We’ve all known those periods at work, when everyone’s a bit dull, and under-motivated. It’s going to become especially common as we head into the middle of the year.
So you know what this is the perfect time for? A team-building activity!
Perk your team members right up with a fun, stimulating team building activity that can bring your team closer and boost their morale.
To get the best results, we’d say avoid the corporate cliches completely. You know the ones: answering a few get-to-know-me questions in a meeting room with snacks and coffee and some boring and predictable games.
As people have become more used to them, these strategies have lost their effectiveness. People are no longer engaged when they happen – and so you won’t get the results you want.
Instead, head out of the office into an escape room!
What’s an escape room, you ask? It involves your team being guided into a safe and supervised locked room environment, which are often themed, and which can be partly physical and partly virtual. They must complete certain tasks – like finding clues to solve puzzles and completing physical challenges – within a set time to be able to get out.
This team-building game is as fun as it is demanding. It challenges the players to think on their feet and coordinate effectively.
By the end of the challenge, we guarantee that your team will have learnt to trust each other, and work together towards a common goal.
What could be better for an organization than this?
Team Building with The Escape Adventure Richmond
Your team can take part in our hour-long story-driven adventure experiences.
Still not convinced? We’ve put together a list of 20 ways in which escape rooms are great team-building activities. Read on to find out!
- They’re Affordable
If you’ve been through the logistics of booking a team outing, you’ll know how expensive and time-consuming they are. Escape rooms, on the other hand, come with everything – food, activities, guides to help you through the experience. And, of course, they’re shorter than away trips or even day outings – yet, within their shorter time, they pack a serious punch with the experiences they provide. .
- They Can Be Both In-Person And Virtual
The way that we work nowadays has changed completely. Often, teams can span across multiple countries and even continents.
Escape rooms are a great way to bring the team together – because they can be conducted entirely virtually! It’s a great way to create a team-building experience even for teams not physically in the same space.
- There Are So Many Room Themes To Choose From
This is our favourite thing about escape rooms – that we can choose different experiences that we think our team will like the best, based on common interests. In fact, you can even get your team members to vote on the one they want, and let them choose.
You could also make the choice based on which skill you think your team is struggling with, and needs the most practice in. If the team has been cooped up too much lately, you could choose to go for a more physical escape room; if you think they need help with problem-solving, you could try one with lots of riddles; if you think they need to communicate better, you could choose one that requires overcoming many challenges as a team. The possibilities are endless.
- They’re a high intensity, low stakes environment
By this, we mean that while escape rooms can be very absorbing experiences, they are not a threat to your employees’ careers. They’re not intense in the way of having to meet strict deadlines or expectations, or causing huge or embarrassing problems, or failing to meet the bottom line – all of which your team regularly deals with in the workplace.
In the absence of this, your team can properly relax and just have fun. While puzzles and a time limit are still there, there are no horrifying consequences to deal with should they fail. This automatically takes the pressure off – and this anxiety-free environment is why escape rooms make for great team-building activities.
- They help maximise profitability
That’s what we’re thinking about when we’re trying to build a better team, aren’t we? As leaders and managers, we’re all worried about the bottom line. And don’t worry – team building escape room exercises help to take care of that.
It does so by making people solve problems by working together with their colleagues towards a common goal, while utilizing their own special skills and picking up new skills along the way, within a set period of time.
It’s thus a safe, friendly recreation of the pressures of the workplace, in which members are able to rediscover their relationship with their work, their workplace and, best of all, each other. It knows how to make the most out of available resources within deadlines and still accomplish the goal. There is a sense of belonging and renewed purpose.
And as their productivity sky-rockets, so does the company’s profitability.
- They expose your team’s underlying issues
We said before that you can choose rooms based on the skills you think your team needs to work on. Well, escape room games have a tendency to lay bare the lack of skills like communication and coordination, and issues such as lack of trust.
And that’s a good thing! That’s because once you’ve found an issue, you can fix it. Isn’t that what team building activities are meant for?
- They help your team to develop new skills
Problem-solving, leadership, communication, decision-making- these are all the skills that your team can develop while playing escape room games.
They not only learn it through the experience of participating in the actual games, but also from each other.
This will lead a multi-skilled team in which team members can rely on each other.
- They encourage problem-solving
Every escape room has lots of challenges, riddles and puzzles for the team to figure out. They’re fun to do – and they encourage people to think constructively and critically.
This is a central goal of every team-building activity – to encourage problem-solving skills that can be transferred to the workplace. Done in this low-stakes environment, your team will learn valuable lessons about thinking in innovative ways and looking at the challenges with fresh perspectives to overcome them.
- They help improve communication
In an escape room, teams face a common challenge – to get out of the room before the time is up – and they must work together to achieve this. This involves communicating clearly with each other, to coordinate efforts.
This is an extremely important skill to learn for the workplace. Once they have mastered this skill, your team will communicate better, faster, and more effectively in the workplace as well.
