Team Building & Retreats tips
Update on
4/12/2023

One-Day Company Retreat Ideas – Plan the Perfect Event for Your Team

Summary
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Not every company can or wants to spend a week away from the office. As beneficial as they might be, long business retreats may not align with your current goals. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of one-day company retreat ideas to give your team a little breather while cultivating that precious bond. Whether you’re looking to work in a different setting for a day, celebrate a milestone, cement your company culture, or focus on team building, we’re here to share some of our best one-day retreat ideas.


What Are the Benefits of a One-Day Retreat?

The benefits of a retreat, regardless of its duration, are almost too many to count. From its effects on team morale to its role in employee engagement, this practice has a considerable impact on employee welfare and company success.

While many advocate for 3-day+ events at least, there’s something to be said about the price and convenience of a single-day retreat. These short breaks provide some much-needed relief without disrupting work schedules nearly as much. They also require less logistical organization. They can even be a spur-of-the-moment thing if you decide that a quick change of scenery and perspective would do some good.

The briefness of the event doesn’t mean you won’t find countless one-day company retreat ideas. Reach out to TeamOut, apply our tips for a successful retreat, and you’ll have the best time ever!


How to Plan the Perfect One-Day Retreat? Ideas & Challenges

One-day events count among the best small company retreat ideas. They’re cheaper and easier to orchestrate while delivering some of the benefits that make retreats a firm favorite with employees. With that said, understanding how to plan a corporate retreat, big or small, online or in-person, is essential. Here are some aspects of organizing your event that will always require some thought.

Scheduling

What makes one-day company retreats especially great compared to their multiple-day counterparts is that they don’t take nearly as much time and effort to schedule. Unless you’re planning an outing that requires a reservation, you could even have a last-minute one-day retreat. Going hiking, visiting a city, or enjoying a movie night, for example, are all things that can come together spontaneously.

If this is all happening during working hours, your team members should all be available. So if you’re all happy to go with the flow and bring to life your “what if we just spent the rest of the day meditating in the forest”-type ideas, go for it! Just bear in mind that some employees may not be as comfortable with unplanned disruptions, though. And if your team tends to work on time-sensitive projects, then a heads-up would be a good idea.

Booking the Right Venue for Your One-Day Retreat?

Booking the ideal venue depends on the one-day company retreat ideas you decide to actualize. Unless your retreat is entirely focused on work, it might be best to avoid conference centers and large hotels, for example. While these tend to be located near transportation hubs and offer various amenities (wifi, catering, breakout rooms, etc.), they only make sense for business-only events.

Outdoor one-day retreat ideas do well with parks, nature reserves, or farms. These provide enchanting settings and a clean break from your team’s day-to-day routine.

For a hybrid experience, indoor gathering areas such as big co-working spaces have a lot to offer. Some even come complete with kitchens, workshops, arcade game rooms, and more, so you can tackle important issues or work on your company culture while having a great time together.

Team Retreat Venue: Communal Space

Food & Drinks

Food brings people together. That’s why so many one-day company retreat ideas are based on food and drinks!

Having lunch, dinner, or enjoying a few cocktails counts as a nice event in and of itself. You could organize it as part of your day or center your activities around gourmet experiences.

Cooking Challenge

This is one of those small company retreat ideas you could do practically anywhere, even remotely if you chose to.

Divide your team into groups and challenge them to create a meal with specific ingredients. It can be as easy or as difficult as you decide, providing a great opportunity for outside-the-box thinking and team bonding.

You could make up various challenges, from creating meals using only what they can find in their assigned “pantry” to preparing a three-course dinner within a certain time frame.

After the challenge, have a taste test and award prizes to the winning team!

Cocktail-Making Workshop

Hire a bartender to teach your team how to create cocktails, mocktails, or signature drinks. You could have them visit your premises or bring everyone to a local pub.

This is a fun and interactive way to learn a new skill while enjoying some tasty drinks.

Tasting Menu

Set up a tasting menu with small samples of different foods and beverages. Focus on open-mindedness and view this as an opportunity to introduce your team to new flavors and dishes they may not have tried before.

Ethiopian delicacies, all-vegan eats, food and wine pairings, blind tasting… You could even have every participant bring their favorite dish or something traditional to their own culture. It’s a great way to learn more about each other.

Picnic Lunch

Who said delicious meals had to be an indoor experience? Organize a picnic lunch for your team in a nearby park or outdoor space.

Provide blankets, picnic baskets, and a variety of sandwiches, salads, and snacks. Picnics used to be the pinnacle of relaxing activities, and there are good reasons for that! Sitting in good company and enjoying tasty food while basking in the sunlight… Does it really get any better?

Catered Meal

For a no-hassle experience, hire a catering company to provide a delicious meal for your team. This takes the stress out of planning and ensures that everyone will be well-fed and satisfied, ready to face every challenge you’ve got planned for the day.

