8 company offsite ideas that actually work!

A company offsite is a powerful way to galvanize your team away from the distractions, day-to-day responsibilities, and limitations of the office.

Corporations use off-site meetings for a range of tasks, including:

  • Goal setting
  • Annual planning
  • Company reviews
  • Product development
  • Problem-solving
  • Reconnecting with the company mission and vision

Successful off-sites help improve performance, align the leadership team, and strengthen a company’s overall strength and resilience.

A company offsite can also help you bring together on-site employees and remote teams to improve team morale and foster a stronger connection than what’s possible on Slack or Teams.

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Offsite vs. management meeting

A group of executives at floating farm house posing for a photo

It’s important to note that an offsite is far more than your average quarterly management meeting.   

The differences include scope, content, purpose, and even attendees.

Your offsite will usually have bigger-picture items in mind, like a 5 or even 10 year goal, or a company-wide pivot to new opportunities. It could include retooling the whole organization for a new product or new technology, or be a strategic planning meeting.

A company-wide management meeting is usually more focused on immediate issues and problems or tasks. Management meetings will help you plan out and execute your current and immediate business goals.

Offsites will more usually bring the whole organization together to focus further into the future. An offsite is still primarily a work-focused event though, and in that way they differ from a corporate retreat.

Offsite vs. retreat

While many sites and event planners tend to use these terms interchangeably, an offsite is not a retreat. Yes, strategy, business development, and other important work happens at a retreat, but that’s not really the focus.

An offsite is mostly work, and a little play, a retreat is mostly play with some work.

Ideas for your offsite

Your offsite is usually a highly valuable opportunity to connect, galvanize, and consolidate your team into a focused and productive unit that can execute medium and long-term visions for your business.

Here are eight ideas to make your offsite the most successful it can be.

1.      Adventure and team sports


As much as an offsite is about work, the fact that it happens out of the office is key to the event’s success. This removal from the day-to-day opens up new opportunities to strengthen inter-company bonds and foster a sense of common purpose.  

Example: Outdoor challenges

Companies like Google and REI have long embraced outdoor retreats, where activities like rafting, rock climbing, or survival skills training encourage team bonding and problem-solving under pressure. These activities require teams to work together to overcome physical challenges, mirroring workplace situations where collaboration is key.

Why it works

According to a study by the Association for Experiential Education, adventure-based team-building activities can increase team effectiveness by up to 30%. They remove employees from the typical office environment, pushing them to engage in new ways and break down formal hierarchical structures.

Team building ideas for work often include an element of adventure and collaboration because those environments are proven to enhance inter-personal connections and boost cooperation among staff.

2. Professional development workshops

Professional development means up-skilling your team members and leadership with new skills and abilities that help them execute your company’s vision. If you have a new team, or a small team with many hates, PD makes your company more versatile and effective.

Example: Leadership training

Firms like Deloitte and McKinsey host retreats that include professional development sessions ranging from leadership training to industry-specific seminars. These sessions not only upskill employees but also align them with the company’s future goals and strategies.

Why it works

Investing in employee growth shows a company’s commitment to its workforce, which can increase loyalty and job satisfaction.

A LinkedIn report revealed that 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career development.

Not only that, but upskilling your team makes them more effective in their roles, as it helps them think about problems differently. A more skilled employee or leader is better-equipped to respond to challenges and be more productive.

3. Volunteering and CSR initiatives

When a company comes together to do something good for the community it makes everyone feel more accomplished, more purposeful, and more connected to your company’s key vision and mission.

Example: Community service

Salesforce is renowned for integrating volunteer work into its corporate retreats. Employees participate in local community projects, which helps build a sense of purpose and collective responsibility.

Why it works

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives during retreats promote a positive corporate image and strengthen employee morale. According to a Cone Communications study, 74% of employees find their job more fulfilling when given the opportunity to make a positive impact on social and environmental issues.

