6 Great Ideas for Off-Site Team Building Activities and Why They Are Important

Even Remote Workers Want Off-Site Events

The latest team building trend to rule them all: off-site team building activities. Once considered a major perk for major companies that could afford to fly employees to a retreat, off-site team building has morphed. As the New York Times puts in a recent article, “For Workers Who Are Never on Site, the ‘Off-Site’ Still Beckons,” Zoom and hybrid events have sprouted up everywhere as off-site options.

So why do hybrid workplaces and remote workers value off-site activities so much if they are rarely or never “on-site” to begin with? Here’s a look at the trend of off-site team building, plus some off-site team building ideas for your team.

The Off-Site Beckons

Watson Adventures Team Building Scavenger Hunt

Off-site team building, according to the New York Times, can be “broadly defined as team-building or strategizing events that occur beyond the scope of regular office work.” Where once high-power, high-growth companies touted lavish retreats as employee perks, “during the pandemic, they have taken a turn for the tamer: remote trivia. Virtual escape room.”

And whether the off-site activities are in person or virtual, they matter even to hybrid and remote employees. “Managers are betting that off-sites will help their workers feel invested even when a remote job can feel like little more than an abstracted paycheck.” And as one expert added, planning off-sites for remote workers “could be a fantastic opportunity to reinvigorate them and motivate them—and realign them with your mission or values.”

Turning to the Experts

Companies that normally focused on in-person retreats, and those for which such events were out of reach, all found themselves navigating a strange new world of virtual off-sites. And so they have turned to experts with experience planning virtual events of any size.

Experts like Watson Adventures, in fact. We offer a wide array of virtual team building activities and online games, many of which predated the pandemic. We know how to keep hybrid teams happy, and what to do if your co-workers have never met. And that’s a good thing! Because even among companies that are used to planning off-site activities, the New York Times points out that “many leaders are stumped about how to plan a viable virtual event without outside help.”

Ideas for Off-Site Team Building Activities

Woman using VR headset

No one event fits every company or group, so it’s important to consider a variety of activities. One of these ideas for off-site team building is bound to suit your team:

  • Virtual Reality Rentals: Companies like Virtual Reality Team Building let you rent VR headsets for remote and in-person team building activities, including VR escape rooms.
  • In-Person and Virtual Picnics: Maybe your group is ready to get together, but not quite ready to do so entirely indoors. Find a great spot to host a picnic—think Central Park or Governors Island in New York City, or Millennium Park in Chicago—and plan a low-stress, potluck picnic. Or bond with remote colleagues over a Zoom picnic. No work talk allowed (within reason)!
  • Airbnb Experiences: Groups can book in-person events hosted by locals in their area. Or for virtual off-site team building, you can choose from countless online experiences around the world, from following a “plague doctor” through historic Prague to speaking with Olympic and Paralympic athletes.
  • Arcade Bar: You might think arcade bars are just for 20-somethings, but they make great spots for small-group team bonding. Colleagues who love old arcade games or pinball can bond over those, while everyone else can bend elbows and chat over snacks. And arcade bars often have silly multiplayer games, like four-person Pac-Man, that even non-gamers can enjoy.
  • Escape Room in a Box: Send everyone in your group a boxed escape game, such as Exit the Game, and play together in teams. Unlike with a physical escape room, you can take your time playing over Zoom, enjoy a beverage at home, and generally bond without pressure to be the first to “escape.”
  • Watson Adventures: Whether you’re looking for in-person or virtual activities, our games can accommodate any group size: from a handful of players up to hundreds of participants. Solve virtual murder mysteries, explore museums and landmarks in your city, and much more.

Find More Off-Site Fun

Contact us to learn more about our virtual team building activities and online games, as well as our hundreds of in-person scavenger hunts.