Welcome to Clone Country House, home of the corporate retreat, in Wicklow, the idyllic Garden of Ireland. In today’s modern and fast paced world we often forget to take care of our teams, as managers and employers. We can get caught up in deadlines, projects, day to day emails and of course in answering to our own superiors which means we often neglect to take care of our most important asset.. the staff who work for us by giving them a corporate team day. Further, long term planning, strategic thinking and general team building can best be achieved away from the daily workplace. A corporate planning retreat can be just what is needed.

As the owner/manager of Clone House, and as a manager of a team of staff both on site and in my corporate day job in SSE Airtricity I am in the unique position of being able to witness first hand how vital is the need for downtime, team-building and uninterrupted strategic planning. I have many staff working for me in both my roles, brilliant,  loyal, creative and hard-working individuals.  I can see first hand how stress and over work causes them to lose a little more spark every time they push themselves too far on a particular project, or work that extra couple of hours they shouldn’t just to get something complete. Further, in the world of 7×24 mobile, non-stop email, constant texts and social media, teams need time to turn off, tune in and team up in order to be more fulfilled and to deliver better for their organisations.

I am all for dedication and staff loyalty and nothing pleases me more than to see my team strive with an end goal in mind. However, when I sit in the quiet of nature on the grounds of Clone House in the evening, listening to the birds sing and the stream gurgle, it is then I can truly allow my mind to become still and the creative process can flow as it should. And what about a glass of your favourite around crackling fires with team members as w way to further team relations and ideation? Or a planning session with mobile phones off in the serenity of a 350 year-old country heritage house and its surrounding gardens. Right brain productivity anyone? Off-site retreats, corporate plannings session and team-building sessions may well be some of the best corporate or small company investments ever.  They can make for better corporate leaders or start-up company executives. When teams are allowed to switch off, have fun and come back to me with fresher perspective blending a bit of fun and social with some dedicated team planning and team building.

As much as I admire hard work and going above and beyond the call of duty, I am also quite sure that without adequate, rest, regular corporate retreats, breakout room options, planning sessions away from the fray of daily pressures along good food and some fun team activities, we are not, as business executives,  giving our staff the care they need to perform at optimal level.

All work and no play will make my team frazzled and their overall well-being will suffer as a result and that is something that is of no benefit to anyone. Does your team executive team need some quality time in the hills of Wicklow about now? 


Jeff Watson, Owner Manager of Clone House has decades of experience both in the corporate world and the area of promoting the benefits of corporate downtime. For more information on away days at Clone Country House click here or email [email protected]