Corporate retreats have gotten quite a bit of attention lately. On the surface, there is a lot to like about them. Many of them involve bringing old and new employees together in exotic locales, feature drinks with little cocktail umbrellas in them, and encourage late-night chat sessions among old friends.

However, for company bosses, corporate retreats mean spending money, money that may not be in the budget. As a company owner, how can you reconcile the benefits of having a company retreat with the realities of your bottom line?

This blog post takes a look at some of the benefits of holding a retreat as well as offering some corporate retreat tips to make your time away both budget-friendly and fun.

What Are the Benefits of Having a Company Retreat?

Building Bonds Between Remote and On-site Workers

In recent years, you, like many other employers, have probably become very well-acquainted with all sorts of work-at-home workarounds as you’ve tried to navigate the challenges of COVID-19 in the workspace.

However, because of these workarounds, like Zoom meetings and work-at-home scenarios, many companies report that members of their remote teams feel isolated from their co-workers. Although many people are slowly returning to the office, the bonds between remote teams and on-site teams could still use some support.

This is no small thing, according to a Harvard Business Review article. Supervisors report that people who have work friends who become friends outside of work are more productive than those who don’t. Company retreats give you a way to facilitate the kind of hybrid/remote team meetups that turn co-workers into friends.

Having off-site corporate events can be worth their weight in gold, given the number of friendships they’ll likely foster between your long-time staff, your remote team, and your new employees.

Providing Opportunities for Company Annual Planning and Ideation

It’s amazing what a little relaxation will do for your company production ideation and annual planning events. It’s also important, according to Steven Johnson, for ideas and hunches to have an opportunity to collide.

It’s the collision of these ideas that typically lead to the innovation that so many companies seek. However, often normal working environments prevent us from mixing with the very people we need to mix with for good ideas to become great ideas. Company retreats make way for the collision of many smaller ideas.

Creating Different Team Dynamics Among Old and New Employees

According to Fast Company, it’s often stuck team dynamics that create stuck business dynamics. It’s like a form of creative rust. The parts don’t move as well as they used to because no new life blood can get into the mix.

As well, if a team is well-established, it can be difficult to introduce new employees to the equation, because, let’s face it, people can get a bit cliquish after working together for a long time.

While it’s good to have bonds between long-time co-workers, it’s equally important to introduce new people into established teams. It’s likely that this is the only way that your teams will come up with new ideas. New people equal new ideas.

Company events encourage people to find other work confidants and foster a spirit of fun and play.

Where Should You Have Your Next Corporate Retreat?

Corporate Retreat Ideas: Doing it on a Budget

Traveling During the Off-Season

US News and World Report reminds travelers that hitting the road during the off-season is one of the best ways to reduce the cost of traveling. Everything costs less for travelers who are willing to go to a resort during the late winter/ early spring or late fall/ early winter.

Many resorts even have off-season packages on rooms, meals, on-site fun, like golf and morning yoga classes.

Tap Into Native Talent

It’s likely that there are people in your firm that have talents that you can only begin to imagine. Is there an artist? How about a Bocce champ? Or do you have a master mixologist?

Having talent like that on your team is something that you can tap into in order to create activities for your company events. Maybe your artist or master mixologist could teach a class. The Bocce champ could teach everyone the game and then be in charge of tournaments as part of a team-building activity. These types of activities are kind to your budget and give your employees an opportunity to shine.

Looking for Package Deals

Many times, if you’re traveling together with a large group, the venue that you stay at will offer your group a discount. It’s worth doing the legwork required to find a venue that can host a great retreat and do it at a budget-friendly price.

Aside from giving you good deals on catered meals, it’s likely that you’ll find on-site entertainment offerings that are either free or reasonably priced, like live music, paint-your-pet parties, trivia nights, and wine and food pairings with renowned chefs. These types of activities offer you and your team great ways to unwind after a long day, and some of them, like trivia nights or paint-your-pet parties, also work well as team-building activities.

How to Choose a Venue

Booking the right venue can mean all the difference between keeping your budget and breaking the bank. It’s also important that you find someplace that has the space and the technology you need to work.

Finally, it probably goes without saying that you’ll also want to find a place that can accommodate your whole group. As we mentioned, many hybrid/remote teams already feel isolated from one another. Being able to mix together during the retreat will alleviate feelings of isolation.

One of the main reasons for you to do a retreat is to facilitate events for your hybrid remote team. The members of your team need time where they can work and play together in person. Having them all together on the same site moves things in that direction.

If you’re looking for some tips on how to choose a venue, you might find these articles helpful.

The New and Updated Guide to Hosting Events Your Whole Company Will Love

Making New Employees Feel Welcome at a Company Retreat

The ROI of a Company Retreat

Spend Your Next Company Retreat at the Golf Course

Final Thoughts on Company Retreats That Don’t Break the Bank

Although holding an off-site company retreat can cost you some money at the outset, it’s likely that it will pay you big dividends in the end. Many company bosses find that their employees return from a retreat with new friends, that new employees feel less new, and remote employees feel less isolated. Best of all, event planners who do their due diligence find that, with a little research and persistence, company retreats can be quite economical, too.

If you’d like to learn more about how to hold a budget-friendly company retreat, reach out to us at Pursell Farms for a proposal.

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