There’s one word that’s perpetually underappreciated in offices everywhere. And no, it isn’t “productivity”, “impact”, “synergy”, or “ROI”! It’s something far more fundamental to the bond between colleagues and the atmosphere in the workplace…
Fun! According to HBR, having fun at work improves everything from engagement and creativity to purpose and employee retention.
This is precisely why company offsite (or team offsite) events are so valuable. Similar to offsite meetings, these casual team-building activities take place away from the office. They can last a few hours or a few days, but the goal is always the same: to kick back, have a good time, and create stronger relationships in the process. Today, we’re revealing 20 fantastic team offsite ideas for you to try.
1. Arrange a BBQ
You can’t beat a cookout. With sunshine and blue skies above your head, music playing in the background, a plate of freshly cooked food in one hand, and an ice-cold beer in the other, it’s hard not to have a good time!
That’s why bringing everyone together for a BBQ makes for such an awesome team offsite event. Colleagues can mingle and chat, enjoying the morale boost that comes from combining great company with finger-licking food. Throw in some party games and/or team-building activities and you’re onto a winner.
If you’re on a budget, you could host the cookout at your home or go to a public park with grills available. Alternatively, if convenience is a priority and you have the cash, consider hiring a professional company to do everything for you.
2. Go on a company retreat
Okay, so we’re biased! But anyone who wants to organize an unforgettable offsite activity that delivers huge ROI in terms of team bonding should consider going on a company retreat. Whether you stay local or venture further afield, these events are purpose-built to kill the routine and get your employees out of the office.
With Surf Office, you can choose from 110 locations across Europe and North America – from Prague, Paris, and Palermo to Palm Springs and Pittsburgh. Spend time in the countryside, city, or on the beach, all while creating memories and strengthening relationships between co-workers.
We take the hard work out of organizing these retreats too – tailoring the experience to your requirements and saving you time and money by a) handling the arrangements and b) working with our network of local providers. You get to focus on your business while we sort the logistics!
3. Do a cooking class
Delicious food has an uncanny ability to unite people. You forget your differences and focus on the flavors, usually with a big smile across your face. Want to know a secret though? If you cook that food yourself in a friendly and energetic environment, the effects are even more pronounced!
That’s why cooking classes make such good company offsites.
For one thing, everyone learns new skills and discovers new dishes. But the real magic comes from doing it together – working closely with each other to create a tasty meal, exchanging friendly banter about their culinary capabilities, and laughing and joking every step of the way.
4. Have a movie night
Hosting a movie night is one of the simplest team offsite ideas on this list. That doesn’t make it any less worthwhile though! In fact, less is often more. Easy to organize and super laid-back, watching movies and munching sugary snacks is a lovely way to relax as a team.
Top tip: if you’ll be convening at someone’s house, make life easier on the night by deciding what you’ll watch beforehand. You could ask everyone for suggestions in a morning meeting, send out emails requesting ideas, or run informal surveys.
Of course, another (less budget-friendly) option would be to hire a private theatre at a local cinema. This would turn your movie night into a much bigger event, making it more memorable in the process. You could even set an “Oscars” theme and ask everyone to come dressed to the nines!
5. Host a games night
Games nights always go down well. Good old-fashioned fun, you come together as a group with the sole intention of playing things like board games, video games, charades, and cards. Order some takeout pizzas, open a bottle of wine or two, and you have everything you need for an entertaining evening!
Similar to movie nights, you can host these events at someone’s house or hire a conference room somewhere. There’s no right or wrong approach, but the latter option’s often preferable for larger groups. Likewise, ask what people want to play beforehand! This should help to get everyone’s buy-in, which will contribute to the event’s success.
It’s worth noting that game nights are suitable for virtual teams too. While you can’t play all the same games, you can still meet via video call for things like online murder mysteries and digital scavenger hunts! Our article on trust-building activities contains a section full of virtual games you might also enjoy.
6. Spend a day at the beach
Everyone loves a day at the beach, so why not grab your swimsuits and snorkels, pack a cooler full of food and drinks, and carpool down to the nearest stretch of sand?! It’s a brilliant way to unwind as an office team; to take a break from the stress of work and focus on building relationships.
You don’t need to be near the ocean either. Your business might operate inland, in which case you could spend a day at the local lake, next to the river that runs through town, or on any other body of water where there’s a recreation area.
The main thing is to take everything you need for an enjoyable afternoon – towels, chairs, balls/games, things to eat/drink, etc. If there are public grills available, you could even combine this company offsite idea with the BBQ we suggested earlier! Just consider asking the local parks and recreation department if you need to reserve a spot in advance – especially if lots of people will be coming.