4. Cultural immersion trips


Cultural immersion is more than a perk for college students, it is a meaningful way to develop important corporate soft skills including:

  • Communication
  • Organization
  • Time management
  • Empathy
  • Confidence

This connection to different cultures sets the global tone and agenda for a larger organization, which helps consolidate your goals and company vision across borders. These soft skills are also core leadership skills.

Cultural immersion introduces new patterns of thinking and working that can lead to move diverse ideas and better outcomes for your business.

Example: Global exchange programs

Tech giants like Facebook have organized retreats that involve visiting offices in different countries, immersing in local cultures, and learning from diverse teams.

Why it works

These retreats promote global thinking and inclusivity, crucial for companies with diverse workforces and international clients. Exposure to different cultures can enhance creativity and problem-solving skills, as supported by research from the Harvard Business Review.

Incorporating local experiences like tequila tastings or brewery tours provides enjoyable and memorable moments that are unique to the location, enriching the overall offsite experience and making its impact more meaningful for your guests.

5. Health and wellness retreats


While an offsite is focused on corporate objectives, it’s also an opportunity to take care of your staff. Pairing peaceful corporate retreat locations with a moment of meditation can help reset your staff and disconnect them from the day-to-day so they’re more impactful during the more business-focused aspects of your offsite.

Example: Mindfulness and well-being

Google’s famous for its ‘Search Inside Yourself’ program, a retreat focusing on mindfulness and emotional intelligence. Activities include meditation, yoga, and workshops on stress management.

Why it works

Well-being retreats can lead to reduced employee stress and higher productivity. A study by the American Psychological Association highlighted that stress reduction initiatives in workplaces reduce absenteeism and healthcare costs by up to 25%.

6. One-day corporate offsite solution

Picture of a nice pool with seats during a sunset

A one-day offsite, or even a one-day excursion during a larger management meeting is a highly focused way to approach problem solving and product ideation. This intensive offsite activity can help energize your team, especially leadership.

Example: Google’s “Workshops on the Go”

Google famously hosts intensive one-day offsite workshops known as “Workshops on the Go” where they focus on intensive, interactive sessions aimed at problem-solving and brainstorming new ideas.

These workshops often take place in unique offsite locations like local coworking spaces, innovation hubs, or creative studios.

Why it works:

Focused and Efficient: The one-day format ensures that employees can step away from their usual environment, concentrate intensely on specific challenges, and return with actionable insights without extended absences from regular duties.

Creative Environment: Using unique venues stimulates creativity and breaks the monotony of the office setting, encouraging innovative thinking.

Structured Agenda: These workshops have a clear agenda and goals, making the most of the limited time and ensuring productive outcomes.

Some of the structure of this style of offsite event, especially the structured agenda and keen focus is also best practice for longer, more relaxingly paced events.

7. Enhancing engagement with fun-filled evening programs


“All work and no play makes someone something, something,” or so the saying goes. Fun and fulfilling activities are an essential aspect of a successful offsite because they set the tone and bring the team together.

Adding a splash of fun helps generate engagement and buy-in for the attendees at your offsite.

Example: HubSpot’s welcome party and local experiences

HubSpot hosts welcome parties on the first evening of their leadership retreats to foster a warm and friendly atmosphere. These parties often feature things like food and drink tastings, traditional music, and interactive activities.

Why it works:

Instant Engagement: A welcome party helps set a positive tone for the retreat, allowing team members to relax and bond from the start.

Enhanced Team Bonding: Activities like the #WarmFuzzy activity, where team members share compliments, promote mutual appreciation and a positive atmosphere, strengthening interpersonal connections.

8. Transformative team experiences with themed retreats


A well-organized themed retreat can enhance team cohesion, boost productivity, and reinforce the company’s culture, creating experiences that resonate with team members and fostering a sense of purpose.


Art workshops, such as painting, sculpting, drawing, photography, pottery, are suggested activities that can be incorporated into themed group retreats to support creative thinking.

