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10 Exciting One Day Company Retreat Ideas to Boost Team Creativity

By Preethi Jathanna

Senior Writer for HR and Remote Work

One day company retreat ideas provide an excellent alternative to longer corporate getaways. These abbreviated excursions supply many of the same benefits as weekend or week-long retreats, while also allowing your business to save on time and money. Even though a single day may not seem like a great deal of time, there are actually lots of unique retreat ideas you can execute in just a few hours.

In this post, we have put together a list of some retreat activities for adults to inspire your own organization’s experience, alongside some tips for how to optimize their implementation.

Looking to provide the best retreat experience to your team? We have compiled a thoughtfully curated list of the best company retreat locationscorporate retreat planners, company retreat agenda templates, and best executive retreat ideas to help you curate an unforgettable experience for your team.

Our article on corporate retreat gifts offers ideas on choosing gifts that serve as a token of appreciation. Additionally, explore our virtual retreat ideas, corporate retreat activities, luxury corporate retreats, small business retreat ideas, all-inclusive corporate retreats, and executive burnout retreats uncovering how these retreats can restore your well-being and improve overall productivity.

For more inspiration, have a look at our comprehensive resources on creative company retreat themes, stories of companies that have successfully organized corporate retreats, and the fascinating history of corporate retreats.

1. Why Should You Organize One-day Corporate Retreats?

The primary company retreat purpose is often to reduce stress. Taking your staff on a relaxing day is a good way to combat potential burnout, while at the same time bolstering employee morale and engagement.

Retreats can also facilitate team bonding, improving interpersonal dynamics and teaching soft skills such as communication. On a more directly business-related level, you can also facilitate creative problem-solving sessions and reinforce company culture. 

Drilling down into one-day company retreats in particular, these are beneficial because they can be easily squeezed into people’s schedules, engendering fewer logistical challenges. The reduced cost and time commitment also means you can hold one-day retreats more often, so that they function as a regular reset opportunity.

2. How Can You Create an Ideal One-day Retreat Plan?

2.1. Create a Schedule

The first step of any one-day retreat is to plan the date and settle on precise timings. Usually, you can fit any retreat activities into your normal working hours, so they shouldn’t be too disruptive to people’s schedules. However, letting people know in advance means that participants can ensure they don’t arrange meetings or tasks for that particular day.

2.2. Choose a Suitable Location

The focus of your event will dictate the kind of location you choose. If the day is at least partially going to include company retreat topics related to troubleshooting business challenges, then you may want to find somewhere that has presentation facilities. If the goal is purely to get your team out into a soothing natural setting, all you need to do is find a suitable nearby park or open space for hiking. 

2.3. Consider Participant Preferences

If you want everyone to enjoy themselves, take the time to send out a short employee survey using an app like Survey Monkey, asking for input on your one day company retreat ideas. Especially when organizing a staff retreat for small staff numbers, it shouldn’t be difficult to accommodate everyone’s requirements, so that each person has a maximally enjoyable experience.

2.4. Incorporate Engaging & Fun Activities

Keep your team engaged by including items on the itinerary that encourage active participation. This could range from simple icebreaker games to scavenger hunts – anything that keeps people stimulated. Remember that one of the principal aims of a company retreat is to help people relax and reset, so try and have at least some fun activities on the agenda.

3. 10 Best One-day Corporate Retreat Ideas

3.1. Indoor Activities

3.1.1. Yoga Classes

You don’t even have to leave the office to organize yoga classes for your team, though taking them to a purpose-built studio is often a good idea if you want to bolster the relaxation-associated benefits. Yoga has been shown to benefit both physical and mental health, providing staff with a tool for reducing stress and anxiety. It can also address any company objectives your company has around promoting wellbeing in the workplace.

3.1.2. Cooking Competition

A cooking competition encourages creativity as well as teamwork. Find a venue that offers a kitchen space with multiple workstations, then divide your staff into groups. As part of the competition, you can either have the different groups all make the same specific item, or you can ask them to come up with their own dish or menu according to a particular theme. If you need more inspiration, check out TV shows like the Great British Bake Off or MasterChef.

