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What a view! Outsourcing Angel Annual Company Outing 2023 in Batangas City.

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” – Peter Drucker

Joke’s on you Peter Drucker: at Outsourcing Angel, we have both strategy AND culture. 😉

And our happy work culture just got even happier after our Philippines trip! 🇵🇭

After three long years of travel restrictions, our Aussie and Philippine team finally reunited on an amazing four-day retreat for our annual company outing. Our amazing virtual assistants and admin team flew and rode in from different locations all over the country this November 2023—and we all met at the wonderful Shercon Resort and Ecology Park at Barrio San Sebastian, Batangas City. 🌲

For a 100% remote team like ours, meeting each other in person for this trip was just surreal. There were lots of hugs, laughter, and tears. We have a gazillion shaky videos as proof! 🤣

👉 Related: The unique ways we build our strong remote work culture (plus 6 tips)

If you continue reading this article (which you should 👀 ), you’ll find out:

Let’s get right into it!

7 Fun Activities For Remote Team Building

From Zoom to ziplines. Our team went ziplining and rappelling at the wonderful Shercon Resort and Ecology Park in Batangas City, Philippines.

Karaoke time! It wouldn’t be a Filipino gathering without belting out tunes with a karaoke machine.

Our entire team is used to meeting through a screen, so when virtual became real-time interactions, we didn’t hesitate to make more memories and spend quality time in person! 💗 This time, there were even new faces at the company outing, since our team is just getting bigger and bigger.

👉 Related: Read about our first-ever company trip here

Aside from ziplining, dipping into the pool, and doing TONS of karaoke, the fun team-building games immediately brought out our competitive sides on Day 1. 💪

Here are 7 easy games you can also organise for your own company outing for awesome remote team building:

Team Building Game 1: Create Your Own Cheer

Ready, set, cheer! The first team-building game had the teams all pumped up on Day 1.

At our company outing, we divided ourselves into two groups (White Knights and Black Ninjas, based on our company shirts. 😆) And when our hired facilitator told us to also come up with cheers and choreography, we went straight to crazy planning mode!

How to play:

Step 1: Split everyone into 2-3 teams, depending on your numbers.

Step 2: Create a simple judging criteria based on uniqueness, audience impact, etc.

Step 3: Give each team markers, cardboard, or any prop they can use to jazz up their cheer. (Black Knights grabbed the karaoke microphone, as you can see in the image above!)

Step 4: Teams practice their cheer for 5 to 10 minutes. It could be a chant, a dance, or just something fun.

Step 5: Showtime! Each team performs their cheer in front of everyone. Booing is encouraged 😂

Team Building Game 2: Hula Hoop Relay

All smiles. Social media manager Victoria Nelle Nisperos (center) was all smiles passing the hula hoop from CEO Linh Podetti (right) to Managing Director Richard Phu (left).

This game emphasises your teamwork, coordination, and flexibility. 💃 And the best thing is, all you need is a hula hoop! We set the best 2 out of 3 rounds for this game, just to make sure the winning team just didn’t get lucky. 😆

How to play:

Step 1: Divide the group into teams with an equal number of members. This is important for fairness!

Step 2: Have each team form a single line and hold hands to create a chain.

Step 3: The first person in line holds the hula hoop. On “Go,” they pass the hula hoop through their body without breaking the hand-holding chain.

Step 4: Keep it going! 👏 The person who received the hula hoop passes it through their body to the next team member, and so on.

Step 5: The first team to successfully pass the hula hoop through all members and reach the end of the line wins.

Team Building Game 3: Five-Pencil Toss And Catch

Steady hands win the race. Our Virtual Office Manager Gail Galima (left), VA Xandra de Luna, Recruitment Officer Jan Alvin Dimla, and VA Geanne Desingaño-Gimutao (above) all have their game faces on.

Now THIS one had us picking pencils all over the place. Intense concentration and surgeon-steady hands are an absolute must to acing this game. 👀 And it’s important to remember that you should use all brand-new pencils that are NOT sharpened. We don’t want any injuries happening on your company outing! 🤕

How to play:

Step 1: Divide the participants into teams with an equal number of members.

