Keeping employees motivated, working together as a tight-knit team and ensuring that everyone is given a break from their usual routine is something that companies look to do regularly. A demotivated workforce with no team spirit will be costly for any business, and this is why a company retreat can be so beneficial for teams.

By providing workspaces, accommodation and activities, company retreats provide employees with the chance to grow closer to their team, a better work-leisure balance and the opportunity to kickstart new projects which can boost the business. Since being established in 2013 we have hosted numerous company retreats for both, smaller teams and large, established companies. Here are the common aspects that from our experience can turn your offsite into an unforgettable retreat.

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Set a Goal

It’s all very well hosting a company retreat to get away from the usual working routine, but be sure only to set one with a specific goal in mind and not just for the sake of it. 63% of business meetings are conducted without a pre-planned agenda, and the average salary cost of a meeting is $338, so a company retreat, which may last several days, needs to be productive and worth the cost.

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to goal setting. Perhaps you’re looking to strengthen your team, finish a particular project or look for some new creative ideas moving forward, but either way, keep your goals simple, clear and, if possible, measurable.

This is exactly what a Swiss digital agency Wondrous did. They needed to undergo a complete rebrand of their company, along with all the code, content and design of their website that this entailed. Adapting and changing the image of a brand from one that you’ve been used to for so long is no easy task, and Wondrous wanted a space where they could work with clear heads, free of distractions.

Wondrous company retreat | How To Host An Unforgettable Company Retreat

They arrived with a clear goal in mind, and by working in a productive atmosphere that also allowed them to have fun with activities like surfing or cooking together, they came away with a slick and well-designed rebranded image.

Choose a great location

This one can be a little trickier than setting a goal; you need to find a retreat location that is conducive to both work and pleasure and many locations will have one but not the other. Work is the priority, so be sure to look for somewhere that has the essentials like good accommodation, high-speed internet and a great workspace with a quiet atmosphere.

Consider your budget and be sure to conduct sufficient research of the surrounding area before you decide on a final location so that you can plan the best agenda for you and your team. The pleasure aspect of the retreat can be just as important as the work aspect; you want your employees to return to their usual routine afterwards feeling refreshed and with a renewed sense of drive and team spirit.

Guys from the German review website Vetalio considered carefully the location of their company retreat. They didn’t have a specific project to work on; in fact, they had just finished a recent project and so were looking for a place where they could retreat to continue their daily work while relaxing. Knowing that they wanted the sun, surfing spots and somewhere where they could gain great new experiences while of course still working hard with structured days, they finally decided on a trip to Gran Canaria.

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Focus on team building and fun

A company’s most valuable asset is its employees, which is why they need to remain motivated and enjoying their work. But it isn’t enough for them to be motivated alone, they all need to be working together towards a common goal. Businesses that have multiple departments or employees working remotely may find that employees are too focused on their own performance indicators rather than the company as a whole, and this is why effective team building can help a business reach new heights.

Upwork Lisbon surf office | How To Host An Unforgettable Company Retreat

A company retreat allows you to drop the serious, “we’re at work” atmosphere and instead, bring together your employees as friends in a fun, relaxed space. This kind of environment breeds creative ideas, bonding and the breaking down of barriers. By focusing on the work, but also on fun activities that can be as simple as cooking together or having communal breakfast, your team will quickly develop much stronger connections.

Upwork, the leading website for freelancers, has a globally distributed team which works perfectly, but it means that most of the team have never met. By hosting a 10-day company offsite, they brought together 15 of their developers with the primary goal of team building. They, of course, discussed their work with Upwork, but they also got to know each other on a much more personal level, and this can only be beneficial for the team working together moving forward.

The benefits of a company retreat

Besides boosting morale and bringing your employees closer together, company retreats have a number of other important benefits by:

  • Providing invaluable training in an environment that is designed for creativity, productivity problem-solving and team-work
  • Offering an area that is geared towards keeping your team focused
  • Allowing teams to run hackathons where they can kickstart a business or project in a short space of time
  • Giving employees a work-leisure balance that isn’t always easy to come by in the hectic working world
Wondrous Team on Retreat | How To Host An Unforgettable Company Retreat

Does your company host regular retreats? What are your favorite benefits of a team offsite? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

This is a guest post by Surf Office, a community-driven workspace and accommodation in beautiful locations. Follow Surf Office for more tips on remote work and company retreats on their Twitter @surfoffice.

Category: Remote