Remember the good ol’ days when companies would whisk employees away to incredible hotels, organize exciting activities, and issue motivational speeches? Well, the good news is that those days are slowly making a comeback.
With the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, teams became more distributed. Employees were sent to work from home, and many companies worldwide are making a permanent transition to hybrid or fully remote work. That’s why company retreats, offsites, and team-building events are more important now than ever before. With this decentralization of the workspace, companies now need to make an even bigger effort to bring their employees and teams together.
Read more → How to organize a COVID-safe company offsite in person
Why do company retreats matter?
Before you start planning your next corporate retreat, it’s important to understand why they matter so much. The answer is simple! They bring people and teams together. More specifically, they:
Allow employees to get to know each other outside of work
By building personal, friendly relationships, team members can develop a sense of trust and belonging. Feeling like they’re part of a team can really help drive employee engagement and satisfaction, which can, in turn, nurture their company loyalty.
Create a real, human connection among employees
Bringing employees together in a non-professional setting can bring them together on a more human level. As our CEO Avi Meir says:
“Magic and energy burst when we get together in person. Bursts of understanding, when we can read beyond someone’s words. Bursts of trust when we support each other with honest gestures. Bursts of inspiration when we solve hard problems and create new things together. Bursts of laughter, when we generate the safe space to enjoy the little ironies of life. And bursts of awareness, when we realize that we are in the same boat.”
Re-energize your team
Oftentimes, offsites and corporate retreats are opportunities to review what you’ve done in a certain time frame, and prepare for what’s coming next. They’re a chance to show your team why they matter, motivate them, praise their successes, and get them excited about the next step.
Boost creativity and productivity
Taking employees out of their usual routines and responsibilities will increase their focus, creativity, and productivity. It’ll give them a much-needed refresh, will make them feel more dedicated to what they’re doing, and will inspire them to think outside of the box.
Read more → The quick guide to planning a corporate retreat
Top 8 places to go for a corporate retreat in North America
The moment’s arrived! It’s time to plan the best corporate retreat your company’s seen in quite a while! Where should you go? What should you do? Check out our list of some of the most inspiring retreat ideas and locations in North America for a company offsite.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Jackson Hole is a fan favorite among North American companies for an exciting corporate retreat. From once-in-a-lifetime encounters with wildlife like bison, moose, and various birds of prey to world-class ski pistes, there’s an outdoor adventure for everyone. For companies looking to immerse their employees in nature and organize outdoor activities and sporting events, Jackson Hole is the place to go! You can even set up a real-life dude ranch experience à la Modern Family for your teammates!
Our top hotel pick
Located in Teton Village, Hotel Terra is the ideal place for a winter retreat. Just steps from the best ski lifts in the area and less than 2 miles away from Grand Teton National Park, this hotel is perfect for companies looking for a sporty experience immersed in nature. The hotel also provides over 5000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space. They cater to large and small corporate events.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Do we really need to explain why Las Vegas is the perfect place for a staff retreat? The city abounds with event venues and offers something for your whole team to celebrate all the hard work they’ve been doing. Las Vegas caters to whatever type of retreat experience you’re looking for—whether that’s a more team-bonding atmosphere with planned activities or more of a celebratory party vibe. The city is well-equipped to deal with corporate travelers, offering plenty of work-related or event spaces (like conference rooms or breakoff workrooms) in its countless hotels.
Our top hotel pick
Could there be a better way to bring remote teams together than in a Venetian-themed luxury resort in Vegas? Treat staff members to this 5* luxury hotel in the heart of this fun-loving city, just 1.5 miles away from the Las Vegas Convention Center. With over 4000 guest rooms, a full-service spa, 4 outdoor swimming pools, 20 restaurants, and over 2250000 square feet of event space, as well as plenty of conference rooms, this is the perfect option for a large group. Your corporate retreat at The Venetian Resort will be one to remember!
San Francisco, California
If what you’re looking for is to motivate and inspire your employees, then head on over to the home of Silicon Valley itself. All of the nation’s, and indeed the world’s, most innovative, cutting-edge companies have set up shop in San Francisco, making it one of the most aspirational retreat locations – particularly for up-and-coming businesses. With plenty of opportunities to catch a show or see live music, you can turn this retreat into a cultural trip as well. For the more nature-loving colleague, San Francisco is also in close proximity to a number of golf courses, hiking trails, and waterfalls nearby to make the perfect day of bonding for teammates.
Our top hotel pick
Just a short walk from Union Square, this boutique hotel is everything teams will want from an urban retreat. It’s stylish, within walking distance of more dining options than you can imagine, and even delivers delicious cocktails straight to your bedroom door. With over 2000 square feet of event space and meeting rooms, as well as state-of-the-art collaboration tools, you’ll want for nothing at this central, design-conscious hotel.
New York City, New York
There’s probably no one in the world who wouldn’t get excited at the thought of being whisked away to NYC. A cultural hub, New York is one of the world’s most bustling, sought-after travel destinations. If what you want is to give your colleagues a memorable, urban team-building experience, New York really is the only option. Concerts, shows, stand-up, galleries, restaurants, five-star hotels, bars, clubs, you name it – New York’s got it. Sure, it might not be your classic company retreat destination in that it’s not all about spending time together in the wilderness – but if you’re looking for something different, this is it.
