Work retreats are a wonderful way to increase employee engagement, get everyone refocused and build team collaboration. They also provide a opportunity to express appreciation for your team, an essential action in these times. Our hospitality team has some beneficial tips to planning the perfect work retreat:

1. Consider your company’s goals

Look at the goals your organization wants to accomplish throughout the year. This information may come from the human resource department or from department managers or both make sure you loop them into planning! You can then decide how these goals translate into the goals of your employees. Whether it is improved communication, team building, gaining trust, changing the work environment, bringing remote and in-person staff together, or creating a new annual event, keeping your company’s goals in mind is important. For example, if a goal is to increase levels of trust amongst co-workers, you might have a retreat where your staff is placed on teams to rely on one another to win a game or competition. If a goal is to increase camaraderie, you might consider providing food, drinks and music to put your staff in a comfortable position to talk to one another openly and informally.

2. Set your work retreat budget

Your budget will help to define the rest of your planning. Here are some questions to consider:

1. Is this a work retreat for the entire company/organization or is it just for individual teams?

2. How many people will be invited?

3. Do you plan to invest in a motivational speaker or a team building facilitator?

3. Determine the length of the work retreat

For some, a work retreat is a one-day outing, and for others it is multiple days. If you are doing a multiple day retreat, you’ll need to plan our itinerary in advance, and also allow for down time. The retreat spaces offered by TAWANI Hospitality are large enough to allow people to have privacy, but intimate enough to facilitate meaningful interactions. We also offer lodging discounts when you stay 3 or more days.

4. Research locations to host the work retreat

Now that you’ve thought about your goals, budget and timeframe, it’s time to find the perfect location. Here are a few questions to consider:

1. How far do you want to travel? Consider the additional travel costs as well as the additional time that you may be taking employees away from their families.

2. Will the retreat occur at one location, or will you travel to multiple venues?

3. Is the location convenient to transportation?

4. What is the size of your group? Consider the comfort and privacy your team will need on the retreat.

For organizations looking for a retreat space for up to 25 people, Lang House Chicago can provide ample space inside and out to conduct workshops, brainstorming sessions, team building activities and more. Emil Bach House is suited for smaller retreats of 6 – 10 people, and bedrooms for three. This space is often used by small management teams for strategic planning retreats. If you are looking for a retreat to host 50 or more guests overnight, you should consider a larger hotel venue.

5. Plan engaging activities that will achieve your goals

It is understood that you will never be able to please everyone, so appeal to the majority! Think about the types of activities that your employees have expressed interest in exploring. If you are doing a multi-day retreat, choose a different type of activity for each day. Onsite activities could include games led by one of Chicago’s famous comedy groups, wine and cheese tastings, or something as simple as working a jigsaw puzzle together. Be creative- your employees will appreciate it!

Leave the hustle and bustle of zoom and office meetings behind and enjoy the ambiance of historic homes to help inspire employees during your work retreat. In addition to engaging design and interesting histories, each of the TAWANI Hospitality homes has their own dynamic features. Lang House Chicago can accommodate a retreat group of up to about 25 people, with sleeping rooms for 7 or 8 overnight guests. Emil Bach House accommodates smaller, more intimate work retreats, with a combined living/dining room space for 8 to 10 people, and overnight accommodations in 3 private bedrooms. Houses are stocked with complimentary KIND bars, tea, coffee, creamers and sweeteners . To make food options easier, our team has some catering options:

Charmers Cafe

J&L Catering

Big Delicious Planet

Soul & Smoke

We would be more than happy to welcome you and your staff. Please visit the website for more information and contact us to book your customized retreat today!

Planning a retreat can become overwhelming. Use our tips and remember to stay organized!