. As pet-friendly as it is family-friendly.
The Warren House is about an hour’s drive from both Norwich and Ipswich. Though secluded for focused work, it’s also just a 15-minute walk from the seaside town of Southwold (home of Adnams Brewery) when your workday is over. For those who crave a stroll, The Southwold Coastal Path will take you along the coast and through the countryside.
£1580 or 4 Ashore credits for a 4-night stay (Sunday to Thursday)
Whether you’re putting the finishing touches to that solo project, or you need to generate ideas for the next, The Wainhill will give you the peace and quiet you need. Just over an hour from London, it’s a world away from the bustle for a solo trip or a couple.
The bedroom workstation is equipped with:
The Wainhill is a rustic timber cottage, with a cosy double bedroom and an open-plan kitchen and living space. It looks out onto a pretty garden and the Oxfordshire hills beyond. Your pets are welcome too.
The Wainhill is just an hour outside of London, and 45 minutes from Oxford, in the quaint village of Chinnor. The Ridgeway National Trail is perfect for after-work evening walks, and there are plenty of country pubs to choose from.
£790 or 2 Ashore credits for a 4-night stay (Sunday to Thursday)
Working corporate retreats are a great way to escape the distractions and focus on what needs to be done. What’s more, a fresh environment can unlock that blocked creativity, while natural surroundings add a restorative, relaxing pace. Working retreats are not just a welcome employee perk, they’re also a boost for your company’s productivity.