Step 2: Have the teams form a single line and give each team five pencils.

Step 3: On “Go,” the first person in each team balances the five pencils across their fingers.

Step 4: After successfully balancing, they toss the pencils into the air.

Step 5: The next player in line must catch all five pencils from mid-air. They can only use ONE hand to make the catch. No cheating! ❌

Step 6: Once caught, the second player repeats the balancing and tossing for the next team member in line.

Step 7: Continue this relay until the last player in line has successfully caught all five pencils!

Team Building Game 4: Coin Relay

All eyes on the coin! The Black Ninjas team are lined up with their eyes on the prize. 👀

Slowly but surely. Systemise & Scale Up Consultant Pietro Sassanelli (centre) and our charity partner head Bimboy Bimboy Pielago Soque (left) man the first relay, passing the coin to Roland Bito-on Jr. (right).

With remote team building, it’s all about relays. 🧑‍🤝‍🧑 It was great to test our real-time physical coordination after years of Slack huddles and Zoom meetings! For this game, our hired facilitators even had us use smaller and smaller Peso coins per round. 😂

How to play:

Step 1: Form pairs within each team. Each pair joins hands and forms a line (see image above for reference.)

Step 2: Give each team a coin, preferably a small one that can be easily passed between index fingers. 🪙

Step 3: The first person in each pair holds the coin between their index finger and their partner’s index finger.

Step 4: On “Go,” the first pair relays the coin from their first set of joined index fingers to the next.

Step 5: Once the coin reaches the end of the first pair, they pass the coin to the next pair in line, using ONLY their joined index fingers. 🤞

Step 6: Continue this relay until all pairs have successfully passed the coin using only their joined hands and index fingers!

Team Building Game 5: Speed Stacks Relay

Another one bites the dust. Virtual Assistants Marie Canlas (L) and Jessica Varias (R) went through the speed stacks relay like pros.

We all had to practice our reflexes for this game. ⚡ If your teams are experts at speed stacking, you can even change the rules of this game to make the pyramids even more challenging!

How to play:

Step 1: Give each team a set of Speed Stacks with 6 cups per set.

Step 2: Each participant creates two pyramids with a stacking order of 3-2-1. (3 cups at the base, 2 cups on the second tier, 1 cup at the top)

Step 3: On “Go,” the first team member starts stacking and down-stacking the two pyramids according to the 3-2-1 order.

Step 4: Once the first participant finishes stacking and down-stacking their pyramids, the next team member takes over and does the same.

Step 5: After completing the initial set, the first player moves on to the next two sets and creates their own pyramids there.

Step 6: Each player must down-stack a total of four sets of pyramids before exiting the relay.

Step 7: The first team to have all members successfully complete the required down-stacking wins!

Team Building Game 6: Bounce And Shoot The Pencil

Practice makes perfect. Virtual assistants Mylyn May Ramos (left), Jessica Varias (centre), and Fiona Clemente (right) were all grace under pressure in this game.

This game had us growling in frustration, but it also showed us who were the most patient ones in the team. 😌 The key to winning this is stubborn persistence—and your team cheering for you won’t hurt either!

How to play:

Step 1: Provide each team with a pencil and a drinking glass.

Step 2: Place the drinking glasses at a reasonable distance from the teams on a flat and stable table.

Step 3: On “Go,” the first player from each team attempts to bounce the pencil’s eraser on the table in such a way that it shoots the pencil into the drinking glass.

Step 4: Once a player successfully shoots the pencil into the glass, they tag the next player in line, who then takes their turn.

Step 5: Continue this relay-style game, with each team member taking turns to bounce and shoot the pencil into the glass.

Step 6: The first team to successfully shoot the pencil into the glass with each of their team members wins!

Team Building Game 7: Shooting Rings Relay

No mercy! CEO and Founder Linh Podetti (L) and Recruitment Officer Roland Bito-on Jr. (R) were on opposing teams at our company outing.