Why it works:

Engaging in art-focused team-building activities, employees become more creative individuals, which enhances their ability to solve problems and innovate within the workplace.

Setting the scene for your offsite

All the best offsite ideas in the world can’t compensate for a carefully considered and structured plan. The offsite event doesn’t begin with arrival or end on departure day.

To get the most out of your team’s efforts you need to put in work before, and after the event to maximize its value and success.

Pre-offsite work

The work of designing and building an offsite happens long before the event is even announced. You’ll need to set an agenda and tone, and consider some key questions, including:

·        What are the goals of this offsite?

·        Who should attend?

·        What should guests take away from the event?

·        What is your budget for this event?

Post-offsite work

After the event, you’ll need to consolidate the ideas, decisions, and action points that your team generated while offsite. This should involve things like:

·       Post-event surveys

·       A report on findings and ideas from the event

·       An action plan for staff to follow

·       An overall summary of the event and what it achieved

By touching base with attendees back in the office and reinforcing the achievements of your offsite you’ll be able to maximize its impact on your company long term and ensure a high return on investment.

Corporate offsites that meet your expectations

The work of planning and executing a successful offsite experience can be daunting. The best offsite will leave your team energized, focused, and purpose-driven.

It’s important your venue suits your needs. For example, does the venue has enough space for your guests, as well as room for large groups to work in? You might also look for smaller rooms for breakout meetings in smaller groups during the event.

It should be a mix of engaging activities and focused work, and attendees should have access to all the tools they’ll need to work during the event.

Retreatsandvenues.com can help you find the right venue and resources to make your next offsite a productive and fruitful employee experience.

Book a unique company offsite with one of our specialists today.

Company offsite FAQs

What are company offsites?

A company offsite is a meeting that takes place away from the usual office or storefront environment. Literally, off the site. These meetings are usually focused on company goals and objectives, with some fun experiences thrown in to help engagement and foster team-building.

What are company offsites?

A company offsite is a meeting that takes place away from the usual office or storefront environment. Literally, off the site. These meetings are usually focused on company goals and objectives, with some fun experiences thrown in to help engagement and foster team-building.

In today’s hybrid and remote work environment, these in-person meetings can improve camaraderie, boost morale, and enhance employee engagement.

Company offsites might include the entire team, or just a segment of your organization. As with any corporate event or get together, planning and identifying your goals will be critical to meet your goals.

What is the goal of a company offsite?

Goals of company offsites include setting targets and goals for the medium and long term,  aligning company culture with business objectives, creating a more connected and tight-knit team environment, and problem solving. The exact goal of your team offsite will vary depending on your company’s goals and needs, as well as your corporate culture. The important thing is to clearly identify and articulate your objectives before you begin planning your offsite retreat.

What factors should a leader consider when booking company offsites?

Leadership should start the offsite planning process with a clear idea of the goals and objectives for their offsite meeting.

Logistical factors include the size of the team that will attend and the budget available for the event, as well as work materials you’ll need—like whiteboards, markers, and paper.

What are some company offsite best practices?

The best practice for any corporate getaway starts with a clearly defined set of goals and expectations for the event. After that, you’ll need a detailed offsite agenda, with careful attention to how each day aligns with your objectives.

It’s also important to introduce downtime so that staff has time to unwind as well as executive time where leaders can read emails or check in with the office.

What’s another word for offsite?

The offsite industry has a range of closely related terms. Largely, offsites are a type of work retreat where staff can connect and participate in focused, in-person work that’s collaborative.

Offsite venues range from corporate venues to exotic retreats, and everything in between.

What’s the difference between a retreat and an offsite?

Many retreat ideas work for company offsites too. The main difference between these two concepts is the mix between work and rest or reward. For example, startup retreats are usually a mix of fun and excitement designed to help invigorate and spark new ideas for the staff. They happen offsite but are more aptly defined as a retreat because they usually have a big element of fun and reward.

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