As more and more remote companies are beginning to organize team retreats now that we are able to meet again, it's important to consider certain factors to make sure your retreat is a success. As someone who has organized 10 team retreats in the past few months, I've learned a few key tips that can help you reach your goals.
First and foremost, WiFi is an absolute must-have. You would be surprised to learn how many Airbnbs and hotels in the US still only have average WiFi. Make sure to have someone run a WiFi test before you arrive at your destination, as 100 mbps is the bare minimum for 10 people. If you're planning on traveling abroad, keep in mind that 100% of the retreats we did in Costa Rica and Mexico had WiFi issues. Most tourist accommodations are not yet equipped to host companies, so make WiFi your top priority when searching for a venue.
Another important factor to consider is the number of bedrooms per person. You may like your colleagues, but that doesn't mean you want to share a bedroom or even a bed with them. This is not a friends' gathering, and everyone has different levels of expected privacy. To make sure people will want to come to your retreats again, you need to meet everyone's requirements for privacy.
When it comes to location, don't book something isolated. You want to be close to cities so that people can easily buy necessities and have access to basic services if they need them. We all have different habits, and things need to be easy. Avoid the Patagonia trek, for example.
Another important aspect to keep in mind is the level of services onsite. A retreat is for working and team bonding, so you don't want to spend hours at the grocery store or preparing meals. Prioritize quality time with your colleagues and delegate tasks to local actors onsite.
Finally, activities are where the magic happens. Employee bonding happens during activities, and this is the part they will remember and tell stories about. Make sure to choose activities that please everyone and consider having them vote on activities ahead of time. Prioritize social-group activities where people will have the most fun. If you choose something intense, such as an extreme sport, make sure to have an easier Plan B option as well.
Overall, planning a successful team retreat requires careful consideration of a number of factors, including WiFi, bedrooms, location, services, and activities. By keeping these tips in mind, you'll be able to create an unforgettable experience that your team will remember for years to come.
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