15 Refreshing Company Retreat Ideas that Won’t Break Your Bank (Or Bore Your Team)

Mar 9

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Is your team planning to stay remote for a bit longer, or perhaps even permanently? If so, there are plenty of effective ways to stay connected and improve collaboration and engagement in this post-covid world. In fact, there’s one way that’s quickly becoming popular amongst companies of all sizes: team-building retreats.

If you’re curious about the benefits of company retreats and need some ideas, today’s post is for you. Keep reading for creative ways to bring your team together, regardless of your budget!

3 Ways to Use Thriver Marketplace to Organize Your Next Company Retreat

Corporate retreats may feel new and overwhelming, so before we dive into the benefits and share ideas for team-building retreat activities, here are three quick ways Thriver can support your organization:

  1. White Glove It

Source a retreat provider through our marketplace for a fully inclusive experience. Simply provide us with your company needs, preferences and details, and we’ll connect you with a provider who will plan your retreat from start to finish, including catering, logistics, and activities. 

Get started planning your retreat here!

  1. DIY Your Own Retreat

Want to plan everything by yourself? Browse our marketplace to mix and match wellness sessions, workshops, meals, company swag, and anything else you need to make a memorable experience.

Click here to browse and book our services on your own!

  1. Consult With Our Thriver Experts

Need a little bit of both? Our Thriver Expert team can help you find and book retreat experiences on your behalf with this option. We can assess what you’re looking for, brainstorm some staff retreat ideas, and select services and activities to help you achieve your goals.  

Get in touch with our Thriver team here.

What is a Company Retreat, and What Are the Key Benefits? 

Okay, first, let’s talk about what a company retreat is not. Corporate retreat activities are not about getting coworkers together for professional activities outside the office. In other words, the goal is also not to cram in extracurricular work training sessions.

Team retreats may include those elements and can certainly produce fantastic productivity and other benefits when done well and consistently. But the goal of a company retreat is to bring everyone together to bond, boost morale and strengthen relationships in a casual setting. Some of the key benefits of company retreats include a chance for people to:

  1. Recharge with a refreshing change of scenery

 Sometimes we just need to get away and enjoy a change in scenery to recharge. While the onus is usually on individual employees to use their vacation time to arrange that for themselves, companies can hugely benefit from making getaways an ongoing part of their corporate culture. 

Note that you don’t need to plan exotic trips or travel far to make that happen. With a bit of creativity, it’s possible to create a restful, inspiring atmosphere without booking a ski trip to the Swiss Alps.

  1. Air concerns in a healthy, safe environment

99.1% of employees want to be part of an organization that values honesty and openness. However, it’s often tough to be vulnerable about what’s going well and what isn’t in a stiff, corporate space. Company retreats can break down communication barriers by facilitating tough conversations in a warm, less structured environment. 

  1. Get together and connect in a relaxed setting

Intentional connecting is crucial for all teams, but it’s even more vital for remote-only or remote-first groups that have never met or rarely meet in person. 

Although referring primarily to various chat-based communication channels, this Salesforce survey highlights some key things. Firstly, employees enjoy informal collaboration styles, especially since the pandemic started. Furthermore, 76% of participants said they prefer to interact with colleagues the way they do with friends. Company retreats can achieve both.

The following 15 corporate retreat ideas can help you achieve all three benefits, regardless of your company size or budget.

A team of four people participating in team building activities outdoors

15 Unique Company Retreat Ideas to Refresh and Reconnect Your Team in 2022

Host a Vision Board Party

Goal: To boost team creativity and help coworkers learn about each other on a deeper level.

Gather your team to brainstorm and create visual representations of their personal and professional dreams. Many people are so busy that they don’t have enough time to think beyond the next few months, so this retreat activity idea can help everyone accomplish that. Additionally, you’ll learn more about your team members and how you can create a work environment to support them with their goals.

Book a vision board-making class!

Hold an Informal Annual General Meeting (AGM)

Goal: To enhance team morale by celebrating individual, team, and company wins.

AGMs are usually heavily structured and designed to communicate key company results to important stakeholders. However, yours doesn’t be formal at all. Switch things up with fun corporate retreat team-building activities like games and wellness workshops. Also, rather than focusing solely on corporate results, use this time as an opportunity to recognize team and individual contributions. 

Don’t forget: a good meal always makes for a great gathering.

Order succulent, nutritious meals for your team!

Go on a Camping Trip

Goal: To support mental health and relationship-building with fresh air and natural surroundings.

You can organize a weekend getaway without spending a large amount of money by taking your team on a camping trip. This team retreat idea can help everyone bond over intimate campfire discussions, long nature walks, and fun outdoor cooking.

Visit here to fuel your team with healthy snack boxes!

Play Tourists for a Day

Goal: To create a unique getaway experience without travelling far. 

This is another perfect work retreat idea if travelling isn’t an option due to covid or budget restrictions. Play tourists for the day in your city or a nearby town by organizing a walking or bus tour. Your team can experience a familiar environment in a whole new way by visiting historical sights and sampling new restaurants.

Organize a Series of Online Games

Goal: To improve remote team collaboration in a playful and engaging way. 

Your remote team might not be in a position to meet in person at all, but that doesn’t mean you can’t connect in a meaningful way. Try scheduling an afternoon or a day to play online group together. We recommend choosing ones that promote skill-building and fun collaboration. 

Visit here to browse a wide variety of online group games, and here for scrumptious snacks your team can munch on while playing!

Teach a Fun New Skill

Goal: To encourage team creativity and enhance personal development by teaching non-work-related skills. 

Give everyone a break from professional development by teaching a fun skill that benefits them personally. Ironically, your company can still benefit from this by encouraging people to exercise their creative muscles, which is a transferable ability.

