October 07, 2022 by Andrea Rajic
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Do you know how many meetings are held across the US every day?
Actually, 11 million meetings. Every single day. And the bad thing about it is that executives mostly complain that these meetings are unproductive and only waste their time.
A company offsite is also a type of meeting (a more informal one, though). The whole point of it is to bring people closer together, boost morale, and showcase company culture and creativity by moving them from the usual working space — especially post-pandemic.
But organizing an offsite may be challenging if you’re trying to avoid the same old trivia competitions and truth or dare games. We’ve prepared some amazing event ideas to make your company offsite truly memorable and increase employee engagement.
If you’re organizing an offsite for the whole company so multiple teams will attend, you must ensure it’s not just another meeting. Maybe the best practices successfully combine fun activities with a dash of serious business talk. Here’s what you can do if you’re gathering the entire team.
It’s something you probably can’t do at the office, are we right? Less formal offsite meetings have a team-building purpose, and what’s better to boost team spirit than a sports show? Organizing a football game or a three-discipline competition is an excellent way to promote cooperation, teamwork, and fair play. If a team member isn’t allowed to play sports due to a health condition, they can be on jury duty or play chess - that’s a sport, too.
“A Day at the Office” may not be the next blockbuster, but it can sure be a fun thing to do. Pretend that you’re at work and have your teams walk you through their daily tasks and procedures. Ask them to talk about how they understand the company’s vision or what values they have in common with you as their employer. You may even include a brief brainstorming session in the film and use it later to market your services. The video will be authentic and original, that’s for sure.
Can everyone on your team dance? Probably not. But will everyone have fun doing it? Yup.
You’ve seen the famous Friends choreography Monica and Ross pulled off years after their high school days? Why not try to reenact it? Or, if you feel inspired, invent your own dance moves to show off in front of your coworkers. Divide your people into several groups and pick a winner after you’ve all had a chance to be in the spotlight. Fun and laughter are guaranteed.
Tired of sitting in conference rooms? Head out to get some fresh air and enjoy the great outdoors. And while you’re at it, do a company field day. It’s a cost-effective and easy way to improve the work environment for a day and boost team morale.
On a field day, there are plenty of team-building events you can try and double down on camaraderie and problem-solving, from egg-and-spoon races to tug of war.
Team offsites aren’t just for corporations — companies of all sizes can enjoy team bonding activities and organize a fun and fruitful company offsite. Here are a few suggestions for small groups:
Did you like Lego when you were younger? Who are we kidding? We all still love to play with Lego, so it may as well be a fantastic activity for a company offsite. Building a Lego city, or anything else, while relaxing in a cool venue or in a nice park can be a great experience for everyone on the team. It will spark your creativity, help you bond with your coworkers, and teach you how to work together to achieve the best results. Don’t forget to bring a pen and paper - you may get some cool ideas while playing.
Want to get better at thinking on your feet and making connections? Want to learn how to remain calm under pressure? Of course, no one’s gonna keep you in that room even if you don’t find your way out, but it’s still a thrilling experience. Escape rooms have become increasingly popular over the past few years, so it may be an excellent idea to include them in your corporate retreat activity plan. Divide employees into groups of 3-5 and find out who’s going to get out of there first.
There’s never been a great company offsite without some amazing food. But why not prepare it yourselves? Find a few simple (or more complex, if you’re brave enough) recipes online and divide your crew into two teams. Each team has a one-minute time limit to pick the ingredients they’ll use; once that minute is over, you’re not allowed to change the ingredients. Both teams will have a specific amount of time to complete the meals, and then all you need to do is taste them and decide which one is more delicious! Or at least edible.
One of the favorite team-building games of employees everywhere is Two Truths and a Lie. Ask employees to come up with three things about themselves to share, one of which has to be a lie. Then have the rest of the team guess which one is a lie.
Pro tip: Don’t give employees too much time in advance to prepare for this game. This will take them a little out of their comfort zone and test how well the planners among them can manage a task in real-time.
An improv workshop is a great way to help teams bond, build trust, and get a good laugh along the way. Whether you decide to go with a professional workshop with experts you bring in or simply play improv games.
Some companies plan more specific offsite meetings where sometimes only executives are included. Department heads also need to work on their communication, management, and cooperation skills, so here’s what they may enjoy doing during an offsite.
A wine-tasting road trip to a local winery may be an excellent idea if you want to organize an elegant, semi-formal offsite event. Not only can these events be super educational and interesting, but it’s also a nice opportunity to speak to each of your coworkers without the pressure you may feel at the office. And with that pressure taken off everyone’s chest, they may be more open to hearing new ideas or just getting to know each other. That will strengthen your team and their engagement with the company and its values.
Want to feel better about yourself? Contributing to your community is an excellent way to do just that. There’s plenty to do anywhere you live - from planting trees and volunteering at animal shelters to chaperoning a field trip or organizing a charity dinner for your local Red Cross. Doing something good for someone else increases empathy and may give you ideas on how to improve your relationship with other people on your team or make them feel appreciated for their hard work. This type of retreat may be unconventional, but it’ll sure be a heartwarming experience and let you bond with your colleagues.
A fun way to spice up the workday for your executives is to do a sales exercise. One way to do it is to give executives ordinary, everyday items and task them with coming up with an effective sales pitch. For a bonus level of fun, don’t let them use any sales template pitches, but let them test their skills from scratch.
This will make for friendly competition but also help executives realize how important (and hard!) the sales team's job can be.
Are your employees invited to the offsite? It may be a good time to give them a chance to speak up in a more relaxed environment and have a prolific idea exchange.
It’s probably not going to resemble Picasso or Kandinsky, but it may be an amazing creative outlet for the whole team. Get a bunch of white canvases or sheets and some acrylic paint, or… any kind of paint will do, really. You can work all together on a single canvas, or each team can create a beautiful work of art for their office. This activity lets you express your feelings and emotions in an artistic way and enjoy an actual product you’ve created together as a team.
Your employees may not be confident enough to share their ideas with their executives all the time. And actually, as some inspirational business leaders say - good ideas can come from anywhere. This activity may encourage your employees to share their insights as they’ll feel less under pressure in an informal setting. Have them be the bosses for the day and talk about strategies and plans they’d execute if they’d had a chance. They might surprise you!
Whether it’s a good old game of Monopoly or a round of Cards Against Humanity, board games are a great way to get into a competitive but friendly mood. It will show you what the employees are like when it comes to strategizing, teamwork, and even losing.
For remote companies, a team offsite is the new onsite — it’s a way to connect, improve wellness, and relax together without discussing work-related topics all the time. But if your virtual team is dispersed across locations, you’ll probably want to organize virtual offsites every once in a while, as it can get complicated and expensive to host company retreats multiple times a year.
Virtual company offsites can be highly engaging but require different methods of planning and organization. For example, having a designated facilitator for different sessions is essential to ensure everyone is engaged and can participate in the activities.
Additionally, you must consider that online team meetings can be awkward, at least initially. This is why it’s good o include icebreakers before every session, especially if you have new team members joining for the first time.
Finally, like all other initiatives, you’ll want to measure the success of your virtual offsite. Schedule a follow-up with employees to gather their impressions and feedback, so you can improve and design an even more successful offsite next time.
Choose any of these ideas, and you’ll have an unforgettable offsite meeting with your employees that will probably result in a bunch of wonderful ideas on how you can all work to improve the business and reach your goals.
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