The off-site can be a delight -- even if you don't care for all of your co-workers, and even if ropes courses are involved. It's at least a day out of the office and a change of scenery, catering and guest facilitators.
The office on-site is a horse of a different color. If your calendar holds such a day in your future, review the following carefully. Our motto, as always, is be prepared.
There is no agenda
The longer the day ahead of you, the less likely there will be a plan for spending it. The Boss who tries to cram a 12-item agenda into a 60 minute staff meeting every week suddenly has a free-form 8 hours ahead of you.
Same math for the meeting room
That is... if you manage to score the "good" board room, with a/v and cushioned chairs, you can have it from 9:00-10:00; 11:30-12:00; 2:3:30; after 4. The room you can have all day seats 4. In folding chairs. And...
You'd better layer
That room is either freezing cold or boiling hot. With a blasting fan or banging radiator, respectively. Tank-tops according to your own comfort level, but Scrunchie is a must.
Corporate catering will show up with the Big Cookies and the strangely dry brownie, which can hit the spot. But if you need your juice, Red Bull, Bubble Yum, Balance Bar, popcorn, Starbucks and other Standard Operating Procedure daily snacks, better bring them with you. Ditto cigarettes.
There won't be any.
For the good chair and the network connection.
Things really do suddenly come up.
I'm sorry, but you really will go starkers otherwise.
Is anyone still reading this blog?