When it comes to well-being and teambuilding, companies are investing in big time. Companies perform better, aka make more money when their teams feel better. In fact, research has shown that happy employees are more productive, while unhappy workers actually perform worse. Major outfits such as Uber and Salesforce prioritize team-building for professional and team development. And by team-building activities, we aren’t just talking icebreakers, cheesy games and happy hours around the block. Many companies now take their teams on excursions, such as day trips, and even retreats. While a day excursion is great, retreats are a great way to show your team that you care, as well as accomplish some major team-building and overall professional development.
As research has shown, financial incentives aren’t necessarily the best – and certainly not the only – way to improve your team’s morale. Therefore, companies are getting creative. On-site meditation, yoga, and other wellness activities have surged in recent years, but so have offsite trips. Many professional environments are intentionally not conducive to such socialization, and perhaps you want to keep yours that way! A retreat helps keep the office professional, while still affording your team the benefits of bonding through shared experiences and new perspectives. A retreat, especially somewhere magical, will lift your team’s spirits and improve your bottom line.
Read on for four reasons why offsite team building retreats are majorly effective.
Your team will love reminiscing on the fish dinner they had in Italy or the foibles of ziplining in Costa Rica. One study from Harvard Business Review showed that when teams communicate better with each other – not just with their leadership, but the actual team members – they perform more efficiently. In fact, the most effective socializing took place when the teams socialized away from their workstations. A retreat is a great way for your team to shake off the masks that keep them from bonding during the normal workday.
A retreat is a great way to help your team refocus after a busy season or intense project. As mentioned, taking time off is linked to higher productivity and proven through many studies. It may seem counter-intuitive, but it’s proven that putting work aside for a bit brings about more focus. Overwork and feeling underappreciated causes burnout, which leads to lower productivity. The change of perspective and stripping away of daily stressors is a perfect way to refocus. Your employees will return to the office reenergized, reinvigorated, refreshed, and ready to tackle new projects.
It goes without saying that the workplace can become a stressful environment. It turns out that stress, in addition to harming our health, also kills creativity, and creativity levels improve drastically when people feel relaxed. The science holds up! Hence why so many companies now have nap rooms, group meditation, and time for employees to take sanctioned breaks. An offsite retreat will help your team members feel more relaxed and also allow for the perspective shifts afforded by travel. Conversations held near the sea are much more likely to inspire innovation than watercooler chat.
Imagine that a highly desired candidate was choosing between your company and another. If they found out that you host an incredible, fun offsite retreat, we’d wager they’re more likely to choose your company because they see that you care about employees. Perhaps one of the biggest takeaways from a retreat, from a team-building perspective, is that everyone feels valued. When you show that you care about their lives outside the workplace, your team members feel more loyalty to you and care more about bringing their best efforts into the workplace. Offsite retreats are incredible morale boosters! This also gives you an edge over your competition.
Go offsite, if you can. While there are many ways to have team building on site, many of the benefits mentioned above involve breaking out of the office environment. Humans are highly influenced by setting, and it’s hard for people to let go and relax in a place associated with “work,” no matter how much they may love their job. If you have a large team or limited budget, consider sending your leadership on an immersive retreat to help them both relax and hone their skills. That energy will trickle down through the rest of your team, and also motivate those on the lower levels of the company to evolve. If people know that incredible retreats are a benefit of getting promoted, it’s highly likely they’ll work harder for those promotions!
In general, retreats are an amazing tool for team-building, professional development, and fun. Reach out to us at Shefari if you’re curious about sending part or all of your team on a retreat!
For many, the idea of wine tasting conjures up images of France or Italy’s Tuscan Sun. But if you’re based in the US, you might want to whet your wine palette without the long flight or price tag. If you’re traveling to the states or planning a group trip on your home territory, consider a visit to a US vineyard! US wine is an attraction in its own right, and no, we’re not just talking about Napa.
Wine tasting and tourism are great activities on their own, but we also love adding a vineyard visit to many types of group or couples’ trips. If you’re looking for something for your bachelorette party itinerary, or even just a way to spice up a weekend adventure, vineyards are sure to please. Equal parts educational and downright fun, most offer tastings and tours of their facilities.
You’ll want to check ahead to see if you should reserve in advance or if you can simply show up. Most vineyards are set in picturesque valleys, so if you can’t make it for a full tour or tasting, consider buying a bottle and enjoying it on the very land where it was grown and produced. Maybe we’re biased, but wine simply tastes better outside.
While Napa reigns supreme, at least reputation wise, for U.S. vineyards, we decided to look beyond its buzz. Below are several U.S. vineyards to visit. Many are in areas that make for perfect group trips or bachelorette parties. Grab your girlfriends, arrange a designated driver, and get going to one of these gorgeous U.S. vineyards… that aren’t in Napa.
1 King Family Vineyards, Virginia
This stunning property is one that beckons you to bring a blanket, group of friends, and stay awhile (with a bottle or two). Take in the Blue Ridge Mountains at this family-owned establishment. The vineyard also hosts polo matches on grounds, and you can enjoy watching horses gallop or take a stroll to the stables for a closer look. Located just 15 minutes from Charlottesville, VA, this is a great vineyard to combine with a trip through Appalachia or in conjunction with a tour of over 33 gorgeous Virginia vineyards nearby.
