Office retreats are not just an excuse to get away from the workplace. If you run them correctly, they can create a tight-knit group of colleagues who can achieve success together. The games you organize for your office retreat can vary according to your goals. Make your retreat a winner with games that break the ice, develop trust, foster useful workplace ideas or simply focus on fun.
Breaking the Ice
Icebreaker games help to build the familiarity between staff members, which is especially important if your group doesn't have a close relationship or is full of new members. Have each person tell two true facts about herself and one that's untrue, and then invite people to identify the lie: Or, have your team members name their favorite items across topics such as food, movie, music and hobbies. You can also divide your team into pairs and have them interview their partner for a few minutes, before switching roles and then, eventually, changing partners.
Games that develop and bolster trust between colleagues can transform the attitude of your office. Play the minefield walk, in which you divide the group into pairs, blindfold one person and have her partner guide her verbally though a obstacle course full of "mines" that the blindfolded person has to avoid: Or, play the eye-contact game. In this game, partners must maintain solid eye contact with each other for 60 seconds. Although doing so can initially feel awkward, the result is often a stronger, trusting bond with the other person.
Focus on Fun
Many of your office retreat games have a specific goal, but don't shy away from activities that simply emphasize fun. After all, the time spent away from work should be entertaining for you and your staff. Organize a photo scavenger hunt -- list 50 items around the retreat site, divide the staff into groups of two and send them to capture all 50 items with their smartphone cameras. The first group to successfully find and photograph all 50 items wins a prize. Alternatively, set up a games area featuring table tennis, darts and board games, and invite the group to spend some time playing games during downtime. This idea is especially useful at weekend retreats, during which the participants have more unscheduled time.
Get the Creative Juices Flowing
Include a component that allows your employees to pitch business ideas to the management team. Divide the staff into groups of five and give them an hour to brainstorm, develop and present an idea that can increase productivity in the office or improve revenue. To keep the pitch from feeling too much like work, invite each group to present its idea in an original way, such as through a short drama production. The collaborative energy this activity generates can help the team feel united with management.
- Photo Credit Jon Feingersh/Blend Images/Getty Images
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