- They teach time management skills
Escape rooms are all time-bound, and it’s that gentle pressure that will encourage your team to come together to get out of the room successfully. This is a huge lesson in learning to divide work amongst themselves and managing time effectively, so deadlines can be met.
In the workplace, this will mean your team will know how to arrange their workflow in the most efficient way to meet your goals.
- They help develop decision-making abilities
In an escape room scenario, you must quickly make a lot of decisions. How can one select the teammates to make a balanced team for the best results in the game? What’s the best time to receive clues for a certain puzzle? Who will we need to sacrifice to progress through the game? And so on.
This leads to on-the-spot thinking and decision-making – one of the most useful skills to have in the workplace.
The best part is that unlike in a hypothetical exercise, the decision maker can observe and understand the results of their choices realistically.
- They allow members to play to their strengths in team roles
Team-building activities often lead to team members taking on certain roles that come naturally to them.
So, someone who naturally excels at leadership and decision-making could take on that role, while some who excels at problem solving could choose to take a crack at the puzzles.
They also require members to come together and assign roles to each other.
They realize that to give their work direction, they need a leader, and they need to know what people are good at, to effectively harness and direct efforts.
This is an essential step to create a team that can work harmoniously together in the workplace.
- They unmask hidden potential
These games can also reveal hidden talents of both the most vocal and the quieter members of the teams.
As the members feel more comfortable with each other, they could reveal talents they don’t have a chance to show in their day to day work. This also helps managers and leaders learn more about their team.
This can help to carry over and apply these new talents into the workplace and create a diverse, well-rounded team that knows to play to its strengths.
- They test real-life workplace skills
Already have people with a certain special set of skills? Good – now is the chance to practice them, and as we know, practice makes perfect.
Some escape room tasks need two or more people to collaborate – sometimes when they can’t actually see each other.. People need to be able to find clues and communicate solutions to get more work done effectively – all while the clock is counting down.
As people divide the work among themselves, they get a chance to practice the skills they already know.
- They help teams learn how to accept defeat
Failure is an essential part of success, and an escape room team building activity can teach you to accept this with grace.
Say your team couldn’t solve the puzzle and get out of the room in time. This is not an environment that’s as high-stakes as an office. So, your team will be able to laugh off the results, and move on, instead of blaming each other and becoming bitter.
So the next time that someone on the team can’t bag a contract or get their proposal approved, they’ll be able to accept it in good spirit, instead of souring the workplace for everyone.
- They help to form stronger bonds among teams
In today’s world of remote or hybrid working, we often end up working with people we’ve never even met in person. Or, in a physical work space, it’s not unusual to never even meet people from other departments!
This lack of connection will lead to unstable workplace relationships. There won’t be as much collaboration between workers with different areas of focus, less sharing of resources and, overall, reduced productivity.
Team-building activities help people overcome such barriers. As they are encouraged to work together towards a common goal, they get to know each other better and form healthy working relationships. They gain trust and confidence in each other.
- They help to build employee support networks
Every employee needs a mentor to help them navigate a workplace, and plan for their career development. And career development prospects are essential for employee satisfaction and attrition. A team-building activity, like an escape room, can help to create such bonds.
This environment of mutual support, respect and mentorship at work will translate to happier employees. Such a team will take collective responsibility for outcomes, celebrating each others’ successes, and bouncing back stronger from failure.
- They can renew team member’s purpose in work
Employee burnout is a huge concern, and feeling like one’s work is purposeless and has no value is one of its main causes. To prevent this, it helps to remind your team why they, and their contributions, matter to the organization.
An escape room team-building activity is absolutely essential for this. They help team members renew their workplace relationships, and show that every individual’s contribution matters when working towards a bigger goal.
Your team members will realize the value they bring to the team, and feel appreciated for their contributions.
- They help to make great memories
Work can be a stressful place. If things have been difficult, many people may come to associate it with only negative emotions.
This is why a fun time out with an escape room can be so transformative. The atmosphere of camaraderie and leisure can take the pressure off significantly – so when your team looks back at their time in the organization, they have good memories to remember.
These positive associations also make work a more fun place to be in, that people look forward to attending. It makes a huge difference to team morale.
- They’re fun!
Cool, escape rooms help to develop workplace skills, we hear you say. But so do other team building activities! Why should we choose this one? And the answer is really very simple. They’re fun!
They allow your team members to step into cool fictional worlds that they have only dreamt about taking part in, and become anything – from astronauts to pirates to ninjas and even zombies.
They’re so much fun that you won’t even hear any of the usual grumbling about mandated corporate training exercises. People will participate fully and voluntarily, which is so important for a good team building exercise.
And there you have it: a comprehensive list of 20 reasons why you should use an escape room as a team building activity. Of course, we hope to see you at our very own The Escape Adventure Richmond!