Last but not least, this team-building game measures everyone’s hand-eye coordination! 👋👀

How to play:

Step 1: Provide each team with a set of small hoops/rings and a scoring peg (which will be their target).

Step 2: Place the scoring peg at a fair distance from the teams. Each player should stand within a hula hoop to ensure they don’t move during their turn. 😏

Step 3: On “Go,” the first player from each team attempts to shoot the small hoops or rings onto the scoring pegs.

Step 4: Once a player has run out of hoops, they tag the next player in line, who then takes their turn.

Step 5: Continue this relay-style game, with each team member taking turns to shoot rings onto the target’s scoring pegs. 🎯

Step 6: The first team to successfully shoot a designated number of rings onto the target’s scoring pegs with each of their team members wins!

Dinner Celebration at Solaire Resort

Happy 40th, Wendy! Our admin team had a special dinner to celebrate our General Manager Wendy’s milestone birthday.

The admin team wrapped up the company outing with a fancy dinner celebration at Solaire Resort in Metro Manila. It was more than just celebrating over a decade in the outsourcing business—the evening was extra special because we got to celebrate (in person!) the 40th birthday of our amazing General Manager, Wendy Villar.

2019 and 2023. The loving, 11-year partnership of CEO and Founder Linh Podetti and General Manager Wendy Villar is amazing to witness.

Wendy and our semi-retired CEO and Founder Linh Podetti have been working together for 11 years. 💗 Wendy’s unwavering dedication and loyalty have been instrumental to our ongoing success at Outsourcing Angel. We were ecstatic to honour her milestone birthday with the team!

👉 Related: What can VAs do to help scale your business?

Charity Work in The Philippines

A business with purpose. The admin team visits the Sitio Puray community for an outreach activity.

Our Philippines trip wouldn’t be complete without charity work. 😇 Every month since 2013, we’ve donated 10% of our profits to charity projects, which instils a strong sense of purpose in our team members and clients when they work with us.

The amazing virtual assistants in our network even propose and spearhead their own outreach projects for us! We’ve also partnered with other non-profit organisations like the Virlanie Foundation to provide office supplies and computer training workshops for underprivileged youth.

👉 Related: Learn more about Outsourcing Angel’s charity work here

Helping hands. The children of the Sitio Puray community lined up for food items bought at the sari-sari store (L) and hearty meals served by our team (R).

For this year’s in-person outreach, we’ve reunited with Tribu Ni Bro (TNB), a non-profit group operated by local volunteers in the Philippines that use our donations to help those in need.

The amazing volunteers at TNB travel to rural communities living in extreme poverty to provide them with food, clothes, clean water pumps and systems, solar panels and power installations, and much more. 💯

👉 Related: How does outsourcing benefit developing countries?

8 Tips and Company Outing Ideas

As the saying goes, “the devil is in the details,” and this is especially true when planning your own company outing. If you’re gonna spend money on a work get-together, the entire experience should be a balance of relaxation, team bonding, and just the unexpected joy of shared moments outside of work.

👉 Related: Are you a slave to your own business?

Here are 8 tips from the meticulous planning of our 2023 Philippines trip!

Company Outing Tip 1: Themed T-Shirts for Unity

Go beyond mere tees—design custom shirts that reflect the spirit of your team or the theme of the outing. It not only fosters a sense of unity but also serves as a fun keepsake. ❣️

Company Outing Tip 2: Plan Well in Advance

For large events that involve people flying in from different locations, planning at least a year in advance ensures you secure the best venues, accommodations, and any special activities.

Company Outing Tip 3: Professional Facilitator for Team Building

Elevate your team-building activities by hiring a professional facilitator. They can bring fresh perspectives, and innovative exercises, and ensure everyone actively participates (even the bosses! 😆)

Company Outing Tip 4: Diverse Activities for All Tastes

Include a mix of adventurous outdoor pursuits, relaxing downtime, and engaging team-building exercises to suit different preferences and diverse interests within your team.

Company Outing Tip 5: Low-Key Games

Aside from facilitated team-building games, you can also bring a variety of card games, board games, and interactive activities to encourage team bonding in a relaxed, sit-down setting.

