If you need some team retreat ideas for a small team of virtual staff or even larger teams, we've got you covered. Check out these remote team retreats you can do together.
With the progression of technology, it’s clear that workplaces will adapt to the habits of employees. Howeover, remote workers spend hours looking at a computer screen and connecting with co-workers over a video call, and the days of chats in the lunchroom seem to be decreasing.
An even more glaring issue can be found in remote workforces, where employees have even less face-to-face interaction. But still, it doesn’t mean employees can’t meet now and then.
Companies are aware of this issue and are looking to the idea of a remote team retreat for in-person team building.
What Are Remote Team Retreats?
Remote Team Retreats refer to gatherings or events where members of a remote team come together in person for a period of time. Remote companies typically organize these events once or a few times a year to help build stronger relationships between team members, foster team culture, and sometimes align on strategic objectives.
Given that these teams usually work separately, spread across different cities or even countries, these retreats provide an opportunity to meet face-to-face and reinforce team cohesion.
Key Components and Benefits of Remote Team Retreats
Her are some key components and benefits of holding remote team retreats:
This is one of the primary reasons for a remote team retreat. Members get to know each other on a personal level, which can help improve communication and trust during remote work.
Retreats can serve as a time to review the company’s vision, mission, and strategy, ensuring everyone is on the same page.
Some retreats include workshops, training sessions, or guest speakers to offer new learning opportunities.
A retreat can be a way to celebrate the team's achievements, milestones, or anniversaries.
Feedback and Review
These gatherings are great for feedback sessions, performance reviews, or post-mortem analyses, done in an environment different from the usual virtual meetings.
Planning and Ideation
Retreats can serve as brainstorming sessions, where the team can generate new ideas or plan for upcoming projects.
Simply taking a break from the usual work routine and spending time in a different environment can re-energize the team.
Things to Consider when Organizing a Remote Team Retreat
When puttting together a retreat for your remote team, there are some things we should consider first. Here are a few of the most crucial considerations:
Location: Choose a location that’s accessible to the majority, if not all, of the team members. Some companies opt for exotic or vacation spots to make the retreat more memorable.
Duration: Depending on the team's size and objectives, retreats can last anywhere from a weekend to a week or more.
Budget: Organizing a retreat can be costly, especially if you have to fly everyone in, book accommodations, etc. It's crucial to set a budget and stick to it.
Agenda: While it's essential to have fun and bonding activities, also ensure there are structured sessions to address business-related topics.
Feedback: After the retreat, collect feedback from team members to understand what went well and what can be improved for future retreats.
Safety: Given the world's recent experiences with a large-scale pandemic and many international conflicts, ensuring the safety and health of all participants should be a priority. This might involve checking travel advisories, ensuring the chosen location has proper health facilities, or even conducting health screenings.
Should My Remote Team Hold a Retreat?
We need to know our co-workers across different teams and departments as people with personalities, and not just the Sales or HR guy.
A successful remote team retreat helps build great memories and a productive work environment too. It puts them in a mode to pick up new skills if necessary and contribute to the team and the entire company's success. It also helps boost employee engagement and strengthens positive company culture.
A remote company retreat can also help teams from different countries or even different time zones still bond despite the distance. It breaks the monotony and allows for some semblance of human connection amidst the crazy schedules and Zoom fatigue.
But sometimes, it pays to really bring people together for some fun and relaxation. So thinking of fun activities for the entire team even when you can't have in-person time is still crucial.
Remote Team Retreat Ideas & Activities
Below are some virtual retreat ideas for a remote company that your employees will cherish for life!
Hiking is an entertaining and low-cost team-building exercise for a remote team retreat. Picking a hiking spot close to other company branches is crucial.
Employees can carpool to the hiking spot and start on a two or three-hour hike to the mountains.
The conversations along the way and watching a beautiful sunset make for a fun low-budget remote team retreat.
Joining hands for a friendly game of football, or any other sport your employees enjoy can create the perfect atmosphere for team bonding.
With healthy competition, strategy, and goals, a sporting match can invigorate the competitive spirit in individuals and allow employees to share memorable experiences.
For this remote team retreat, all you need is a clear field for a couple of hours and some team spirit.
Another favorite remote team retreat, camping, has been used by companies to build the workplace spirit.