Find crafty and entertaining retreat ideas for work!

Give Back to The Community

Goal: To strengthen team pride and morale with community-building opportunities.

According to a 2017 survey by Deloitte, 89% of respondents believe companies that sponsor volunteer opportunities are much better to work for than companies that don’t. Volunteering is one of the best staff retreat ideas for improving your employees’ sense of purpose and growing closer together in the process. 

Visit here to browse several meaningful volunteering opportunities for your team!

Host a Wellness Week

Goal: To empower employees with physical, emotional and mental wellness tools.

Despite the many upsides of remote work (such as less commuting, more opportunities to eat at home etc.), covid-19 has upsurged employee burnout by an alarming rate. 

For instance, by the end of 2021, 34% of employed Canadians had reported feeling burned out, largely due to the pandemic. 

While things like sleeping better, eating correctly and exercising may seem like no-brainers, many people don’t know how to incorporate these habits in a manageable way. You can help by organizing a week-long wellness seminar, focusing each day on one core pillar of health. For example:

  • Day 1: Sleep
  • Day 2: Gut-health
  • Day 3: Movement
  • Day 4: Nutrition
  • Day 5: Other forms of self-care

Browse a collection of workshops to include in your wellness week retreat! 

Organize a Week of Culinary Exploration

Goal: To boost collaboration through group meal preparation and bond over diverse cultural food experiences. 

Few things bring people together better than good food. It’s even better when everyone pitches in to make the meal. Try finding volunteers in your organization to share recipes from their cultures. Each volunteer can lead a group cooking session, teaching everyone how to prepare traditional dishes. They can also share background and historical information to help participants develop a greater appreciation for the meals. 

Make sure to communicate this as entirely optional, though; no one wants to be voluntold to educate others about their cultures! 

To make things simpler, you can sign your team up for a different online cooking class each day during the week.

Explore dozens of cooking classes!  

Set Up a Virtual Spa

Goal: To practise self-care as a group by recreating a spa experience at home.

This is another perfect retreat activity idea for remote teams. You may not find a spa location large enough to accommodate your who group, so try recreating the experience at home. Simply mail each team member a self-care package and make it an online event everyone can enjoy from their living rooms. 

Select and mail gift baskets designed for the ultimate self-pampering session at home!

Coordinate a Roundtable Discussion

Goal: To encourage open and honest communication in a safe environment. 

This business retreat idea is an ideal opportunity for employees at all organizational levels to simply talk openly and honestly. What’s going well? What’s not going well? What kind of support do individuals need? It’s easy to ask questions like that, but not everyone will feel comfortable sharing. As such, it’s crucial to lead by example. Ask deep, challenging questions and have leaders share their experiences to invite dialogue.  

Afterwards, lighten the mood with fun and games. But remember to take the feedback to heart and address your team’s concerns.

Visit here to order corporate catering for your roundtable discussion!

Host a Mission and Vision Meeting

Goal: To foster one-mindedness by establishing common goals. 

Organizational leaders often decide on a company’s direction but neglect to do two critical things:

  • Communicate it to staff clearly and consistently; and
  • Ask for staff’s input 

A mission meeting is an effective team-building retreat idea for avoiding those pitfalls. 

Again, the goal is to create a relaxing, welcoming environment where people can collaborate and share ideas about the company’s future. Of course, start by sharing the leadership’s mission and vision. But also ask your team for ideas. What do they like about the vision? What don’t they like? What are their ideas to propel the company in an overall positive direction? 

It’s not about being inclusive for the sake of it; a feedback culture makes employees feel valued, heard, and engaged.

Order corporate catering for your mission and vision meeting!

Organize an Outdoor Tournament

Goal: To foster teamwork and problem-solving skills through sports.

Team sports can boost mental health, promote physical fitness, and create camaraderie among coworkers.  The best part is organizing an outdoor tournament doesn’t require much; you just need a field or a beach, games, food, water and transportation. 

Visit here for personalized T-shirts, water bottles, baseball caps, and other tournament-worthy team swag!

Attend a Conference Together 

Goal: To promote self-learning and equip your team with valuable knowledge on a chosen subject.

Conferences don’t have to be dull. For example, instead of organizing work-related ones, empower your team with knowledge about wealth building and retirement planning by taking them to a conference about personal finance. You can also curate a list of exciting conference ideas and ask your team to vote for their preferences. 

Remember to keep things optional, though! If someone doesn’t want to attend, don’t make them. Instead, include them by sending a care package or snack box to enjoy at home that day.

Brighten your at-home coworkers’ day with care packages!

Rent a Venue for a Day for Remote Workers

Goal: To bring remote workers together for a weekend of relaxation and collaboration.

Salesforce recently signed a multi-year booking deal with a wellness resort to strengthen employee friendship and loyalty, possibly weakened by remote work over the last two years. Remember, while this tech giant has a sizeable budget for employee wellness, the best work retreat ideas aren’t necessarily always the most expensive. 

Shop around for nearby venues that fit your budget: ranches, golf clubs, community centres, to name a few. If you need help, below once again are three ways Thriver can provide support!

Recap: Three Ways Thriver Can Support Your Company Retreat

That about sums up 15 unique retreat ideas for work! The larger or more complex your team, the more overwhelming planning a company retreat may feel. Remember, you can use Thriver marketplace in 3 key ways: 

  1. Collaborate with a retreat provider for a fully inclusive experience.
  2. Browse and book company retreat activities on your own.
  3. Get activity planning and booking support from our Thriver experts.

Over to you – how will you refresh and reconnect your team in 2022? Let us know on social media!

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