11 Virtual Offsite Activities For 2021

May 18th, 10:23 am

11 Virtual Offsite Activities For 2021

Cambridge dictionary defines retreat as an act of going away from a place to escape from fighting or danger. Same as in our work lives, taking a step back is sometimes necessary. We can assess our current situations and get in touch with our teams outside their daily tasks to face challenges and move our business forward with clear minds.

This list includes:

  • Creative virtual retreat ideas
  • Virtual offsite
  • Virtual wellness retreat ideas
  • Fun virtual retreat ideas
  • Virtual retreat ideas

Best Virtual Retreat Team Ideas

Team retreats are not always about fun, but they are also not all about business. When you’re designing and choosing remote team retreat activities, it’s best to have a healthy mix of a pressing and lighter hour in the entire duration of the retreat. We have sourced 11 of the best and fun virtual retreat ideas that will serve as your guide as you design the best virtual retreat ever.

1. Virtual Game Show

If you’re looking to insert the spirit of competition with fun, then virtual game shows are the best way to do it. This activity compacts a series of virtual retreat games into one, leaving your participants feeling that they are in an entirely new session.

You can host the game show on different platforms like Zoom. You can then choose the activities that you want to play. Assign a fun and engaging host to lead the entire show.

Click here for more details on the Best Virtual Game Show Ever designed to be customized depending on your team’s needs and wants.

2. Virtual Bingo

By this time, you would agree that virtual bingo is a staple for every remote activity for two good reasons. First, it’s a great social game, inviting even the shyest of your participants to strike up a cheer and a conversation. Second, players, whether young or old, can participate. There’s no required mobile effort making it convenient to play for everyone. It’s all-inclusive! 

To start, you can easily find a free bingo card generator, but you can also check this step-by-step guide from Canva on how to make a bingo card. You can then assign a moderator and a host to start the ball rolling. You can easily play this game via Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or on any of your preferred platforms. 

Better yet, you can check our Virtual Drag Queen Bingo with Roxy Wood. The veteran actress’s talent and professionalism spell out fun the bingo way.  

3. Virtual Escape Room Game

Strategic thinking, problem-solving, and demonstrating an ability to think outside the box are just one of the reasons why we love this fun game so much. Together with a team, you overcome challenges and create an experience that you can share even outside of work. It’s an adventure with a time limit, so fast thinking is a must.    When hosting one, work out the theme that will fit with your audience and choose the right mix of puzzles that you will incorporate for the 60-minute challenge. Puzzles can range from math problems, anagrams, or patterns to spot. You'll have to put your creativity on the front line here, but it will be so worth it when you see participants racking their brains up for your prepared pieces. 

Here are some of our virtual escape rooms or Game Shows activities.

4. Dance Lesson

Dancing is one way for you to inject fitness without dull routine exercises. It’s a fun remote team retreat activity that increases one’s body awareness and improves self- esteem. For this to work, you can ask a dance enthusiast from the team to lead the session. You can also hire a professional choreographer if you have a generous budget. Stick to an easy but powerful routine that will still encourage participants to follow but not too complicated to leave them uninterested.

Check out this 15-minute cardio dance routine that you can implement for your team.

5. Group Workout

A happy body is a happy mind; such is the adage that has always been true. According to a United Nations report on remote-based workers, ergonomic issues, work intensity, and blurring boundaries at work affect the physical and psychological well-being of workers. Be picky when it comes to designing a workout session. Having an extensive routine can leave your team feeling exhausted for the rest of the day. You can opt for a simple and quick workout to start rolling those work muscles.

Check out this 9-minute HIIT workout for beginners so you start your fitness journey with your team. If you want to know more on how to unlock your and your team’s fitness moves, click here for our available Group Fitness.

6. Meditation

Overwhelming reactions to work like stress and burnout happens at times. Doing a mindfulness activity once in a while is needed. According to Harvard, practising meditation not only leads to a relaxed and peaceful state of mind but can also have cognitive and psychological benefits. They’ve found that the brain of people who practised meditation had a thicker cerebral cortex than those who didn’t. This grey matter, as commonly known, is the information-processing centre of our brain.

Meditation-related activities can either be yoga, deep breathing exercises, or guided imagery and visualization. Click here for more ideas on how to fight stress and improve mental health.

Here is a link to Mental Health activities.

7. Awards Show

We cannot deny that the feeling of being recognized for your achievements and efforts leaves one with positivity and motivation. Award shows in your virtual retreat incorporate a culture of recognition in the work environment.

It’s also an opportunity for your team members to dress up and have fun. Choose a theme that everyone can relate to like ‘The Great Gatsby’, ‘Oscars’, or ‘Neon Party’. However, you can always insert your creativity and opt for one that's close to your work culture.

Award shows are all about the experience. Hire a fun host to lead this experience throughout the whole event. Be creative with your award names. Insert intermission numbers to entertain your audience. Lastly, choose an appropriate and suitable platform.

Virtual Retreat

8. Virtual Coffee Break

Connecting with your team members is a central goal in a virtual retreat. One great way to do this is by conducting a virtual coffee break. Some companies go beyond by sending their employee gift cards so they can buy their own coffee.