DIY Food Stations

This one-day company retreat idea fosters happiness and togetherness. Set up DIY food stations where your team members can create their own dishes.

For example, you could have a taco bar, a make-your-own pizza station, or a baked potato bar. This is a fun and interactive way to encourage your team to get creative with their food.


One-Day Company Retreat Ideas

Almost any activity can be turned into a one-day retreat idea. The only restriction is that you need to be mindful of the time and logistics involved. Make sure you plan nothing too far out of everyone’s way if team members are to get there by their own means. The best alternative usually consists in hiring a coach that will collect the entire group at the office and drive them back.


Indoor Activities

If you’re considering indoor activities, booking times and the capacity of the space can require a little planning, so make sure to look into it ahead of time. These constraints addressed, there are so many one-day company retreat ideas you can enjoy inside that it would be impossible to list them all. So here are just a few TeamOut favorites:

Personal Reflection Time or Meditation

This doesn’t have to be a full-day event, but you could include it in a short retreat dedicated to wellness and self-care. You could add massages, aromatherapy, and yoga to round up the day.

Creative Workshops

There are no limits to what you can learn through creativity! Participants will find out so much about themselves and each other.

Art Classes

A day at the art studio is a great way to encourage people to express themselves. Whether it’s about learning new skills or simply enjoying some creative time, it promises to be a fun experience.

Team in an Art Class

Team Trivia

This fun team-building activity can be enjoyed anywhere and makes for a fun rainy-day retreat activity. Team trivia is also one of the best virtual team-building activities out there. Use a game or an app, or make up your own questions to throw into the mix.

Escape Room

Another virtual team-bonding favorite, escape rooms are also one of the top indoor team-building activities you can enjoy on a one-day retreat. Participants must come together and exercise their creative thinking to solve this life-sized puzzle.

Board Games Tournament

Playing beloved board games as a group or getting into new ones is a great way to unite people and work on their collaborative skills.


Outdoor Activities

Getting some much-needed fresh air for a day can sometimes be all everyone needs to feel engaged and excited about work all over again. While outdoor activities may be less restrictive in terms of reservations or how many people they can accommodate, there may be more safety concerns to keep in mind. It’s also best to have the weather on your side, which is something last-minute planning can help with.

Go to a Farm

The Cottage Core trend has your entire team dreaming of spending the day frolicking through the fields, picking apples, and cuddling with farm animals? As one-day company retreat ideas go, the farm has a lot to offer. Head there to relax, eat good food, and (re)connect.

BBQ

If family and friends enjoy it so much, colleagues should too! Seek out a nice location (campsites can be perfect for this) and have everyone bring a few essentials.

Picnic

Another food-based activity that can be enjoyed almost anywhere. Whether you go to the lake, forest, beach, or local park, this quick work retreat will put everyone at ease.

Team Doing A Picinic

Any team sports

One-day business retreat ideas can be as simple as unplugging for a few hours by playing soccer, basketball, baseball, volleyball, etc. Any team sport you feel inclined to partake in will be perfect.

Any form of hike/walk in nature, etc.

Nature has a hugely beneficial impact on our mental health. And walking can be one of the more accessible forms of physical activity. Combining the two makes for a team-building activity that most people can enjoy. Add it to your company retreat agenda!

Charity Work

Community service projects such as cleaning up a park, volunteering at a local shelter, or planting trees can also work as small company retreat ideas. There’s something profoundly uniting in using your time together for the good of others.


Pros & Cons of One-Day Company Retreat Ideas – How Do They Compare to Multiple-Day Retreats?

Once you understand how it works, and with the help of TeamOut, you’ll find that choosing between a one-day team retreat and a multiple-day adventure isn’t about which one is best. It’s more about what your team and your company need right now.

Pros

The pros of one-day retreats:

•   Cost Savings: One-day retreats require less time and resources and allow you to save on accommodation, catering, number of activities, etc.

•   Impact/Involvement Ratio: One-day retreats have a beneficial impact on employee welfare without requiring much organization.

•   Less Disruption: Whisking people away for a single day is less disruptive to work schedules.

•   More Focused Exchanges: Less time means you’ll have to be more selective about the topics you broach, allowing for in-depth discussions.


Cons

Of course, one-day team retreats do have some downsides as well:

•   They’re Short: This can be a good thing, but if your employees don’t know each other very well and you want to focus on team building, you might prefer to do this over several days.

•   Less Variety: With just one day, you’ll have to choose between relaxing or focusing on a specific goal.

•   Limited Choices: Some activities and workshops are only available as part of a longer retreat or are held far enough away that you’ll at least need to spend the night.

About the author
Assia Dalla Vedova
Update on
4/12/2023
Assia Dalla Vedova, a marketing maven with a rich background in tech, showcased her prowess at TeamOut (YC W22), enhancing brand presence and SEO strategy. An ESCP Business School alumna, she excels in crafting impactful digital marketing campaigns and fostering brand growth.

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