Online vs in-person well-being workshops: Which one is right for you?

I will start by saying that I offer predominantly online well-being workshops and programs for my clients. And even though I am the biggest champion of online well-being workshops (as I get to see the transformations they make for leaders and employees), I also understand they are not for everyone!

That’s why, in this blog post, I’m going to go through the benefits of both online and offline well-being workshops so you can work out which one is best for your organization.

The results might actually surprise you!

Let’s get started.

Quick overview: What is a well-being workshop?

A well-being workshop is an interactive workshop that aims to improve the health and well-being of your employees.

They can last anywhere from one hour to half a day.

They can also help your organization with a variety of problems. Here are some examples of well-being workshops you could invest in for your organization.

  • Mindfulness-based workshops – if you want your team to implement effective coping strategies for stress and anxiety, boost productivity, and think more clearly. (I personally offer mindfulness workshops.)
  • Nutrition workshops – if you want to improve your employees’ energy and focus.
  • Sleep health workshops – if you want to help raise awareness of the importance of sleep and help your team integrate healthy sleeping practices into their daily lives.
  • Building powerful habits workshops – if you want to empower your employees to develop healthy habits.
  • Financial well-being workshops – if you want to help your employees understand their finances better.

As you can see, different kinds of well-being workshops can raise awareness around so many different issues.

It’s up to you to choose the right workshops for your organization. Some businesses I work with choose workshops that take place throughout the year. Sometimes, they tie these into national or international awareness days or months. For example, booking a mindfulness workshop for mental health awareness month in May.

Once you’ve decided what kind of well-being workshop you need, you’ll probably ask yourself the question, ‘Should I choose an online workshop or an in-person workshop?

This is what we’re going to discuss right now, because, actually, there are benefits to both. It really does depend on what you need and how your organization is structured.

What are the benefits of online well-being workshops for your employees?

1. They suit a hybrid working environment

Many clients I work with have adapted to a hybrid working environment, with their staff working flexibly from home.

This means it’s quite difficult to bring all the staff together in one place. Staff are accustomed to working from home and find workshops more accessible this way.

2. You can ask the facilitator questions privately

Well-being workshops are often deeply personal for the participants, and some people understandably feel uncomfortable asking questions in front of their peers.

Online training allows staff members to ask questions privately to the trainer, such as via the chat feature on Zoom. The trainer can invite personal questions during breaks, and respond by giving personalized feedback and advice. It’s difficult to get this level of care in a face-to-face scenario.

3. Staff feel comfortable in their own environment

As I said in the previous point, for some, being in an office environment in front of your peers can feel a little awkward.

When staff take part in a well-being workshop from home, in their own surroundings, they feel much more at ease.

Finally, if staff work from home regularly, then it’s good for them to practice their well-being activities in a space they use often. They won’t feel like they need a studio or large room to implement what they’ve learned. They can simply sit at their desk, which is exactly what they’ll need to do in “real life”.

4. It’s accessible to worldwide employees

A lot of my clients have employees all over the world. Of course, there are time differences involved, but it’s far simpler to bring a global team together online than it is in person!

You might be thinking, you could have face-to-face workshops in the dedicated countries of each employee. You certainly could but it’s good to bring a global team together to do something good for themselves and others.

Finally, it’s scalable for the bigger teams, too. Finding the right space for a large team can be difficult.

5. It’s more environmentally friendly

Caring for the environment and reducing carbon footprint is at the heart of what many companies (and their employees) care about. I find a lot of my clients are conscious of the environment and are aiming to make their businesses carbon neutral.

Unfortunately, business travel has a huge impact on the environment and the corporate carbon footprint. It’s not just flights, it’s the cabs between the airport and to and from the venue or office. Even staying in hotels uses huge resources we wouldn’t use at home.

In fact, global accountancy firm PwC states that the biggest contributor to their carbon emissions is business travel.

If you’re wanting to reduce your carbon emissions, moving some or all employee learning and development online can make a real positive impact.

6. No one is left behind

I provide well-being workshops to leaders and C-suite executives, as well as larger teams. Understandably, you get people who are confident, outgoing, and enthusiastic. And others who are more reserved. We’re all different, right? That’s reflected in our teams.

But in a face-to-face environment, those that are more outgoing can absorb more time and energy, and make more comments or ask more questions. There’s nothing wrong with this, but it can make those who are more reserved feel a little left behind.

When you take part in a well-being workshop online, it puts everyone in an equal position. There’s not one or two people taking up more of the conversation.

7. With the right person, you get powerful, transformational training

When you choose the right workshop with the right person, your team will gain more knowledge and understanding, and develop new, actionable strategies they can use in both their work and personal lives.

This can happen in both a physical environment and an online environment. It’s simply a matter of what better suits your business.

What are the benefits of in-person well-being workshops?

1. Hands-on or physical training may be easier

For well-being workshops that are physical (to the extent that you would need a large space), an in-person workshop would be much easier to facilitate.

Our workspaces vary, and some people may not have the space to “move” as much as others. Or feel comfortable doing this on a video call.

2. There’s more social interaction

During a well-being workshop, participants will be learning, but before or after the workshop (or during breaks if it’s a longer workshop), there’s a chance for people to socialize.

Although, yes, this can be done online, too, it’s arguably much more manageable in person. And some people prefer this kind of interaction, too.

3. Fewer distractions

Although a good, experienced well-being trainer should keep all participants engaged whatever the setting, in-person well-being training can mean fewer distractions!

There are no phones, no tabs, and no postal workers knocking at the door! Participants can remain focused on the training and not be distracted by any outside influences.

If your team are planning to do an online workshop, expect the trainer to remind everyone to switch off their phones and close their tabs!

Online vs in-person well-being workshops: Which one is best for your organization?

Sorry to say it, but it depends.

The reason I created this article is because a lot of people are pleasantly surprised at how much their staff enjoy online well-being workshops.

A lot of businesses also take a hybrid approach. They might meet up with their entire team over a series of days or a week to strategize, socialize, and learn together. But throughout the year, the smaller workshops and learning and development activities will be fully online. This approach works well as it cuts the amount of individual travel and need for space, but colleagues still get to bond.

Looking for an online well-being workshop?

If you’ve decided that online well-being workshops are suitable for you, then do have a look at my mindfulness workshops.

Mindfulness helps leaders and teams increase productivity, solve problems faster, and reduce stress and anxiety.

Contact me right now and find out how I can empower your team to be happier and more productive.

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