Make sure your employees have all the camping essentials. Then, get all the employees to gather at the camping site. While there, sit around the campfire with roasted marshmallows and share fun stories.
Spice things up by asking employees to open up and share memorable experiences. You can have intimate conversations with your co-workers too, which can lead to delightful surprises.
We've published a great series of guides that you'll find very useful for coming up with activity ideas as alternatives to running a remote team retreat whilst there is a pandemic happening:
4. Holiday Resort
Employees are always looking for a holiday getaway, why not consider a holiday resort?
It could be exactly the type of remote team retreat your employees are looking for.
Although it’s on the costly side, once you’re sitting by the pool with your co-workers and sipping a martini in the Maldives, there’s no regret it.
If it is an international trip, make sure your team is on the same flight to maximize group bonding.
It is essential to understand your organization.
Are they the type to relax on vacation, or go out and explore?
You should adjust your itinerary accordingly.
Once you have the perfect plan and location set up, a remote team retreat can be one of the best bonding experiences and a memorable one.
5. Adventure Trip
If your team likes adrenaline-filled, spontaneous fun, an adventure trip is the perfect remote team retreat.
You can get your remote employees to carpool to visit an amusement park with rollercoasters and bumper cars, or a haunted house, filled with creepy monsters and cobwebs.
Either way, with these creative group activities, the goal is to have fun and build lasting relationships with your team members, which will translate into the workplace in many positive ways. It also encourages teams to find new ways to appreciate one another.
A relaxing cruise may be the way to go for your employees with a busy corporate lifestyle.
A three-course meal, entertainment, and an open bar filled with amazing views of the city.
What more would you need to spend quality time with your team?
A relaxing cruise could help intimately connect your team for a low-commitment amount of time, and send them home refreshed and closer to each other than before.
7. Spa Day
A spa day is a beautiful remote team retreat.
Your team members may sigh in appreciation, just hearing these words. These retreats are great for smaller groups or larger groups. It doesn't matter as long as the day spa can accommodate everyone!
All you need is to book a spa a couple of weeks in advance, and after asking your employees to carpool to the destination, let the spa team take care of your worries and exhaustion.
Sometimes the best conversation you can have with someone is in a sauna or relaxing in the steam room.
A spa day could help your employees share a wonderfully relaxing evening, and come to work on Monday closer and more refreshed than before.
When things are back toA trip to the bar on Friday night may be the break your team needs as a convenient remote team retreat.
This option can also be remotely done at multiple bars to accommodate remote team members at other branches.
A low cost and convenient option, a quiet homely bar may be just the break your employees need to blow some steam and connect on a deeper level with some interesting conversations.
You can also look into a cruise with a karaoke option to watch your employees sing duets and choruses to their favorite songs and learn more about each other through music.
A well known team-building exercise, kayaking may be a great remote team retreat that involves active strategy and the entire group working together.
Rent kayaks in advance, and after getting the whole team to reach the set location, let the rowing begin.
Separate employees into randomized teams and send them off kayaking.
After, there can be a discussion circle to share their experiences and maybe exciting moments from the trip.
10. Company Dinner
Company dinners are a known way to bring employees from different cities together for a great meetup. Some companies make a large scale company dinner a yearly tradition, but it’s essential to see what suits your company the best.
Booking a restaurant for dinner with assigned seating makes sure your employees make friends with employees at different branches.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are remote retreats important?
A remote retreat is a wonderful opportunity to step back from our daily work lives and find some time to reflect. As well as have an activity to share with your team outside the workplace.
Is there any alternatives to company retreats?
If you aren't comfortable or want to do a virtual retreat there are tons of other team building activities you can try.
Check out our best virtual happy hour activities!
How to build a successful virtual retreat?
Set a date! Make sure it is the time of the year that your company has some downtime and your colleagues aren't stressed or focused on different tasks.
Convert some of your in-person retreat traditions to online. Just because you can't see each other in person doesn't mean you need to break the tradition.
Try different activities and find out which works best for your team.
Relax and have fun! It is all about collaborating with one another but creating a stress-free environment.
Although some of these ideas may seem attractive to you, those interests must align with your company’s larger population.
Spending more doesn’t always mean more team-building with your employees.
Even a simple hiking trip can help your employees experience quality time, and it’s really all about sharing these moments together.