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Our best tips to organise a great company offsite

There’s nothing quite like having a remote team brought together for a week of working and socialising, but organising it to perfection can be challenging. In this article, our Operations Manager Mafalda shares some of what she’d like to have been told before organising her first company offsite.

Heavy is the head that plans the event. Yes, I was panicky before and throughout the first company offsite I organised: I wanted it to be the best experience possible for everyone attending. No pressure, right? After a few event iterations, here’s the list of tips I caught along the way:

Be prepared (to drop all plans)

As an event organiser, it’s often hard to resist the temptation to plan everything down to the very minute. Don’t get me wrong, preparing is key. But in the wise words of a colleague when describing company offsites: “It's fun to improvise if things don't work that well”. So, what’s the takeaway? First: not everything will go according to plan, and that’s ok. Secondly: you’ve got your team to rely on, they have your back too.

Don’t overpack the programme; impromptu means magic

I can confidently say that the best moments at a team event often come from the unplanned. In our case, that has meant seeing a game night come to life over cocktails and a starry sky, getting croquet lessons from our Airbnb hosts, going for impromptu walks in the surrounding countryside, putting together a last-minute surfing session, or rushing to see a beautiful sunset together. The fantastic people in your team will help shape the event in ways you couldn’t have planned, so be sure to leave space for that in your programme as well.

Pim and João having a blast playing croquet for the first time.

Charles and João in an impromptu visit to an archaeological site in Alentejo.

Get yourself one surfer in the team and you’ll have an endless supply of great last-minute surfing trips together!

Strike a nice balance between work and socialising

There’s no way around it: for a remote team, the chance to work together in-person can’t be missed. So you should indeed carve out time for your team to have meetings, brainstorming sessions, and overall just sit side-by-side at the same workstation. Having said that, don’t miss out on the chance to socialise. The ideal offsite will always have time for both.

For us, that has meant dedicating most of the day to actual work, interrupting here and there for short team building activities, always having meals together, and saving time in the evening for either structured team activities (themed dinners, murder mystery parties, gameshow-inspired contests), or free time for impromptu activities.

Get everyone to pitch in

Bringing a big group together often means lots of food to cook, lots of dishes to clean, and lots of grocery shopping to do. In our first offsite iterations, the core of the organising fell on the shoulders of a few people. As a Jungler ended up pointing out: “All was great, maybe a bit more division of the work between the organising group and everyone else. It seems kinda intense for you”.

The solution for us? An errands list where everyone has assigned tasks throughout the week. An “everybody does a little, instead of a few doing lots” kind of Notion page.

Survey, rinse, and repeat

Don’t forget to send a post-event survey to collect feedback from the attendees. At Jungle, we’ve done major improvements to our offsites over the years based on everyone’s feedback and ideas, so we definitely find it useful. An example? One of our colleagues spent years and years randomly referencing a specific water park near his home, to the point that it became a full-blown Jungle meme. As a result, we ended up including a visit to said park in one of our offsites, which everybody looooved.

A Jungle meme turned into reality, circa 2023.

In the end, there’s no organising an event for a team if you don’t know what the team wants. So, ask. The ultimate tip? Tailor your offsites to the uniqueness of your team. That’s success right there!

Mafalda Rodrigues

Operations Manager

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