Our top hotel pick
Located near Bryant Park, the Refinery Hotel New York is a chic hotel within walking distance of many of Manhattan’s key landmarks. With plenty of drinks and dining options available in the hotel itself, colleagues will be able to keep the bonding going long after your event planner’s activities are over. A rooftop DJ will give you a truly trendy New York experience, and the hotel’s central location will mean that teams can go out and explore the city together.
For a chance to have a spiritual journey that connects employees with raw, untampered nature, there’s no better choice than Sedona. A short drive from Scottsdale, these red-rock temples create the perfect setting for a restful experience aimed at bringing colleagues closer together. Build a wellness-oriented retreat with your teammates, full of unique activities like horseback riding, morning yoga classes, river rafting, and hiking through some of the country’s most beautiful trails.
Our top hotel pick
Check your colleagues into this stylish boutique hotel in the heart of Sedona’s red desert. With over 100 comfortable rooms, a full-service spa, an outdoor pool, and a delicious restaurant, the Sedona Rouge Resort & Spa is a great place to build your base for your offsite. The spa offers a number of relaxation treatments, including massages and body scrubs—it’s the perfect way to unwind at the end of the day and have your employees really appreciate all the perks of working at your company.
Is any trip recommendation list ever complete without Hawaii? Take your colleagues down to Honolulu for the perfect blend of city living and beach relaxation. If you want to see your office in an excited uproar, announce that you’re taking them on a team-building retreat and see how happy you make them! Hawaii is the ultimate beach destination in the United States, so if you want to turn this corporate retreat into a bleisure trip for all your employees, look no further than Honolulu!
Our top hotel pick
Just steps from the famous Waikiki Beach Walk, this hotel offers guests on a corporate retreat everything they may need. With high-tech bedrooms, furnished lanais, and a poolside bar, the Embassy Suites Waikiki Beach Walk is an oasis of tranquility and relaxation. With its 1500 square feet of event space and conference rooms, it’s the ideal setting for team-building activities mixed with a bit of R&R. Just be careful of the pool bar’s happy hour—or some employees may get a little too happy!
Golfers, rejoice! We didn’t forget about you. Miami is known for its incredible golf scene, so if you’ve got any fans among your ranks, this is definitely the place to go. Not to mention that Miami boasts incredible beaches where colleagues can sunbathe or even go kayaking on the water, a plethora of art galleries and restaurants, and a notoriously fun nightlife to really blow off some steam. The city has a little something for everyone, you wouldn’t go wrong choosing Miami for your next company-wide retreat or even small team-building event.
Our top hotel pick
Boasting a 9-hole golf course and 18 tennis courts, the Fisher Island Club is a great place to gather teams for a spirited retreat. There’s a 24-hour ferry to take you to and from the hotel at any time of day or night. Teams will be able to hop into the city in the evening for happy hour and get back to the hotel for some peace and quiet – the best of both worlds!
For anyone interested in the dramatic landscapes of the Rocky Mountains, is there any doubt over where you should go? Denver is an awesome place for an outdoor activity-driven retreat, with things like zip-lining or mountain biking readily available for all. If you’re looking for an active getaway-style corporate retreat, there are really few better options than Denver.
Our top hotel pick
A subtly baseball-themed hotel, The Rally Hotel is an absolute roar for any baseball fans out there. Located across the street from the new stadium, everything in this hotel is on-theme and on-point. With flexible event spaces, a sophisticated boardroom, and a number of breakaway meeting rooms, you and your team will want for nothing. This is the perfect place to work on team-building, but also to get back to after a long day of outdoor bonding sessions.
Top 5 team-building activities to organize for your retreat
Whether you’re going to the mountains or the beach, what makes a team-building corporate retreat special are the activities you organize. Check out our list of the 5 best activities:
Motivational work sessions
Part of the reason a company would organize a retreat is to get the team pumped for the next quarter or year. That’s why you should think about asking representatives from the different departments to share their successes from the past year and their plans for what’s to come with everyone. These talks can be quite inspiring to employees and make them feel like they’re part of something great. Sort out an “ask me anything” session at the end so that people can bring up any ideas, thoughts, or concerns.
Not all employees have the chance to get to know each other and let loose in the office. Especially when it comes to cross-departmental relationships, building a friendly relationship can be difficult. That’s why you should think about organizing a few icebreaker games like two truths and a lie or a speed-dating style game with fun questions. You never know where friendships might pop up!
A cooking class can be a lot of fun for all employees and it’s a great way to promote teamwork. Split people into groups of 4-5 and assign the groups so that there are people from different departments in each one. Decide on a recipe they’ll be preparing in advance, and provide them with all of the necessary tools and ingredients. Make it interesting by setting up a panel of judges to announce a winner with a prize at the end!
There are many ways of organizing a scavenger hunt—whether that’s with traditional clues hidden in different places, or with an app similar to Pokemon Go. The point of this exercise is to get people together in groups (not with individuals they regularly work with) and get them out and about. They’ll be working together to solve a puzzle or a clue and this will get their creative juices flowing! Not to mention that sending them outdoors will get their blood pumping!
It’s party time
Yes, team-building events and corporate retreats are not just an excuse for a party. But they are a celebration! That’s why you should give employees the opportunity to let loose and celebrate being part of an awesome company like yours. Rent out a private event space just for you at the end of the retreat, get some good food, a couple of drinks, and a great DJ—and let people have some fun. They’ll thank you for it.