3.1.3. Movie Screening

Something as simple as a movie screening can be a fun social activity to bring people together. As an added bonus, it is also incredibly easy to organize. All you need is a projector, some popcorn and/or pizza, and plenty of comfy seating. Solicit staff for suggestions or pick a classic workplace movie like Office Space, 9 to 5 or Clerks. If you want to level up the experience, consider hiring out a private cinema space for an afternoon.

3.1.4. Scavenger Hunt

One of the more active one day company retreat ideas, a scavenger hunt gets staff working together to complete a series of tasks. It can include list items that you come up with yourself (here are some ones to get you started), or you can hire a professional company that specializes in creating scavenger hunts to run the whole thing for you. Either way, the activity is a fun format to promote problem solving and teamwork.

3.1.5. Karaoke 

A perennially popular recreational idea for company outings, karaoke encourages staff to loosen up and have fun together in a relaxed environment. Aside from being great for team bonding, karaoke can also be a positive way to get employees to let off steam during a challenging business period. Hire out a private room for the ultimate team experience, though you can also arrange to attend the weekly/monthly karaoke night at the local bar. If you plan on making karaoke a regular feature at your office, you could even purchase some basic equipment to use in one of the company’s meeting rooms.

3.2. Outdoor Activities

3.2.1. Wine Tasting

Nothing helps relax inhibitions better than a bit of booze, and a wine tasting is the most sophisticated kind of alcohol consumption. As one day company retreat ideas go, this one combines fun, socializing and education. Staff learn about different grapes and broaden their palate, while simultaneously getting to know their colleagues better in a casual setting.

If you happen to be located near a wine-growing region, you can organize an excursion to visit the source. Alternatively, there are a number of companies that can arrange for wine tastings either in specially designed spaces or even at your office.

3.2.2. Hiking/Trekking

There’s almost nothing more soothing than the great outdoors. Take your employees on a trip into nature, exploring some of the best beauty spots your local area has to offer. Hiking has been shown to improve cardiovascular health and combat the impacts of the sedentary lifestyle that has become a major risk factor for disease in the modern working world.

Promoting hiking or trekking as a company activity is a good way to ensure staff remain healthy while also achieving any wellness targets your company has instituted.

3.2.3. Picnic

One of the most classic one day company retreat ideas, the office picnic is such a staple of corporate life, it can be found in numerous TV shows, from The Office to Malcolm in the Middle. Your picnic can be themed or open, in a public park or at a private venue. For larger corporate gatherings, you will probably want to hire a caterer, but smaller teams can organize a potluck. You can organize team-building activities and games that encourage interaction and collaboration among employees.

Classic picnic games like sack races, three-legged races, or scavenger hunts can be included to foster teamwork and friendly competition.

3.2.4. Volunteering

Ostensibly not as fun as some of the other one day company retreat ideas on this list, volunteering can deliver a deeply meaningful experience that addresses your corporate social responsibility (CSR) goals. Select a cause or organization that aligns with your company's values and mission and also consider the interests and passions of your employees to ensure their engagement and enthusiasm.

Some of the most common volunteering options include things like cooking for the homeless, cleaning up litter at a local park or beach, or spending a day mentoring disadvantaged groups.

3.2.5. Team sports

Team sports are one of the best one day company retreat ideas if you want to build camaraderie. There is a huge variety of activities you can incorporate into your sports day, from tugs of war to a friendly game of football.

For more unusual pursuits, you can hire equipment, or visit a venue that offers activities like zorbing, paintball or laser tag. 

4. FAQ

4.1. What do you do at a company retreat?

There are lots of activities you can incorporate into a one-day company retreat, from indoor pursuits like karaoke and cookery, to outdoor fun like scavenger hunts and team sports. Decide upfront what your objectives are and whether you want to incorporate brainstorming sessions and motivational speeches into the schedule.

4.2. How do I prepare for a work retreat?

Start by setting a clear budget, then decide upon what kind of activities you want to include on the agenda. Consider asking your staff for their input about what they would like to do. Once you have the outline down, you can begin to confirm exact timings, venues and logistics.

4.3. How do you plan a small team retreat for a day?

When it comes to small business retreat ideas, you can usually manage the details in house. However, for larger teams, you might want to turn to an experienced corporate retreat planner. This will take some of the pressure off your in-house resources and transfer it to a safe pair of external hands.


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