Corporate retreat ideas

Corporate retreats are more than mere annual leisure activities for staff. They’re a strategic tool in building and reinforcing company culture that generates tangible benefits for your business.

For CEOs, Heads of People, and Co-Founders, designing a retreat that genuinely enhances teamwork, aligns employees with corporate values, and rejuvenates the workforce can translate into measurable business outcomes. 

Here are a number of retreat ideas and examples along with a description of why they’re effective in fostering a strong corporate culture.

Corporate retreats are a common part of life at modern companies and have been for most of the past century. 

The retreat as we know it today was actually born out of labor movement meetings in the late 1800s and 1900s. These in-person meetings were a reaction to the Industrial Revolution and helped workers organize to create labor movements and protect workers’ rights. 

It soon became apparent that these offsite meetings fostered a sense of community and purpose among the attendees. The concept of a corporate retreat was given a boost again in the 1970s when regulations set by the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) compelled listed companies to hold annual general meetings (AGMs) to discuss and plan corporate policies. 

These two very different influences helped the concept of a corporate retreat gain traction and more widespread adoption. 

Recent challenges surrounding the pandemic and the rise of remote teams have given corporate retreats newfound relevance and importance. 

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What is a corporate retreat?

A corporate retreat is an event or activity where your team can get out of the office for a period of time. It could be a one-day event, or last up to a week. Retreats can take the form of a fun activity or charity event, or you might focus on rest and relaxation. 

A corporate retreat is a reward, a chance to forge stronger bonds, a way to enhance company culture, and an opportunity to reinvigorate your team. 

What is the value of a corporate retreat?

An off-site corporate retreat is a time for your company to regroup, reconnect, and reinspire. 

Key reasons to conduct a regular corporate retreat include: 

  • To foster closer bonds between colleagues 
  • To break down silos between departments 
  • To encourage creativity and spark excitement 
  • To reward staff for hard work and improve morale 
  • To elicit employee engagement 

It’s important to have a clear goal for your corporate retreat. If you need to improve interdepartmental relationships and cohesion, you might consider more activities with small groups where you can break up the groups. For example, a golf outing. 

If you simply want everyone to feel rejuvenated, a group yoga retreat might be the trick.

Some off-site events are more aptly described as work retreats, where staff brainstorm, problem-solve, ideate new products, or receive training. 

There are dozens of different types of retreats and venues you can organize. For now, we’ll focus on the rest, relaxation, and reconnection style offsite.  

Company retreat ideas

The best company offsite ideas involve a good sense of what you want to accomplish, what your team needs or wants from the event, and what sort of company culture you want to foster. 

You can book retreats at venues that host small groups of less than 30 right through to large groups of 300+ participants. 

The exact nature of your retreat will depend largely on your goals. 

Rest and relaxation

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A wellness retreat is a great way for your team to relax and reenergize after a busy period. This type of getaway might include things like: 

  • Spa days 
  • Yoga 
  • Wellness workshops 
  • Nature activities like hiking 

AutoCamp in the Catskills is a gorgeous and restful location that immerses staff in nature and also offers team building exercises. 

Fresh air is always a winner for employees. An excursion into the great outdoors is a welcome break from the stuffiness of the work environment, and has proven health benefits for your staff. 

The west coast of Canada is filled with yoga, canoeing, nature walks and some of the most serene and breathtaking scenery available. It’s a perfect place to relax and rejuvenate your team. 

Plenty of downtime for rejuvenation and a peaceful retreat location are all important parts of restful offsites, so choose carefully when you’re looking for a wellness retreat

Team building


If your goal is overall team building then a retreat that offers problem-solving or collaborative exercises. 

Team-building exercises might include: 

  • Escape room 
  • Rafting or canoeing 
  • Group scavenger hunt 
  • Game night 
  • Cooking class
  • Team sports like volleyball 

An element of friendly competition and excitement helps forge stronger bonds in your team, so it’s often a good idea to employ strategy games or races that help get your teams all working together. 

To prevent that competition from becoming disruptive you can designate groups that cross departmental lines and separate normal colleagues or friends. This will ensure the competition element of your team-building activities remains positive, and is perfect for leadership retreats!

