HR & Management

Five alternative corporate away days to shake things up

10 min read

07 August 2015

Real Business has teamed up with corporate events business Chillisauce to have a look at some ways of bucking the traditional away day trends, such as paintballing or an obstacle course, in favour of more imaginative and memorable experiences.

Corporate away days encourage employees to demonstrate their willingness to learn new skills and show a companies care about an individual’s broader development. 

A corporate away day can be organised for any number of reasons and to meet a variety of objectives, but ultimately it should benefit both the employees and the business. Individuals should not only enjoy the activity, but learn something from it, which they can then apply with results back in their working environment.

Stuntman training

The fun bit:

You’ve probably watched all the bar-room brawls, shootings and spectacular stunts expertly choreographed in the movies and wondered just how it’s done. Well now there is the opportunity to join a hands-on workshop on the various fascinating and exciting aspects in the life of a Hollywood stuntman. 

Held at the legendary Pinewood Studios, where James Bond and countless other blockbusters have been filmed, this day includes the group being trained by the men responsible for those show stopping stunts. The central theme of the course will be the knock ’em down, drag ’em out fight scene, the backbone of any good action movie. 

By the end of the day the team have insider secrets on how to fire a variety of semi-automatic and automatic guns and smash bottles over people’s heads.

The corporate angle:

A corporate away day like this might be action packed and thrilling on the surface, but it can also help achieve a number of outcomes with positive effects not only on the individuals of the team, but on the business too. 

An activity like this would be perfect for developing trust between employees, improving focus and boosting confidence. A corporate away day that can help implant courage can lead to individuals having more self-esteem in order to cope with different situations at work better. 

This type of event could be perfect to help individuals feel confident about embracing an upcoming change, encourage them to be more decisive in decision making or be a great way to introducing new staff to the team after a recent recruitment drive.

Read more about team building:

BBQ masterclass

The fun bit:

An extravaganza of smoke, fire, food, and camaraderie – an exciting opportunity for any team to fully learn and understand the art of barbecuing in a fun and friendly way.

This BBQ class takes place under the supervision and guidance of a barbecue expert who was crowned the British barbecue champion three times and has even cooked for the Queen. 

In this unique “Hells Kitchen” style event, groups will be split up into teams and BBQ battle against each other to cook up something special. With expert tuition, each group prepares to design and create a range of unique dishes for three delicious courses, all of which (including desserts) will be cooked on the BBQ.

The corporate angle:

Food is a great way to bring people together and this event is all about having fun and interacting with colleagues and learning new skills. For businesses that love to inspire creativity, create a culture of fun competitiveness or want to provide a focus on skills such as planning, organisation and delegation, this type of activity could work perfectly. 

It could suit a company that wants teams to understand that despite working separately, they are working towards a shared goal or to showcase the importance of prioritising and timing, if a group is about to enter their busiest quarter.

Read on to find out how corporate away days are now leveraging former football pros and a prisoner of war camp.

Play with a legend

The fun bit:

How about a game of football with someone who played for one of the top clubs of the premiership and represented their country, followed by going for a drink with them.
Teddy Sheringham, Matt le Tissier, Chris Kamara, Paul Merson, Ray Parlour, Des Walker, Tony Cottee, Dietmar Hamann, Dion Dublin and Rob Lee. No matter where anyone’s footballing loyalties lie, there is a player on the roster to give any team a day they’ll never forget. 

Games last between 30 minutes and 90 minutes, and after a team photo everyone will head to the bar for a few drinks, some post-match analysis and a few stories that won’t be found in a book.

The corporate angle:

There are often comparisons between the sport of football and business. The game holds a lot of similar principles including teamwork, passion, hard work, effective management, the list could go on. 

This has to be one of the more unique activities available for corporate events, as it has previously never been offered before on this scale. This could be a fantastic incentive to reward teams for high achievements or hitting targets. It could also be an opportunity to improve communication, encourage employees to think tactically or strengthen roles and relationships within a team. 

The English premiership is the pinnacle of football, so this could also be a memorable way to entertain overseas guests, with ex-players from some of the most world renowned teams.

Going for growth

The fun bit:

If social responsibility is a company priority then “Going for growth” is an exciting activity that gets teams to reflect, give back and play their part in having a positive impact on the environment. Armed with a range of team tasks, maps, satellite navigation units, spades, shovels and tree saplings, the clock is ticking as teams work together to find the secret location and get their trees planted. Teams may find themselves undertaking anything from working out their carbon footprint to creating a crazy eco vehicle from junk.

The corporate angle:

An event that incorporates orienteering can be perfect for introducing staff to a new area when offices are relocated. It could also be a great opportunity to bring in new personalised messages of new procedures or commitments regarding social responsibility. 

In general, it’s a nice way to remind people of their impact on not just the world but with each other and to celebrate how far a company has grown. A more quirky reason for an activity like this could be to celebrate a 2nd or 5th anniversary, as they are associated with paper and wood.

Dangerous days out

The fun bit:

A prisoner of war (POW) camp lies deep behind enemy lines surrounded by hills, valleys and fields patrolled by hunter packs. An elite team (yours), were captured for one purpose: To escape the camp, rescue a downed pilot, smash the enemy, and make it back to friendly lines. 

On the run in enemy territory you will be evading search teams, spotter drones and snipers. The mission is suitable for all anyone who wants to break from the norm and test their courage.

The corporate angle:

Another action packed corporate away day guaranteed to keep teams engaged. This type of activity requires strategic thinking, leadership and a lot of teamwork. It could be the perfect fit if an objective is to merge two teams in the office, to bring them together and give them a shared goal to work towards. 

It could help develop or advance skills in problem solving, brainstorming and communication. One option could be to split teams into two, the captured and the rescuers, after the mission is complete, the teams could review the successes and fails together then swap, with the new mission of completing the task faster and better.