Have you ever wondered how you can recharge your employees’ batteries, enhance team building, and boost morale in a single, enjoyable swoop? Look no further. Here is our latest roundup of great company retreat ideas designed to break the ice, create stronger bonds, and enhance other key aspects of a successful team. From one-day retreats to multiple day breakouts and virtual events for hybrid teams, we share with you plenty of options.
From adventurous outdoor excursions to calm wellness getaways, there are a variety of experiences possible to promise not just a change of scenery but a transformative impact on your team dynamic. Join us as we dive into the world of the 21 best corporate retreats and learn how to tailor them to your team's needs to ensure this get-together is not just memorable but truly invaluable.
What’s the purpose of a company retreat?
From a general point of view, a company retreat fosters a sense of belonging, increases workplace connection, and enhances collaboration. It also aims to bridge the gap between remote and in-office team members in a hybrid work environment. It offers a unique opportunity for personal interactions and team bonding, which is crucial for those who usually connect virtually. These events also enhance trust, boost cross-functional communication, and align organizational goals.
During such retreats, your employees can also take the opportunity to be all together to focus on creative brainstorming and strategic planning in a neutral environment. These gatherings not only boost morale and mitigate feelings of isolation but also facilitate a cohesive culture. This aspect is critical for the long-term success of a hybrid work model.
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What are the best company retreat ideas? 7 one-day company retreats ideas
1. A day in nature
Can anything be more refreshing than a day outdoors? This will undoubtedly make your staff happy while boosting their mental well-being, especially for those who live in the concrete jungle. It doesn’t have to be far, even a big park or a lake nearby could do the trick. Time for walks and talks. Just be sure that the weather is suitable and that everyone will be able to move easily.
2. Sports activities
What better opportunity to build a team than to act like one? In one day, you can do so many collective sports activities. Why not organize a competition among coworkers? You can play sports such as basketball or soccer. And if you train properly, how about participating in a 10k run? You can even join a charity race to collect money. The options are endless!
3. A picnic
If you’re planning a day in nature, why not add a collective picnic? Everyone can bring food and drinks to share. It’s a good way to experience new dishes and discover new facets of your colleagues. And if some are not good at cooking or don’t have time to do so, let them fetch plates and cups! Picnics are always a great way to bring your staff together in an informal and friendly setting that everybody appreciates.
4. A scavenger hunt
Remember how you were thrilled about finding some forgotten treasure when you were kids? Well, this dream can come true if you organize a scavenger hunt. It can occur in a special area like a museum, a castle, or simply in your company’s town. Get your teams ready, give them a map with some riddles to complete, and let them search for the bounty!
5. Go to a theme park
Another activity we enjoyed growing up was the delight of going to a theme park. So why not share the excitement with your teams? An amusement park or even a fun fair is a great company retreat idea if you have only one day to make it count. It brings joy and happiness to everybody. Plus, you are certain to please many people since there are so many different attractions.
6. Take a class or attend a workshop
On a single day, you could propose your teams develop new skills. By taking a class, your coworkers all learn something new. It’s better if it’s creative so that everybody gets an output. So whether it’s art or cooking lessons, everyone gets the chance to master or improve their abilities and gains something out of it. You can conduct a survey with different classes and workshop options to know which one your staff would be the more excited about and happy to share with their teammates!
7. Wine tasting
Another idea for a one-day company retreat is to go wine tasting. It’s a formative experience where your senses are challenged in many ways. Everyone can talk and express their feelings about the wines they enjoy and the ones they appreciate less. It’s a good opportunity for sharing and exchanging with your teams. It can help break the ice between coworkers and be continued after the activity is over.*
If you are part of a small business or just a department, why not consider going on a cruise? Being away for some days can be an excellent opportunity to work on a special project and/or relax. You can organize lots of activities on a boat and discover new horizons. So, let’s sail!
2. Train and participate in a race
As we said earlier, practicing a collective sport together is great for team bonding. But what if you could take this even further by doing sports together and aiming toward a meaningful goal? Participating in a charity race is a great example of how to do so. There are many causes to run for, and it sure is a motivational objective. Organize a boot camp where your coworkers can practice, encourage each other, and be ready for D-day!
3. Visit a major city
Planning to attend a large convention in a metropolis, stateside, or abroad? You should seize the opportunity to visit the town with your teams over a couple of days. Indeed, big cities have a lot to offer and to see. Whether it’s cultural, historical, or just fun, you are sure to please everybody. Take a stroll in the streets and explore!
4. Hike over two or three days
Do you enjoy nature and physical action but not too much into competition? What about hiking? It’s a healthy activity in which most people can participate. Be certain your itinerary is adapted to all your coworkers, and plan the places where you can rest. It sure brings solidarity and creates bonds when everybody supports each other. The cherry on top is that being surrounded by nature boosts employee well-being and mental health. This company retreat idea is certainly one of our favorites!
5. Camping or glamping
Nature is calling, but your retreat doesn’t necessarily imply moving a lot. Just a couple of days out in the fresh. Then camping may be the solution, or glamping, which stands for glamorous camping. Out in the wild yet with more luxurious accommodations and facilities. Your teams get the benefits of nature while having the comfort they expect for a corporate retreat.
6. Extreme sports package
Your colleagues may need to escape from the stress and tension of business time for an adrenaline-charged stay of extreme sports. With an activity a day, like bungee jumping or whitewater rafting, your teams will surely have thrilling adventures for a few days. Moreover, it helps build trust and confidence among coworkers. They can then chill in the evening and share their feelings and experiences of the day!
