As more companies move to a hybrid working model, organizations are looking at new ways to bring together their remote teams. Arranging a corporate getaway once a year or even once a quarter can help coworkers stay connected and battle the burnout that can creep in outside the office.
There is no one size fits all template for a successful retreat. Choosing a destination and fun activities that suit your company culture is key. So with that in mind, we have gathered our top ideas for a team-building retreat, including options for smaller businesses looking to stay a little closer to home.
Retreat planning for an entire team can be tricky, but tools like TravelPerk events can help take the stress away, assisting managers with every aspect of corporate group travel.
1. Kick-off with key updates
Staff retreats are not just an opportunity to celebrate and reconnect with colleagues. They are a chance to deliver vital information and ensure everyone is on the same page for the quarter ahead.
But these pow wows don't need to be dull. Imagine skipping the conference room to share your latest goals at a castle amongst the rolling hills of Galway or under glittering chandeliers in an elegant 19th-century palace in Vienna. Gathering everyone in an inspiring setting will undoubtedly leave employees excited to work for your organization.
Start proceedings with a memorable toast. Choose a local tipple like vermouth in sunny Spain or whisky in the Scottish Highlands, and acknowledge team members’ hard work and dedication. Shout out to each department and highlight the critical contributions that made recent successes possible.
2. Take in a local tradition
There's just something about getting out of your usual environment that can help revitalize your spirits. In a recent survey, 34% of participants revealed that they had their most creative ideas while traveling for work, and this figure increased to 53% among corporate travelers aged 16 to 24.
Finding an activity that is unique to your retreat location can help employees feel immersed in their new setting and spark those creative flames. A quirky and fun tour like tobogganing through the streets of Madiera is an experience your teams will bond over for years to come.
3. Re-energize with exploration
Another way to keep the creative vibes flowing is to get out and explore your new surroundings. Whether you have chosen a rural setting or the hubbub of a new city, a scavenger hunt can be a great team-building exercise.
Fantastic for large groups, our planners can help coordinate with a local facilitator. Then simply divide up your participants and set them off on a fun-filled afternoon of discovery and socializing with their coworkers.
4. Brunch and brainstorm
As we have seen, thrashing out new concepts is always easier in person, and breaking out of meeting rooms to gather in alternative surroundings can help reinvigorate employees' creative flow. A company retreat can be the perfect launching pad if you require some fresh ideas or have a particular challenge you need to tackle.
During the pandemic, 73% of employees admitted to missing their colleagues. Hosting a brunch with nutritious treats in an awe-inspiring setting is the perfect way to psyche your team up for a kick-ass brainstorming session. After all, what better way to reconnect and start warming up the grey matter than watching the sunrise with a cup of coffee in Sedona!
5. Try something new
What better way to bond with colleagues than learning a new skill in an inspiring destination? Whether you are a sporty crew or a bunch of culture vultures, there is a range of classes where you can get stuck in as a team while soaking up your new surroundings.
Those who love to get outdoors could try their hand at archery in Sherwood Forest, home of the notorious Robin Hood, or soar through the wide Montana skies on a thrilling ropes course. Meanwhile, creative types can make ancient mosaics with the masters in Rome or join a cooking class of Creole classics in vibrant New Orleans.
6. Scrap the screen time for the great outdoors
A 2018 survey of 2000 Americans discovered that the average office worker spends about 1,700 hours in front of a computer screen each year. On top of the associated health risks, so much time spent communicating virtually can be tough on collaboration.
Whether your team would love to hike the volcanoes of Tenerife, go kayaking in British Columbia or play beach volleyball in Honolulu, planning activities out in the fresh air can be a fantastic way to reset and reconnect.
7. Pamper your participants
A Mckinsey survey revealed that 49% of workers have been experiencing work-related burnout in recent years, with 21% reporting severe symptoms. If your teams are in need of a more relaxing retreat, jet off on a wellness break filled with grounding yoga sessions, mindfulness walks, and forest bathing. You could even book a spa treatment for your top performers!
8. Celebrate in style
In recent years a staggering 80% of workers felt disengaged from their organizations. As we all adjust to the new future of work, it's important that employees feel connected to company goals. Appreciation is a vital component in building a strong company culture. It contributes to the esteem and sense of belonging that keep employees motivated and striving for success.
Corporate retreats are an opportunity to thank workers and mark their achievements. Hiring an awesome location to let loose and celebrate as a team will have your employees raving about how great it is to work for your organization on their return. Looking for inspiration for your next company retreat? How about hiring some cabanas for the ultimate pool party in Las Vegas?
9. Give time for feedback
Company retreats are an ideal setting to get feedback from your teams. Get together in groups around a fireside and allow colleagues to discuss what they think is working well back in the office and what could be improved. Afterward, ask each huddle to designate a spokesperson to share a key insight with everyone.
10. Factor in some free time
Regardless of your destination or the retreat activities you have planned, it's important to include some downtime for your employees. Corporate events, especially if they involve travel, mean time away from their loved ones, so they need time to check in at a reasonable hour and make sure everything is ok at home.
As much as we are all social creatures that thrive on personal interactions, we also need our space. Setting aside a couple of hours where employees can explore the local museums of Lisbon or hang out on Barcelona's beaches by themselves will refresh everyone for team activities later.
Corporate retreat ideas for small companies
Are you looking for a slightly more low-key option for your work retreat? Below we share our top five ideas for company retreat ideas for small businesses. These could be great for a one-day offsite in your local area to keep costs modest.
1. Encourage teamwork with an escape room
If your employees love problem-solving, gather them in an escape room for an afternoon of team bonding with a twist. Rather than an awkward ice breaker, giving coworkers a puzzle to work on together can be a more natural way to get the conversation flowing. A great opportunity for interdepartmental networking, avoid dividing participants according to the usual work environment silos.
2. Kick back with karaoke
Perhaps a controversial entry, a night of karaoke won't be for everyone! But if you are a group of wannabe Beyonces, then a night of letting loose and with a talent show your favorite tunes might be the perfect team-building event!
As with any corporate retreat experience, staff members mustn't be forced to participate if they feel uncomfortable. A quick, anonymous survey during the planning process can help gauge how enthusiastic your team is about your company retreat.
3. Socialize with a sports day
Who doesn't love a bit of nostalgia? Ignite those competitive fires and take your coworkers back to the carefree days of childhood with an old-school sports day. Divide everybody up into houses Harry Potter style and create a sign-up sheet for each event to ease the organization and build up some buzz.
Arrange some feel-good snacks like a hot dog stand or popcorn machine and a trophy for the winners to get the full effect!
4. Host a game night
If your teams prefer a more laid-back competition, why not host a games night! Stock up on the chips and dip and invite departments to compete against each other for the crown. On top of the usual bestselling board games, you could even devise a company trivia with fun questions to get everyone talking.
An easier in-office team-building activity, be sure to come up with envy-inducing prizes like gift cards or a day off for the winning team.
5. Don't underestimate the power of a delicious dinner
The last idea is perhaps the most traditional, but treating staff to a celebratory dinner or lunch has remained a staple of strong company cultures for a good reason. Nothing beats sharing good food and wine and toasting your successes with colleagues.
Whether you decide to rent out a local space or hire some awesome food trucks to the office, delivering key updates and marking major milestones with delicious treats is always a winning combination.
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