By Nick Callos & Tiffany G.
Did you know that 80% of workers feel stress on the job, according to the American Institute of Stress? If that stress isn’t managed properly, it can lead to burnout and loss of productivity, and mental and physical health issues. You certainly don’t want that for your team.
What you need to reduce that stress and increase the happiness of your team members is a way to take their minds off work and let them relax. But how do you do that?
One solution is corporate volunteering activities.
After all, research from Carnegie Mellon University shows that volunteering contributes to stress reduction and can help lower blood pressure. This is because it gives people the chance to connect with others and do something positive–and gets them a break from their daily stress. Other studies find volunteering increases happiness and wards off depression. As the thinking goes, the more we give, the happier we feel. Science proves it.
What’s also notable is that corporate retreats to go volunteer together can build team unity and lead to a happier workplace. This is crucial for your company’s success. As research has discovered, happy team members are more productive.
So, if you want your team to be happy, healthy, and productive, and want your company to make a positive impact, think about getting involved in corporate volunteering programs. Here’s a list of great volunteering programs for you to consider for company retreats:
International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) began in 2007 and has sent more than 95,000 volunteers and interns abroad in their first 10+ years of service. They have high-quality programs in more than 40 destinations all over the world, and are one of the most popular volunteer abroad organizations.
When it comes to volunteering projects for a work retreat, IVHQ has numerous options. For instance, you could volunteer in Greece on the beautiful island of Chios. Projects in Chios include food outreach, kindergarten teaching, and special needs support. Fees begin from just $340 for one week.
Or, you could volunteer in the Philippines on Palawan, a beautiful archipelagic province. Projects include teaching English, math, science, and art at a local school, construction and renovation work, and environmental conservation. Fees begin at just $220 for one week.
Plan My Gap Year offers programs across 17 countries in Asia and the Pacific, Africa, and South America. An award-winning organization, Plan My Gap Year is known for their focus on long-term sustainability and affordable programs.
This organization has numerous programs for company volunteering, including:
- English Teaching in Morocco (from $474 for one week): Teach children English, a crucial skill, and boost their chances at building a bright future. Enjoy the capital city of Rabat with your team during free time.
- Elephant Conservation in Thailand (from $789 for one week): Help care for rescued elephants at a natural sanctuary. Combine your time volunteering with a trip along Thailand’s beautiful southern coast.
- Childcare Volunteering in Costa Rica (from $834 for two weeks): Care for impoverished children and help give them the healthy and supportive environment they deserve. When you’re not volunteering, take your team to explore Costa Rica’s rainforests.
Since 2003, Maximo Nivel has been committed to providing budget-friendly, high-quality programs in Latin America. If you’re looking to have a company retreat in Costa Rica, Guatemala or Peru, Maximo Nivel should be one your first choices.
Take your team to volunteer for an eco-agriculture project in Antigua, Guatemala, where you’ll help local farmers develop a sustainable coffee growing operation. Fees start at $645 for one week.
You could also join a community development project in Cusco, Peru. Build and repair homes, schools, and health clinics. During free time, tour Cusco, a city that was once the capital of the Inca Empire. Fees start at $645 for one week.
Love Volunteers started in 2009 with the goal of offering affordable, high-quality volunteer programs. The organization is incredibly dedicated to transparency in all that they do, and truly focuses on uplifting and improving the communities they serve. For a company volunteering trip, Love Volunteers has several projects across the world worth considering.
For example, the HIV/AIDS support project in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe gives you the opportunity to help children who are either living with or impacted by the disease. Your workers will get to engage in local outreach as well. Fees start at $599 for two weeks.
Want to take your team on a spiritual journey? Volunteer to teach in the Buddhist monasteries and nunneries in Kathmandu, Nepal. You’ll get the chance to teach English to monks and nuns and learn about their deeply spiritual culture and lifestyle. Fees start at $769 for four weeks.
Another great volunteer program for a company retreat is the childcare project in Cherkasy, Ukraine. Care for at-risk and impoverished children in the city, and give them the compassion and sense of hope they need to forge a better tomorrow. Fees start at $285 for one week.
Founded in 1998, Global Vision International (GVI) features programs aligned with the United Nations’ sustainable development goals. Having received recognition for their great projects from the likes of Save the Children and Stanford University, it’s clear they’re a great choice for company retreats centered around volunteering.
One GVI program that would be great for a work retreat is the marine conservation expedition in Mexico. Not only do you get to monitor and preserve the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, you also get to scuba dive and spend time on the beaches. So, the program is fun and impactful–a great combination for a company volunteering getaway. Fees start at $3,895 for four weeks.
Want your team to learn more about how to empower people? Join the women’s empowerment project in Kerala, India, and work on long-term initiatives to give young girls and women equal access to education and opportunity. Fees start from $2,145 for two weeks.
A Broader View is another organization offering a variety of volunteering opportunities around the world. Programs last up to 12 weeks and the application process only takes a couple of days. If you have a limited time to arrange a corporate retreat, this is an excellent option – and you have programs to choose from throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Ready For Your Company Volunteering Retreat?
Volunteering abroad not only gives you and your team a chance to do good and give back, it also provides time to build team unity, rest and relax, and reflect on where you’ve been together and where you’re going. A company retreat to volunteer abroad can absolutely be a transformative experience for your team.
So, don’t wait any longer! Start looking for programs that match your team’s interests and budget today, and start packing your bags. It’s time for the trip of a lifetime.