Company Outing Tip 6: Downtime for Informal Talks

Allocate some downtime for informal talks and chats. These moments can be invaluable for team members to connect on a personal level and share insights in a casual environment. 💬

Company Outing Tip 7: Capture the Moments

Hire a professional photographer to capture the outing and candid moments. 📸 This helps everyone just be in the moment, and removes the need for a designated picture-taker in the team. The photos can later be shared with the entire group, immortalising the memories created during the outing.

Company Outing Tip 8: Consider Health and Wellness

Integrate health and wellness activities into the itinerary, such as yoga sessions, wellness workshops, or outdoor fitness challenges. This ensures a holistic approach to team well-being. 🧘

Remember: the goal is to create an experience that is not only enjoyable but also contributes to team cohesion and morale. Tailoring the outing to the preferences of your team ensures a memorable and rewarding experience for everyone involved. 👌

👉 Related: How a virtual team can help you scale your business

How to Build A Strong Culture With A Remote Team

Say cheese! After ziplining and rappelling, we all had to take a breather before going back to doing more karaoke.

“Closeness is a matter of commitment, not consensus.” – Adam Grant

At Outsourcing Angel, we couldn’t agree more with the quote above. Our strong culture is a huge selling point in attracting highly skilled virtual assistants and amazing clients who have been with us for years. And it’s all thanks to the effort we put into establishing remote work practices that keep our team connected despite the physical distance.

👉 Related: Practical tips to build a strong remote culture for virtual teams

At the heart of our company vibe is creating a place where everyone feels right at home. 🤗 We got some inspiration from Maslow and Tony Robbins to help our team to not just do their jobs but also feel good about it.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs can be applied in business too. (Source)

Following Maslow’s pyramid, we prioritise the fundamental needs that fuel human motivation. We strive to establish a solid foundation where every team member experiences a sense of security and belonging and provide them with avenues for achievement, and continuous personal and professional development. 💯

At the same time, we embrace Tony Robbins’ philosophy, acknowledging the six essential human needs—certainty, variety, significance, connection, growth, and contribution.

In practical terms, this means we aim to provide a workplace that ensures stability while offering room for innovation, recognising the significance of each team member, fostering genuine connections, supporting individual growth journeys, and emphasising the collective impact we make together.

And as a side note: crafting our unique culture isn’t just a strategic move; it’s a commitment to the overall well-being and fulfillment of our team. It’s a bit cheesy to say, but we all just genuinely like each other! 😂

We want our remote workplace to be more than just a place to clock in and out; we aim to create a community where every individual not only excels in their professional role but also experiences a profound sense of purpose, satisfaction, and camaraderie within our company. 👌

Your company as a system of freedom

All smiles. The team makes the most out of our in-person photoshoot before going our separate ways and going back to virtual hang-outs.

“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” – Simon Sinek

This company outing served as a reminder of why our team does what it does. It’s because we all love freedom! 🤟

Working together at Outsourcing Angel gives us the freedom to work wherever we want and be with our loved ones, and the freedom to learn and grow as much as we are able. But aside from that, working with this company means we provide freedom to other people too.

We provide it for our clients, every time we free them up from the daily grind by providing custom systems and processes and skilled virtual assistants for their businesses. We provide freedom to our VAs too, since we give them opportunities to earn a good living free from commute and super strict corporate policies, where they can spend more time with their families instead. 👩‍❤️‍👨

And we also strive to provide freedom for less fortunate Filipinos, whom we’re able to support with our monthly donations and outreach activities.

We only hope to continue being in this business of freedom for a long, long time.

Book a free Discovery Call

Want to work with a vibrant team on your way to business freedom? The key is to find the right systems, processes, and virtual support!

Book a call with us today and we’ll see how we can help you out.

Arielle Calanas

Arielle is Outsourcing Angel’s resident copywriter. She has over 9 years of writing experience and graduated magna cum laude in Creative Writing from the University of the Philippines Mindanao in 2019. Currently, she crafts high-engagement content that reflects our brand voice, from client case studies to blog articles and more.