7. Arrange a night out
A night on the town won’t be appropriate for every work team. However, there aren’t many better ways to bolster workplace bonds! Teammates get to know each other in a totally different way. They let their hair down and have a dance – striking up friendly conversations and learning more about one another at the same time.
Depending on your tastes, you could play pub golf, do a traffic light party, dress up in your very best disco outfits, or go on a bar crawl. Or, for a slightly less raucous affair, why not book a table at a fancy downtown bar, using the company credit card to buy some drinks and finger food for everyone? Whatever you do, a night out with colleagues promises pure and unbridled fun (hangovers notwithstanding).
8. Do karaoke together
On the subject of fun nights out, don’t forget about karaoke! Bars and other venues nearby are sure to do it. Failing that, you could host a karaoke party of your own – buying food and drinks and renting a machine and screen to display the lyrics.
Just remember that karaoke divides opinion! While some people love nothing more than getting up on stage to sing classic songs at the top of their lungs, others can think of nothing worse.
That’s why we suggest talking to your employees before committing to this particular team offsite activity. There’s definite value in encouraging co-workers to step outside their comfort zones, but you don’t want a mutiny on your hands! If it’s going to make everyone too unhappy, consider doing something else instead.
9. Have a field day
Looking for an active company offsite that’s cost-effective, easy to organize, and has team-building at its core? A company field day could be just the ticket. We like this idea for various reasons, but mainly because it’s so accessible. All you need is a few basic pieces of equipment and a large open space, such as a public park.
Here’s a list of popular field day games and activities to try:
- Egg toss
- Three-legged race
- Wheelbarrow race
- Sack race
- Egg and spoon race
Getting the team together and channeling your inner school kids is sure to elicit belly laughs and good vibes. Be conscious of any employees with health conditions or impairments though. Wherever possible, arrange activities that everyone can enjoy.
10. Host a pool party
Pool parties boast a similar summery feel to BBQs (and tend to go hand-in-hand with them too!). Everyone’s there for a good time, which makes the atmosphere light and laid-back. Music plays, people hang out, and the only things to do are sunbathe, swim, and partake in pool-based games.
In other words, these parties contain all the ingredients for a top-notch team offsite! It’s in these sorts of environments that colleagues turn into friends.
The only potential pitfalls of pool parties are that someone a) needs a swimming pool and b) has to be willing to invite their colleagues over. Assuming you’ve got those boxes ticked, though, you’ve got nothing to worry about. And if you don’t? There should be some companies in your area from which you can hire a pool.
11. Do an escape room together
Escape rooms have become classic company offsite activities in recent years. And for good reason! They’re exciting, adrenaline-fuelled, and require both creative problem-solving and teamwork to complete. Here’s how they work:
You and the team get locked in a room. Your job is to escape from it as quickly as possible by solving a series of puzzles that lead you to the key. The catch? There’s a time limit! If you fail to decipher the clues in time, then you lose.
As you can imagine, escape rooms can be stressful experiences! But it’s the good type of stress – the kind that leaves you giddy, giggly, and excited. Even better, it forces colleagues to focus on the task at hand and work closely together to succeed – skills and lessons that transfer directly to the office.
12. Try Geocaching
Never heard of geocaching? Think of it like hide and seek for adults. Except that instead of searching for people, you’re hunting for objects. Or, to be more specific, for caches – stashes of items (known as “swag”) that have been stowed away for someone (a “geocacher”) to find with their trusty GPS tracker.
Essentially a global treasure hunt, there are now over 2 million of these caches waiting to be found around the world. If you’re looking for a creative company offsite idea, then why not give it a go?
After creating an account with Geocaching, you can see where caches are hidden in your area and set out as a group to find them. With problem-solving, exercise (many caches require a reasonable hike to get to), and a sense of mystery involved, this is a unique activity that your team’s sure to enjoy.
13. Arrange a Scavenger hunt
Many of these company offsite ideas hark back to childhood fun and games, right? Field days, beach days, movie nights…they’re all things you probably did with friends and schoolmates as a youngster! This is no coincidence.
These types of activities evoke a sense of nostalgia that promotes engagement and rekindles that youthful energy – the carefree spirit, creativity, and playfulness. Similarly, those childhood activities brought you closer to your peers and put smiles on your faces, which is the sole purpose of a company offsite.
Scavenger hunts are a prime example of this. They take time and effort to organize, but you’re guaranteed to have a good time. After dividing employees into teams, they have to decipher a series of clues to find pre-hidden items. Whether you do it at the city zoo, a local park, or somewhere downtown, you’re all outside, working together, and joking around from start to finish.
14. Do something cultural together
Missing a bit of culture in your life? Why not take your team to see an exhibit at the local museum or art gallery? Alternatively, you could get dolled up and enjoy a night at the opera? Or, if that doesn’t appeal, then there are always ballet, orchestra, musical, and theatre productions to see!