7. Go to a resort by the sea or in the mountains
If you like the idea of having a few days out but are not keen on camping or even glamping, why not go to a seaside or mountain resort? You get all the amenities your employees need and the assurance to enjoy a beautiful, relaxing environment. You can organize a schedule with a mix of free time and team activities. Gather for meals and share special moments in the evenings.
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7 virtual corporate retreats for hybrid teams
1. Online award ceremony
Being in different places doesn’t mean you work for a separate objective. On the contrary, you can virtually celebrate the various achievements made by your teams and show recognition. Hosting an online award ceremony may be the opportunity to cast light on the diverse components of your firm. It helps everybody understand, value, and acknowledge each other’s role.
This is classic, but many people enjoy this game, which can be organized online. Many applications can be used for trivia or any other quiz when planning this kind of game night (or day, as you wish!). You can easily set up teams by mixing individuals or the company’s departments. Don’t forget to offer the winners a prize as you would in a real-life game!
3. Cooking a meal together with a chef
Most people like cuisine and appreciate learning how to cook new dishes. So why not book a cooking session with a chef to teach a recipe to your teams? They can deliver the ingredients to their doorstep on the day of the events and follow instructions on their screens as they prepare. If some of your employees live in the same area they can even gather to share this moment and their homemade dish!
4. Talent show
You’re never sure what your coworkers’ hidden abilities are! So maybe it’s time to organize a virtual talent show among your teams. Get them to prepare a mini video of their choice. Whether it is singing, magic tricks, or impersonations, it’s their moment to shine. You never know what secret gem you might discover.
5. Online escape game
An online escape game is a very popular activity to do if you can’t organize an in-person company retreat. Different teams would participate, searching for clues and collaborating. Evidence can be found in real life, on the internet, or both. You can even use genuine elements from your company to spice up things a bit. Reflection and mutual aid are key to success.
6. Invite a guest speaker
Your teams are used to listening and talking in video conferences. But maybe they would find it very interesting to welcome a guest speaker. A specialist who can explain and answer questions about topics that are related or not, to your industry. It can be on parenting or gardening, depending on the audience. You can even establish a list of possible subjects to choose from, and why not set up debates after?
7. Karaoke night
This activity requires some equipment like microphones, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to find as most of us use them daily for remote meetings anyway. In turn, each colleague would deliver a song. They can be chosen from a pre-established list and sent to everybody via mail. Then, switch your computer camera on and let’s sing! Don’t worry about not sounding perfect because you won’t be the only one. Yet, performing in front of others is excellent for having fun and enhancing team bonding.
How do you organize the best corporate retreat for your hybrid team?
Decide on the “mood” of your company retreat
You must decide what your objectives are when it comes to choosing the theme of your company retreat. Your team won’t act the same if it’s nature-oriented, aimed to relax, or participating in a sports event. If you wish your staff to know more about each other, you might want to organize an event where they can easily break the ice and interact. If you want them to create bonds and camaraderie, maybe you can take them on a trek or some sort of outdoor physical activity. Your corporate culture is also an aspect that can definitely influence the vibe you want to create for your events.
Choose your company retreat location and a venue for your team to stay
Destinations and accommodations are very important aspects of your corporate retreat's success. Choosing the correct location is often one of the main criteria for your teams to agree with your project. And of course, choose very carefully the venue you’re going to stay at. Whether it’s a hotel or a rented villa, it has to be with the right capacity and amenities. No one should feel uncomfortable living under the same roof for a few days.
Plan all the logistic aspects well ahead
Managing logistics can be a daunting task. However, you must take care of several issues, such as transportation, or gather personal information from employees to accommodate special diet requests. The best option is to plan all the logistics ahead of your stay. Setting things correctly before to avoid unexpected charges and stress during the event.
Organize different workshops and activity options
Your retreat should be a blend of work-related and bonding activities. Keep everyone busy and entertained. Edit a well-thought-out schedule and let your staff know about it. Mornings are the best for getting the job done; being off-site can help focus more. Team-building activities can be done in the afternoons or evenings as people are ready to relax after the main effort has been made!
Get everybody hyped about the upcoming corporate retreat
A corporate retreat is one of the highlights of your company’s annual calendar. People must look forward to it. Everybody should feel involved in the project. Don’t forget to send invitations and why not reveal clues on the location little by little. You can produce teasers about the nature of the activities you have planned to do. And when the big day is approaching, you can set up a countdown to keep everyone excited.
So, what are the top company retreat ideas? Remember that to organize the best corporate retreats, you need to know your employees’s expectations, consider your organizational culture and be innovative. The goal is to encourage your team members to get together, work, get to know each other better, and have fun. They are given the opportunity through activities and games to strengthen their bonds. Ultimately, this can help them be more united and productive.
Retreats can be of different types, locations, and duration. Many options depend on your workforce size, objectives, budget, and values. Yet, the key is to be well-organized and thoughtful. Be sure to plan your retreat weeks ahead and build up the wait to get everybody involved and excited about the event! If you’re already using deskbird, don’t forget to add it to your office events. If you don't, request a free demo of the deskbird app and discover how our desk booking software enables you to make the most of a hybrid work setup!
*Drinking excessively will cause harm to your body and mind. Please drink mindfully. Seek help from a professional if you have a problem or if you think you might have one.
Paulyne is a hybrid work specialist, who writes about sustainability, flexible work models and employee experience.