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Alternatives to the Traditional Workplace

“We are looking for a quiet spot to have a zoom meeting with a client. Can you recommend an area nearby? We have 5 minutes to log on!”

I suggested our canoe launch with picnic tables at Creekside Center. It was just steps away and gave these two visitors an ideal location for their remote meeting. With COVID-19 still very much a part of our daily lives, keeping work teams connected and doing that safely has been a challenge many local businesses face. Here at The Parklands, we’ve been listening to the challenges of these groups and have come up with creative alternatives to the traditional office environment.

Open-air meeting sites, in particular, have been a draw these summer and fall months. Being able to safely social distance out of doors with smaller meeting groups has become the new trend at our venue sites. An example—we hosted a business this summer that set up classroom-style presentations for a multi-day meeting at the Hockensmith Barn in Turkey Run Park. For this particular group, it was the first time team members had come face-to-face since the pandemic began.

Hockensmith Barn is a flexible space that can be used for classroom-style presentations or an open workspace.

 

The flexibility of venues like Gheens Foundation Lodge in Beckley Creek Park, with its high ceilings and large, indoor event space, gives smaller teams room to spread out safely. Adjacent access to outdoor lawns and patios offers corporate meetings even more options to adjust the layout to best fit their needs of the day. Flip charts and laptops on the back terrace, break-outs in the lobby and under shade trees around the building have all appealed to companies for years, but this summer we’ve seen groups really embrace the versatility of the location. 

 

Gheens Foundation Lodge provides a wide-open space for meetings, both indoors and outdoors.

Larger businesses have even reserved various outdoor locations throughout The Parklands, creating outdoor offices where team members are connecting with nature and each other. In addition to non-traditional office spaces, The Parklands also offers private guided hikes led by Parklands Interpretive Rangers to engage and immerse your team in nature. Choosing our park setting for walks, cycling, and hikes during and after meetings, along with incorporating other team-building activities, promotes health and well-being at a time when it’s needed most.

  

Open-air meeting sites make for a unique workspace where your team can collaborate and work in the fresh air while social distancing. Guided hikes help to engage and immerse your team in nature, promoting health and well-being at a time when it's needed most.
 

Looking ahead to our winter months, safety is key when considering an indoor gathering.  Capacity limits, guidelines for proper PPE and sanitation is priority to our park staff. Let us know if you have a need for a business meeting or small event. Our natural setting can make all the difference for group gatherings moving into the fall and winter season ahead. 

Facility rentals support annual operations of our visitor-supported public park. Contact our team today at 502-815-0277 or events@21cparks.org. 

Click here to view a full list of our indoor and outdoor venues.

About the Author

Picture of Toni Woodard

Toni Woodard

Toni Woodard came to work at The Parklands in February 2014 after relocating from the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. She's worked in a variety of capacities, including park attendant, event concierge and event coordinator. In the spring of 2017, Woodard was promoted to Director of Facilities and Hospitality. Years of customer relations experience and her ability to connect well with others make her a perfect leader for The Parklands Facilities team. She spent the bulk of her career as a small business owner in hospitality services, retail and eco lodging. Woodard sat on local community committees in Colorado & headed up parks preservation, tourism and recycling efforts. She is an enthusiastic outdoorswoman, traveler & motorcyclist. Contact me about: hosting an event in The Parklands at any of our event facilities.

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