We live in the hybrid work era. I am sure you agree.

Companies are becoming 100% distributed, meaning they have employees coming to the office on daily basis, others coming just a few days per week or even a month and others coming a few times per year. This is awesome. However, it brings a lot of complexity when it comes to building engagement and culture.

That is why it is of the utmost importance to organize enough on-site events for people in your business to meet up face-to-face and create real bonds.

When you have the great opportunity of having all your staff in the same physical space for some days, you must make the most of it as this is rare. Face-to-face time is super precious and you can get extremely valuable outputs out of it.

Aside from people working with their peers on product work, HR must think strategically about these events; think about those areas of improvement from a cultural perspective, and come up with specific workshops to work on those. I suggest ideally before each on-site event you run a quick engagement survey to know which areas you want to go deeper into.

In this blog post, I am going to share information about examples of workshops you can run with your teams when they are all sitting together in the same office.

Workshop Idea: Values in Action 
Photo by FORTYTWO on Unsplash

Area of focus: company values

Length: 2-3 hours

Complexity: medium


This workshop is wonderful for team members to think about what it is to work in that workplace, what behaviors they see often that they like, and what makes them feel good. It is great if you do an analysis of the active business values before this workshop to contrast information. After the workshop, you will have a better idea of what values people truly practice and like.

Workshop Idea: 10’ Random Talk

Area of focus: bonding

Length: ~1 hour (depending on the number of people)

Complexity: low


The idea is to have a random conversation with someone from the team. You will need to set up the space in a way that there are several stations with 2 seats (get creative here!). You can add tea/juice and sweets to each station. Besides, make sure stations are well scattered so people can comfortably talk and everyone can hear the bell when the time is over.

Each talk should last between 5-10 minutes (flexible depending on the number of people). You can give some topics to discuss or leave it free. This depends on the personalities you have and how much they know each other. If they are mostly new maybe you want to mention topics like where you grew up, hobbies, favorite vacation destinations, fun facts, etc. If people are veterans then you can mention topics such as the best team moments, the most challenging situation in the last 3 months and how you overcame it, skills you are improving at the moment, etc.

In order to do the matching you can do it randomly (half of the people sit and the other rotate), or you can match the people in advance so you try to pair people that do not work together often. 

Workshop Idea: Escape Room DIY (at the office) 
Photo by Ross Sneddon on Unsplash

Area of focus: teamwork

Length: ~2 hours (depending on the specific game you are doing) 

Complexity: high


You have 2 options here;

a) speak to a provider to come to the office and organize this for you. This can be a bit expensive but if you have the budget it can be a good idea.

b) Do It Yourself! Yes, you can create your own escape room. Of course, it will be something homemade so tell the team to set up expectations but it can be very fun as you can customize as much as you want.

Find here some links I carefully selected to get inspiration on how to build your own escape room. Remember this is NOT easy and very time-consuming. Just if you have a big enough HR team and creative people, you should consider this option.

For building the story find some ideas here and for the cues here.

Let’s give an example. Imagine you are planning to introduce a new company benefit for every employee, let’s say company trips as bonuses. The story could be to find out what the next HR perk will be.

Or for example, if you are about to open a new office location, the story could be to find out what the location will be.

Remember it does not have to be specifically an escape room, it could be just a guessing game or Gymkhana type.

Workshop idea: Remember the Future
Photo by Dylan Gillis on Unsplash

Area of focus: development

Length: ~1 hour

Complexity: high


The idea here is that employees think about how they want to see the company and themselves in 1 year’s time as if they were on a trip to an ideal future. They will generate ideas about what features they want to see in the product, what working methodologies they would like to be using, and what skills they will want to acquire.

It is a great game to work on product and professional development. Ideally, this game is played by teams (HR, finance, tech, design) so they can understand the domain.

  1. Create the groups by the team, ideally with no more than 5–6 people to keep it agile.
  2. Explain the game. It is important they understand they need to generate ideas in two areas: domain (work) and themselves (their own skills).
  3. Allow them 20-30 minutes to think about this and write all the ideas down.
  4. Altogether, people will share what they have written down. Make sure there is someone making notes here (if possible!). This will bring in high-value information you want to capture.
  5. As a team, you will encourage a conversation about what are the most interesting domain/product features or behaviors mentioned by the team. Besides, talk about what are the most interesting skills people mentioned they would like to acquire. This is fantastic to guide people in what to learn next based on market value and company needs.
  6. Action points: preferably this workshop does not stay just a discussion. Ideally, the proposed features are taken to the product team for review and the HR team analyses how to leverage the stated skills.

And those are the workshops I tried at some point and worked very well. I hope this is a good inspiration for your next company on-site.

Have fun!