Where to stay: Charlottesville’s Boar’s Head Inn is a stunning resort that pays homage to Virginia’s rich history. It also has a spa and golf course.
2 Anelare, Washington
The Columbia Valley of Washington rose to wine prominence in the 1980s and 90s (you’ve likely seen or heard of Columbia Crest). Today, nearly 60% of the region’s vineyards are dedicated to full-bodied reds. We love Anelare, whose small production, premium wine is matched by the gorgeous setting of their wine room. This classy venue makes the perfect setting for weddings and special occasions.
Where to stay: Your own decked out airstream! We suggest taking time to explore the Columbia River Valley, which is a beautiful drive from Seattle, at your own pace.
3 Barnstormer Winery, Seneca Lake, New York
The picturesque Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York is another great area for U.S. vineyards. We love this Barnstormer, located in an over 170-year old rustic barn. Inspired by the Barnstormer pilots of the 1920′s, their playful vineyard aims to entertain and provide guests with an unforgettable experience. A team of consultants will give you a tour through the vineyard and tasting room, where you can try 5 wines for just $5!
Where to stay: The Red Kettle Inn Bed & Breakfast. Upstate New York is full of charming B & Bs, we love this one!
4 Grape Creek Vineyards, Fredericksburg, Texas
Of all the things you associate with Texas, we’re willing to be wine Texas’ Hill Country happens to house an expansive wine region. If you’re unfamiliar, Hill Country is a larger area of Texas, (ok, everything is bigger in Texas), that touches both San Antonio and the western portion of Austin. It includes many springs, hills, and interesting flora and fauna. Thanks to the hills, you have valleys, enter wine! As mentioned, the area is massive, so you’ll want to do your research before planning your trip. We recommend visiting Grape Creek Vineyards, a 100-acre Texas hill country estate and winery with romantic Tuscan-inspired tasting rooms. They also host live music and have a restaurant on site.
Where to stay: We recommend Baron’s Creekside, a log-cabin village located near several vineyards.
5 Von Stiehl Winery, Wisconsin
Wisconsin is known for cheese, and since cheese pairs perfectly with wine, you may have just landed on your next wine destination! This historic vineyard is the oldest in WI and its classic tasting room on the National Register of Historic Places. Visit their 10,000 square foot production facility, then enjoy a glass on the outdoor terrace with its relaxing Lake Michigan views.
Where to stay: Hotel Stebbins is a historic, owner-operated hotel overlooking Lake Michigan.
There are so many stunning US vineyards to visit that aren’t in Napa! Interested in booking a wine tour as part of your group trip? We’re happy to help at Shefari.
Did you enjoy this post? Check out our top picks for an ultimate girl getaway… European style.
Ladies, we can’t contain our excitement. To launch our hottest new destination we have partnered with the super cool Indie bridal shop Lovely Bride and wonderfully chic Archer Hotel to bring you the ultimate getaway giveaway (say that five times fast). Grab your spurs and head south to the funky city for this girls getaway in Austin!
Enter to win for you and SEVEN of your gal pals. The winner will receive a two night stay (in two rooms) with luxury accommodations in Archer’s Double King Guest Rooms and our signature leather luggage tags for each girl in the color of your choice. And in true Shefari style, we’ll suggest our favorite boutiques, top brunch spots, and more – in other words, the true art of traveling for the perfect girls getaway in Austin.
Here are the complete instructions on how to enter.
The contest ends November 22, 2018 and the winner will be announced + contacted on November 23, 2018.
Go get ’em, girls!
When it comes to a girls getaway, put a little spin on it! We’re digging these four themed girl trips for what’s sure to be a weekend of fun.
1. Bonding Belles
You’ve been dreaming of sipping iced tea on a porch swing, or mingling with modern-day Rhett Butlers with irresistible accents. Gather the ladies and head South to Charleston for a weekend as true belle besties! Visit the quaint Antebellum sites and enjoy true Southern hospitality.
2. Cowgirls Getaway
Yee-haw! Head out west to Arizona for a true cowgirl’s getaway as your ride horses and drive cattle on the straight and narrow with real ranchers. The great part is, you can do this for an afternoon then spa it another day – or you can stick to it and spend the trip on a gorgeous ranch. The choice is yours.
3. Hex in the City
Oh yes, you heard right. You and your baddest witches can head to Boston where the famed Salem area celebrates the history and mystery of the witch trials and all things spooky through fun tours and activities. This is great in Fall, but also any time of year! And if casting spells becomes a bore, you can park your brooms on Newbury Street for some posh shopping as well.
4. Valley Girls
It’s time to express your inner valley girl. Sonoma Valley, that is. Indulgence is the key word of this trip, from amazing culinary treats to top wines and experts to guide you through delicious tastings and pairings. From large luxe restaurants to quaint family-owned vineyards, there’s something for everyone.