You may have seen what’s been going back and forth on LinkedIn lately. First, someone writes an honest post about how remote work has changed their life, amassing hundreds of likes. Then someone else responds with a post about how they miss their classmates. As dozens of people wrestle in the comments section, only one thing is clear: the remote work discussion is far from black and white. But with many companies focusing on employee retention and employee turnover since the COVID-19 pandemic, creating a positive work culture and maintaining employee well-being is critical to preventing burnout. At TravelPerk, we’ve been curious about how most companies have handled team building and personal events since the pandemic. We’ve reached out to administrators, office managers, and travel managers to bring you some key collaboration and team building statistics. The professionals we surveyed come from a global range of different organizations, and range in size from 1-25 employees to over 1,000 employees. We asked them what types of events they plan, how they organize those events, and how often they plan to get their teams together. As it turns out, working remotely and seeing your co-workers face-to-face are not mutually exclusive: most people love both! We’ve found that most companies are now organizing more personal events than they have over the past 12 months. Even for remote and distributed teams, “IRL” connectivity (in real life) still matters. Here’s what we learned in the latest Teams Together survey: Key team building statistics for 2022 81% of participants organize more face-to-face events than in the past 12 months Most popular types of events are team lunches/dinners (70%) Most important factor when choosing a venue Event is finding a location close to the office (33%) When organizing team events, respondents are concerned with staying within budget (62%), planning for recreational activities (49%), and ensuring maximum attendance. As much as possible (37%) The hardest thing about event planning is making last minute changes (37%) Most companies organize monthly group meetings The survey included remote, mixed, and all-in-person teams. Our research shows that all of these types of teams come together at corporate events, and most do so on a regular basis. More than a quarter of companies said they would like to meet once a month, while 22% would prefer every three months. Regular events help organizations stay consistent with their team building programs. To build a strong company and team culture, it is helpful for colleagues to know when to expect to see each other in person next. While weekly get-togethers make sense for certain types of teams (9% of survey respondents said they met weekly), most teams find that monthly, quarterly, or semi-annual get-togethers provide the perfect balance between independent work and personal collaboration. Teams love special meals and seasonal events Who doesn’t like to bond over food? Nearly 70% of survey respondents said team lunches or dinners were a popular event choice, while nearly 60% said they plan seasonal parties (such as a birthday party or summer party). But there are plenty of other event options that teams love. Half of the respondents said they plan team building activities, 46% plan social meetings after work, and 44% plan workshops. When choosing the type of event to host, you will need to consider the time, location, importance, and preferences of team members. If you’re not sure what people want to do, consider sending the company a survey to find out. Need inspiration for your next team event? Most companies book business trips on websites designed for leisure travel. Did you know that there are special tools designed to simplify booking business trips? If you answered ‘no’, don’t worry – most companies still use consumer platforms to book their business flights. When it comes to organizing travel, the data shows a similar trend: Most companies don’t use specialized collaboration tools to organize the event, with 79% using email and 58% using Outlook calendar. If this sounds like your company, you will definitely want to look into business trip booking tools. These tools offer many benefits that are exclusive to organizations, such as group booking discounts. Most companies (55%) say they don’t currently get special group discounts when traveling. But a business trip booking program, such as TravelPerk Events, will help your company save money on event travel with corporate booking rates. It can also help you communicate with attendees effectively, without the hassle of long email chains. With TravelPerk Events, you can easily book travel and accommodation, share schedules and activities, and keep everyone informed of changes – all on one easy-to-use platform. To learn more, check out our guide to unite your team, without stress. Find out how TravelPerk makes business travel stress-free. Location can make or break your event When choosing an event location, most companies want to stay comfortable and close to the office. But choosing an interesting site is also a top priority. Nearly 13% of respondents described this as the number one consideration, beating other factors such as price and accommodation options. It can be hard to think of great, affordable, convenient sites that everyone can access. To get some ideas, check out our guides to the 20 best international business travel destinations, and the 15 best places to retreat in Europe. Staying within budget is a top priority Travel managers and executives know how important it is to stay within budget during a corporate event. The cost of venue reservations, transportation reservations, and hotel reservations can actually add up. So it’s no surprise that nearly 62% of respondents said sticking to a budget was one of the top three considerations when organizing a group event. Some other key considerations are planning fun activities, managing attendance, choosing great food options, and finding an exciting location. When trying to stick to a budget, it’s important to make sure your team books travel within your company policy. Business trip booking software can automate the approval process for you, making sure travelers’ trips stay on track, and your event doesn’t end up costing more than planned. Last-minute changes can be a challenge, let’s face it: Organizing a group event isn’t always easy. There are always obstacles that may appear along the way. We asked participants to rate nine potential challenges as ‘easy’, ‘good’ or ‘difficult’. The most difficult factor was managing last minute changes, which 38% of respondents rated as “difficult.” Other obstacles included finding dates that would suit everyone (34%), finding a suitable venue/location (22%), and securing a budget (22%). Fortunately, these difficulties are far from insurmountable – there are plenty of solutions that can help. For example, with TravelPerk’s FlexiPerk program, you can pay a small fee to make any trip refundable and get at least 80% of your money back. FlexiPerk offers an average savings of 40% over traditional flexible pricing, making last minute changes much less stressful to deal with. Key Takeaways and Next Steps In a nutshell, here’s a quick summary of what we learned from the Teams Together survey: In a remote and mixed world, face-to-face group communication still matters. Companies are booking more in-person events than before, as they look for new ways to learn, grow and bond while promoting teamwork. Today’s teams love to travel for company events, especially social events such as lunches and parties. They travel a lot, and many choose to meet on a monthly basis. Companies care about choosing the best locations, planning fun activities, and finding the right food options — but they also face challenges, such as staying within budget and dealing with last-minute changes. Most companies use sites designed for leisure travel to book business trips, although they may lose efficiencies and cost savings. Note: The Business Benefits of Team Building You may wonder if company events are really worth it from a business perspective. Answer: Definitely! Team building events help create a positive work environment where collaborative work can occur. Through icebreakers and other team building activities, great teams can get to know each other better and develop healthy communication patterns, improving team collaboration, employee morale, and job satisfaction. By investing in workplace collaboration projects, such as team building initiatives and events, you will create more engaged employees who use effective workplace communication strategies. The events also provide a great opportunity to reward high-performing and effective teams for good work. According to McKinsey, up to 55% of employee engagement is driven by this type of non-financial recognition. Ultimately, employee engagement and employee satisfaction can affect corporate earnings and profitability. High-performing teams begin with shared culture and values, according to Harvard Business Review, and face-to-face communication can help build that culture in a more direct way than virtual meetings or virtual team building activities. Additionally, according to Gallup, highly engaged business units have better team performance, including 81% lower absenteeism and 14% higher productivity.