However, you can simply insert a 10 to 15-minute video call where you and your team can socialize. Avoid work-related topics. Instead, focus more on personal questions such as their favorite hobby, weird habits, or favorite movies. You can also break your teams into smaller groups so that everyone has a chance to share and speak up.

Check out these fun icebreaker ideas.

9. Murder Mystery

Similar to escape rooms, a murder mystery game requires problem-solving skills without killing off the fun. Team members get a chance to do a role-playing part to solve a mystery. You can have this game over Zoom or any similar platform.

There are also downloadable packages that are free and easy to. It’s an activity where your teams can show off their creativity and build collaboration.

10. Virtual Open House

One way of getting to know your team members more is to get a glimpse of where they spend most of their waking time – at the comfort of their homes. Teams can show-off parts of their house, their family, or even their pets. This a less expensive but heartwarming way of letting your team members know that you are interested in the outside of their work persona.

11. Singing Bee

This is an engaging remote team retreat activity for all singers and music enthusiast. The singing bee is a game of song knowledge where players guess the missing lyrics of the song. Some variations of the game also include the title of the song and the name of the song artist.

You can easily make slides for this and assign one person or two to do the singing. If played via Zoom, participants can use the ‘Raise Hand’ function to shout out the answer. Mix genres from pop, R&B, soul, rock, to an alternative so everyone has a chance to win.

For more virtual team retreat ideas, check out our post on Games to play on Zoom and Virtual Team Celebration Ideas.

How to Plan and Host a Virtual Offsite

For anyone who has been doing retreats and other events for quite some time, one would agree that planning is 90% of the job and execution is the rest. When leading a virtual retreat, take the project manager hat and be ready to have different sessions with groups of people. Here are some tips on how to successfully plan and host your next virtual retreat:

1. Brainstorm, Brainstorm, Brainstorm

Two heads are always better than one. Get as many ideas as possible from different people to create a huge amount of ways on how to run your event, what virtual retreat games to conduct, and who should be the people involved. Here are some tips on how to facilitate a brainstorming session:

  • Lay out and define your goal.

Set you and your team members mind on what your end goal is in mind. Do you want a retreat where your participants leaving happy and energized? Or do you want them to feel ready and equipped to take on more business matters? Whatever goal it is, make sure that your activities and retreat topics are aligned with your end goal

  • Prepare a proposal and research ahead.

Don’t come empty-handed. Make sure that you have a structured flow of the meeting in mind no matter how informal you want it to be.

  • Choose the appropriate people.

Good ideas come from brilliant people. Extend the invitation for a collaborative session to experts and non-experts alike. You can also put in a mix of team members from different hierarchy so you get perspective from every step of the ladder. You will be surprised at the range of ideas that you can gather.

  • Take notes and be mindful of the time.

Conversations tend to go overboard, especially when at the peak of a discussion. Assign someone to be the moderator and another to record important details from the meeting.

Virtual Retreat

2. Choose a Platform

When deciding where to host your virtual retreat, it’s good to consider the size of your crowd, your budget, and the type of activities that you’ll run. Here are some popular video conferencing platforms that you can choose. Each comes with a free and paid version. Learn more about each platform in our analysis.

3. Make a Program Flow

Speaking from a personal experience, I’ve found this very helpful especially on the day of the event. It’s best to have a guide that you and your team can follow throughout the course of the retreat. It’s also reassuring to know that everyone is on the same page and know what to do next.

Make your program flow specific, simple, easy to read. Include the name of the activity, the duration for each, what materials to prepare, and who will facilitate. This way, should you need to step out for an emergency, anyone can take over by just following a foolproof guide.

4. Form a committee

Obviously, one person can’t run a retreat alone. You’ll need the talent, expertise, and skills of your team members. Be sure to appropriately designate task to each of the committee members and communicate their accountability to hold on to these deliverables.

Pro-tip: The people you invite to the brainstorming session should also be the very people on your committee. They should be involved from the start of the process to the end.

FAQs:

What are the best Practice in a Virtual Retreat?

Take a 3 step approach: Plan out the retreat, create momentum before the event and check your post-retreat progress with some feedback.

We’ve gathered some of the proven and effective practices for you to have a smooth and well-remembered virtual retreat. See tips below:

  • Plan out.

We cannot stress enough how planning plays a huge role in the success of any event, much less a virtual retreat. Dedicating time to the planning process surely pays off in the conduct of the actual event itself.

  • Create momentum.

Company gatherings can sometimes feel dragging, even a retreat. To prevent this, consider changing your activity from time to time. You may start the day with a warm welcome greeting, move to a quick icebreaker or workout, then head over to the brainstorming session. In between the hard parts of the retreat, insert games to break the monotony. You can host a game show or an awards show to cap off a full day.

  • Check your post-retreat progress.

The goal of your retreat should only be realized within the retreat. It should translate to the day-to-day experience of your team members. Take time to do a post-event analysis with the entire committee to check on what went well and what to improve on next. At the same time, you can send a quick survey to the rest of the organization to know how they felt about the event. You can also send virtual retreat gifts as a way of saying thank you for their time and cooperation.

In summary

Organizing a retreat may be a daunting responsibility but it a great opportunity for you to provide a positive experience for your team. It’s also a valuable avenue to connect with the rest of the organization.

Even when working in different locations, a team retreat can still happen. With the existing technologies available, you can have the best virtual retreat you and your team can experience.


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