Sense of purpose

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Finding a way to engage your team in productive activities is a good way to enhance their collective sense of purpose. Retreats like C Lazy U Ranch offer farming activities as part of their team-building retreat exercises. 

A charity activity like Habitat for Humanity is a great way to infuse your team with a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Because employees get to work in a team for a project with a clear objective and purpose it helps reinforce those concepts and connections within your group. 

You’ll find volunteer opportunities at dozens of the retreat venues listed at our site. 

You can even bring the entire team together to eat at a beautiful restaurant like Termas de Monte Real or find shared cooking classes and self-catering to elevate the team-building experience.
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The options here are endless, but the result is a team that shares the experience of accomplishment and making a difference. 

Breaking the ice


Sometimes, the corporate retreat is just another way to get your team better acquainted. This is especially true of remote or hybrid workplaces where the opportunity for team bonding and interpersonal relationships are limited. 

There’s nothing like a real, face-to-face encounter to improve the way staff members interact. This is where things get truly zany. The options for ice-breaker activities range from the cliched trust exercises and parlor games, right through to raucous and wild party events. Ideas include: 

  • A day at the water park 
  • Karaoke 
  • A talent show 
  • Improv workshop 
  • Writing workshop 
  • Board games 

One caveat on ice breakers: Not everyone is comfortable with going wild with their workmates. Leave room for the introverts among your team to thrive by allowing them a natural exit or an alternative event. 

Reward and recognition

A company awards night is a great addition to a corporate retreat. For that you’ll need a retreat venue with a ballroom or a large dining hall with a stage. This type of event is usually good on the second-last night of a retreat, or the last night if it’s short and leads directly into a party where your team can let their hair down. 

Rewards can be serious and important, like sales achievements or project recognition. They can also be a little playful and silly, like “Best email sign-off”. Another reason to hold the awards night at the end of your corporate event is because you can use it to add levity. For example, you might have awards related to the events of the retreat interspersed in with the more serious awards. 

This is particularly worthwhile if your more serious awards only go to a select few of your employees. These fun and playful awards help make everyone feel celebrated, not just your highest achievers. 

Inspire excitement

Sometimes the best way to fire up your squad is with a challenge. Adrenalin-filled adventures can help spark that excitement and energy within your employees, helping forge strong bonds through shared adventure. 

Exciting ideas for your corporate retreat could include: 

  • SxS rental for a fast off-road tour  
  • White-water rafting or kayaking 
  • Axe throwing 
  • Skiing 
  • Go karting 
  • Ziplining

The element of excitement helps truly reset your staff from “office mode” which can help generate new ideas and develop camaraderie between team members. 

The Algarve in Portugal is a popular place for mountain biking, canyoning, surfing and a host of other exciting activities for your team. 

How to plan your corporate retreat

Step one for your corporate retreat planning is to decide on the purpose of the retreat. The ideas above are all tied to a distinct benefit that these types of off-site events can bring to your company. 

From there, you should set a budget, decide on who will attend, and send out invites. Organize an agenda that includes events to cater to different groups within your business, and drum up excitement with fun invites, teasers, or even a countdown on your company intraweb or in a shared space. makes it easy to search for the perfect retreat setting for your next corporate event. There are options to suit a range of budgets and activities, so you can find exactly what you’re looking for in our collection of 4,200 retreat venues. 

Contact us today to start your conversation with a dedicated retreat venue specialist about your next company retreat. 

Corporate retreat FAQs

What makes a good corporate retreat?

The best retreat experience is one that meets your company goals, is enjoyable for your staff, and leads to improved productivity upon your return to the office. Successful elements include free time for your attendees to explore, relax, or play as well as fun activities to bring the team together. 

What should you include in your retreat agenda?

Good planning starts with a detailed event agenda. This should include the list of retreat activities, including any details about breakout groups or separate options. The agenda should reflect the purpose of the retreat, and it should provide key details like dress code, location, and times. If you’re planning shared transport, those transport details should also be on the agenda and easily accessible.

Do you have to go somewhere exotic for your corporate retreat?

The right location depends on your budget, time available, and the size of your team. Corporate events at exotic locations or in a new city are always memorable, but there are venues right in your own backyard that might be just as memorable. You can get a sense of what’s around using the map search tool on 

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