Surviving workplace ‘away days’

As part of my job, I sometimes have to attend team “away days”. I work from home full time, but these days are in person and usually involve a lot of travel and staying away for one or two nights (I live in Scotland, my organisation is based in the South of England).

The away days themselves consist of a mixture of group tasks, watching presentations, and socialising e.g. in lunch breaks.

These can be completely exhausting. In the anticipation ahead of the event, and then in the recovery time afterwards. I want to share what I do to help minimise and manage the impact of this, in case it is helpful for others in similar situations. These strategies could also apply to any sort of work travel or long days filled with meetings.

Strategy 1: Find out what to expect

I ask for as much detail as I feel I need.

Usually via email to the organiser, or sometimes my manager does this on my behalf. Depending on the event (and how much information has been shared beforehand!) this might include: lunch contents/timings, how groups will be decided for group tasks, specific details of any ice-breakers, how we are expected to contribute in specific activities, and where a quiet room and/or the loos are in relation to where we will be spending the day.

One challenge with this can be that not everyone plans to this level of detail very far in advan