These types of cultural activities tend to be most accessible when you work in big cities. But not always. And, even if you’re miles from the nearest cultural pursuit, going on a group outing to see/do it would be a memorable team offsite anyway! You could even hire a minibus or hop on a plane and make a weekend of it.
For certain cultural venues, such as museums, booking a private tour will add to the appeal. You’d have a personal chaperone guiding you through the exhibits, catering to the team’s tastes, and providing deeper insights into whatever’s on display.
15. Do some volunteering
Volunteering may not sound like a natural fit for a company offsite. After all, most people wouldn’t ascribe words like “fun” and “relaxing” to it. But you’d be surprised. Not only does it feel good to do good, but these positive deeds also release a special hormone that promotes bonding, trust, and cooperation between people.
As such, giving back somehow is actually a fantastic thing to do as a team. You make a positive difference in the community and become a closer group of friends at the same time. Ask your employees if there are any causes, charities, or events that are most meaningful to them, then start looking for opportunities to lend a hand!
16. Go hiking
Going on a hike as a team has all sorts of benefits. It’s good for your mind, body, and soul! You’re outside, witnessing and walking through stunning natural landscapes, filling your lungs with beautiful fresh air, and getting a workout in the process.
As for the group dynamic, hiking is an amazing opportunity to get to know one another better. There are no distractions. It’s just you and the trail, which opens the door to candid conversations as well as fun and laughter. Furthermore, there’s no barrier to entry! All you have to do is find a hike in the area that’s suitable for everyone in the group. Pack some water, snacks, and a picnic and away you go.
17. Run a marathon (or other race)
If you’re searching for an idea that’s totally different (and a little crazy), then why not convince your team to run a marathon together?! It won’t be for everyone. But if you work with a bunch of people who are fit, athletic, and up for a challenge, then it could be an awesome way to unite them.
Similarly, it doesn’t have to be a marathon. You might decide a half-marathon, a 10k race, or the couch to 5k challenge is more achievable. Remember, the goal is to get everybody on board, so starting small is often better.
We like this idea because it wouldn’t be a one-off event. You could be training for months in the lead-up to the race itself! This would create plenty of room for fun and team bonding. From going on runs together after work to establishing a viable training plan, you’ll be supporting each other (literally) every step of the way.
18. Go wine tasting
For something slightly less strenuous, consider organizing a wine-tasting tour at a local vineyard! Assuming everyone enjoys this particular tipple, it’ll be a classy, laid-back, and memorable way to spend an afternoon. You’ll be surrounded by beautiful scenery, learning about the different wines and sampling them as you go.
There isn’t much to organize either, which makes it even better. That said, consider hiring transport for everyone to get to the vineyard and back. It’ll make the day feel like a proper team outing and mean nobody has to worry about driving under the influence. Be conscious of peoples’ personal, religious, and cultural beliefs as well. Wine tasting might not be appropriate if someone on the team doesn’t drink.
19. Attend an improv workshop
Improv’s a type of theatre where nothing is planned or scripted. There are no lines to remember or director’s orders to follow. You simply respond to the scene in front of you, speaking off the cuff, and doing your best to keep the scene alive.
If you’re still searching for a creative team offsite idea, we highly encourage you to attend an improv workshop! In it, you’ll be introduced to the art form and guided through various improvisational tasks. Expect the team to feel shy at the beginning, but they’ll soon get the hang of it and reap myriad rewards thereafter.
Indeed, we’ve written an entire article about improv games and their ability to bolster collaboration. The entire premise is around teamwork, positivity, thinking on your feet, and creating an atmosphere where you can fail without fear. Those are powerful lessons to take back to the office.
20. Watch some live comedy
Our final suggestion is to go and see some live comedy together. Another simple yet effective company offsite, there’s something special about spending a relaxed evening chatting, laughing at jokes, and having a few drinks.
Likewise, because a shared sense of humor is a one-way ticket to forming friendships, tighter bonds may grow between teammates. Comedy’s also a useful distraction from the stress of the office. For a blissful few hours, your employees can forget about their targets, the endless tasks on their to-do list, and the difficult clients they’re trying to appease. They can just sit back and enjoy the moment.
Try these company offsite ideas with your team
All work and no play is a recipe for unhappy (and unproductive) employees. That’s why it’s so important to spice up office life with some fun every now and again!
We hope these company offsite ideas will help you do exactly that. Whether you do one or all of them, you’ll succeed in bringing everyone together in a new environment to improve the team dynamic and regain your creative spark.
As we noted earlier, Surf Office is a one-stop shop for organizing a superb offsite for you and your team. With a wide array of retreats available in a huge range of wonderful locations, you’re sure to find something to suit your needs. Get in touch today to find out more.