First Post-COVID Remote Team Retreats Are Happening
With the COVID outbreak, companies put their team offsites on hold. Now, many are planning their first post-COVID retreats, and some have already met.
60% of the companies on Remote Hunt are organizing team offsites at least once a year:
"We get to know each other better beyond work."
"We make memories."
"We build community and get some work done!"
But then came COVID, and many had to cancel their plans.
NextRetreat – a company organizing remote team retreats – asked 160 companies last year about their plans, and 55% of teams said they had replaced team retreats with various types of online activities.
But when are we ready for in-person team offsites again? This is what Remote Hunt's community thinks:
"I'd love to do a retreat in 2021, but since I myself have flown 2 weeks ago from Belgrade to Tel Aviv, and it was a nightmare, and both Belgrade and London are currently in a lockdown, I'd say it's a bit early for planning retreats… So I think we'll start working on it around July."
"Yes, we have actually planned our first post-covid retreat in August! Conditional on some things, but we are planning it expecting that we will be able to pull it off."
"At this point, we're tentatively looking at September 2021 to host this retreat, but this is still very much up in the air since it's hard to tell what the state of things will look like at that point in time."
The first post-COVID team retreats are happening
I saw on Twitter a photo of what seemed to be a classic remote team offsite.
And so I emailed Replit and asked about it – here's our conversation.
Where did you meet?
We met our team at Denver International Airport and immediately headed out in transportation vans to The Mountain Resort in Estes Park, CO.
From which locations did people fly in?
People flew in from numerous cities including Toronto, San Francisco, New York, Jackson Hole, Reno, St. Louis, and Cincinnati.
How long was your retreat?
Our retreat lasted for 4 days.
What did you do? Was it work + fun? What were some of the activities?
The retreat consisted of an arrivals cocktail party, a kickoff/learning day ending in a barbecue and party, an "Unconference" day with dinner at a rather fancy restaurant, and a ghost tour of The Stanley Hotel where the moving "The Shining" was filmed, a full day of fun including choices of a Jeep Tour in the Roosevelt National Park, a white water rafting tour, as well as a spa day at a local spa.
The evening culminated in a team dinner overlooking the lake at the Mountain Resort.
I hear a lot of stories about how remote teams book an Airbnb. Was it the same for you or something else?
The team was split among 10 cabins at The Mountain Resort complete with barbecues, full kitchens, porches, and hot tubs.
How much trouble was with the COVID restrictions?
The resort took fantastic measures to make sure everyone was safe, the property was clean and routinely disinfected, and tons of hand sanitizer at every turn.
We also required vaccinations or PCR-negative tests of all our employees and provided them with branded face masks and COVID-safety protocols, instructions, and expectations.