Simple Ideas for Office Getaways

Julie Shenkman
Posted by in Human Resources

Holding office retreats or office getaways is a great way to strengthen teams and support innovation. The simple act of leaving the office often helps people look at problems in new ways and generate new ideas and solutions. Office getaways are also ideal for team building activities, leadership training and other employee motivation programs. Use these simple ideas to plan your next office getaway.

If you are looking for a low-cost office getaway, think no further than your local park. Even something as simple as taking a Friday off to go to the park, play softball and enjoy a picnic lunch is enough to refresh and recharge office members.

For a more structured office getaway, look for local groups offering ropes courses. These courses come in two forms: high ropes and low ropes. The low ropes course is the simpler option, as it is designed for people of all physical abilities and does not require special safety training. High ropes are more physically challenging and difficult.

During a ropes course, professional instructors set up problems that team members must solve together. One classic problem involves blindfolding one team member and having other team members lead the blindfolded person to a specific target. Ropes courses, along with similar team building activities such as trust falls, are popular office getaway options that are easy to set up and organize.

For a different type of office getaway, consider booking a group of beach houses or a campsite in a beautiful national park. Give stressed-out office workers a chance to relax, unwind and approach challenging problems with fresh eyes. Try to avoid overscheduling these retreats; instead, give people time to rest and enjoy each other's company. Chances are, they'll quickly begin to share ideas and collaborate on plans.

This type of retreat setting is so beneficial to critical thinking that some companies schedule retreats specifically to hold strategic planning sessions. If you are planning an office getaway specifically for high-level strategic planning, consider booking a resort hotel rather than a campsite, so staff have access to wireless Internet, smart boards and other tools to help them explore and note their ideas.

No matter what type of office getaway you choose, here's how to keep it simple and keep everyone happy. First, make sure your retreat has a clear mission, whether it is about planning, team building or simply relaxing. Second, make sure your retreat does not leave people feeling more tired than when they arrived. Schedule plenty of time to relax, and deliberately include time for unplanned fun. With office getaways, less is more, so keep it simple and let your team members generate the creative energy when they arrive.

These simple ideas are the foundation of great office getaways. Start looking around for parks, campsites or hotels in your area. Find an option that fits within your budget, and plan a simple office getaway that allows your office members to relax, recharge, reconnect and return to the office ready to get things done.


(Photo courtesy of adamr /


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