A work-cation is in the cards. Here are 6 out-of-the-box corporate retreat ideas that your team is sure to love!
Hosting a company retreat for your staff is a great way to cement stronger teams and bolster your strength as a company.
The change of space and being around colleagues in an out-of-office environment (while remaining professional) helps employees develop bonds outside of their pre-established team dynamics. A retreat often leads to unplanned brainstorming sessions where you may even come up with your next big idea.
Besides all that, holding a corporate retreat boosts company morale! It’s fun to get out of the office and do something different. An all-around win-win situation.
Let’s explore six top corporate retreat ideas that your employees or coworkers will love. We organized these ideas into four categories. Choose what you think would fit your organization and your goals best:
In the office, we are constantly placed in situations that test our ability to work together in teams. “Teamwork” can sometimes be an abstract concept, and it’s hard to know if you are doing it effectively.
However… a canoeing trip will actually have your people struggling to steer their boats in the right direction. There is nothing abstract about the teamwork required here.
Learning how to canoe is an excellent metaphor for establishing goals, communicating effectively, and coordinating team effort. Besides that, it’s also tons of fun and a splendid way to get out and explore nature.
At Northern Edge Algonquin, practically any retreat held in warmer weather can include canoeing as a part of a wider program, or you can make it the entire event.
2. Stand-up Paddleboarding (SUP)
Here’s a corporate retreat idea that will get you and your team on your feet! Very popular in recent years, this alternative to canoeing (or kayaking) leads to a much different experience on the water. Instead of speed and efficiency, stand-up paddleboarding encourages hanging out and exploring near the shore.
It’s a good idea to make this a non-competitive experience where the goal is simply to embrace the moment and connect with the waves.
SUP plays a major role in our signature Quest For Balance retreat alongside yoga and basking in the forest. If you’re looking for a corporate retreat idea that is less about meetings or business agendas and more about treating the group, this might be something to consider.
3. Yoga & Meditation
Stretching out on the dock… offering a salutation to the dawn sun… and taking deep breathes of forest air. Yoga is a good way to cultivate health, wellness, and peace in your team.
Beyond the obvious pleasure of a yoga retreat, there are many hidden benefits. Yoga and meditation allow your employees to practice introspection and break down barriers between staff, all of which can lead to better workplace results and cohesion.
There are many ways to approach a yoga retreat. The lowest commitment would be to simply book a yoga instructor to come in and conduct an hour-long session in the morning for your employees, ending with a moment of guided meditation. Maybe this could be a regular occurance? You could also go to a local yoga studio and see what kind of packages they offer for group sessions.
For the more yoga-friendly workplaces (or if your team is ready to embrace something new) a complete yoga and mindfullness getaway may suit you.
This is one of our specialities, and we offer several programs that might work right off the shelf depending on your group’s needs. Otherwise, we also offer custom-built experiences that can be tailored to you.
4. The Big Company Cook-Off
Nothing is more relaxing than good food… so why not couple your retreat with a big company cook-off to encourage some healthy competition and treat your team’s tastebuds all at once? Alternatively, you could just have a culinary-themed retreat.
You could put together your own (pick a venue, hire a chef to guide the experience, etc.) and it could either be a competition on-site or where everyone brings a dish to enjoy (potluck style).
Be aware of your staff’s dietary restrictions and include a category exclusively for them, too. Keep a few quirky gifts handy for the winners in each category.
If you don’t want to centre your whole experience around food, you could still make it a big part of the retreat. We work hard to make mealtime a very special thing at The Edge. Amazing food can transform a good retreat into a fantastic one, and highly anticipated meals can help to break up a day of planning or teambuilding activities.
At The Edge, we also love to get everyone involved in the cooking process and mealtime chores from time to time to foster a sense of community and caring. Interesting things happen when bosses do dishes for their team!
5. Cross-country skiing trip
Don’t let the weather alter your corporate retreat plans. In winter, you could treat your team to a cross-country skiing trip. Imagine gliding across a frozen lake, and then retiring to a cozy private forest cabin to relax by the crackling fire in bed.
What’s best is, in most cases you don’t even need to lug your own skiing equipment to the location. Many retreats have connections with local rental shops where can get you the equipment at a reasonable rate. If you come to Northern Edge Algonquin, we have everything you’d need on site– included in the price.
Check out our Fire & Ice signature retreat if you’re looking for a ready-made experience.
If you want to think of an activity which is perhaps a little less challenging than skiing, snowshoeing is your best bet. It has all the elements of a skiing trip… the snow and making your way through it, loads of laughs and lots of falling down (for the beginners).
It is akin to hiking, where you can follow wildlife tracks more easily and go deeper into the woods.
Picking between snowshoes and skis is picking between savour and speed… not to say that you can’t enjoy and go fast with both. Just think about what your group would like best.
Ready To Go?
If you’re inspired by any of these corporate retreat ideas and your looking for next steps, we’d like to recommend our ultimate corporate planning guide (download link below).
If you don’t want to DIY, why not team up with us? You bring the people and the goal, and we’ll bring the expertise, ideas, and awesome venue.