How an Escape Room Will Transform Your Team
More and more teams are getting together to benefit from the awesome team building power of escape rooms. But why does it work? How exactly does the experience affect your team?
I have been working closely with team building events at Big Escape Rooms for years now, and I have witnessed the amazing effect escape rooms have on groups first hand. Continue on to see my list of the most compelling reasons why you and your team needs to get out together and do an escape room this year.
#1: The puzzles give your team the perfect opportunity to practice crucial life skills together
Different kinds of puzzles in an escape room require you to hone in on individual skills in order to solve them. There are countless types of puzzles you can see in an escape room, but here are just a few examples loaded with team building benefits:
Puzzles that can’t be solved alone
For example, you might come across a puzzle where one player must hold down a button on the back side of the room while another player simultaneously flips a switch on the other side of the room. These types of puzzles will really test your ability to think of solutions that include the people around you. This can be really beneficial in that it gets you brainstorming positive ways to ask for cooperation from team members.
Puzzles that use the information collected from solving various puzzles, and unites them into one puzzle called a metapuzzle
A generic example would be finding 3 hidden keys to unlock 3 different boxes and retrieving torn up sections of a note from inside. Once assembled, the note would be your key to solving the metapuzzle. This puzzle type allows your team to practice staying organized while communicating thoughts and ideas openly.
Different escape rooms will have different puzzle types. Arrange for your team to do different types of rooms so they can receive all of the benefits from working through the various puzzle types encountered in each room.
#2: Escape Rooms build a more efficient team
This expands on reason #1. Put plain and simple, with the practice escape rooms bring, your team begins to develop valuable skillsets (i.e communication, leadership, problem-solving) and synergy. When you grow in this way with people, your bonds strengthen, and when a team is comfortable with one another they become far more efficient.
This simple fact makes for an awesome excuse to get out and formulate a cure for the zombie apocalypse or make your way through a killer clown’s funhouse together.
#3: Escape Rooms Boost Confidence in team members
Terms such as “self-confidence”, “self-efficacy”, “perceived ability”, and “perceived competence” have been used to describe a person’s perceived capability to accomplish a certain level of performance (Learning, Remembering, Believing: Enhancing Human Performance, 1994). Various factors can have an effect on a person’s confidence levels such as from how comfortable they are with their group and their general familiarity with the task they are performing.
Tasks in escape rooms allow team members to improve self-confidence by developing trust in their own ability to:
- Think outside of the box
- Work synergistically
- Think through problems
- Notice small details
- Have a voice and purpose in their team
#4: Team Outings make your team feel more valuable
Everyone likes to feel important. Especially to the people you work for! I am just saying, you feel way more inclined to perform well when you know your hard work is appreciated, don’t you? And even further, if your employees don’t feel important, they will not give 100%.
Great leaders also actively invest in their employees’ personal growth.
If you still don’t believe me, listen to this. In 2015, Cicero Group conducted a study in which they asked participants, “What is the most important thing that your manager or company currently does (or could do) that would cause you to produce Great Work?”. The respondents in the study were asked to answer the question in their own words and pictured below you can see the charted results.
According to this study, being recognized by your employer/manager is the main contributors in a person’s disposition to work hard. Simply saying “good job” isn’t good enough. You need to genuinely show your team that they are important to see change. Taking your team to an escape room is an extremely fun and affordable way to do this.
#5: Make for a more enjoyable workplace
Let’s face it, work is boring! That’s right, I said it – but we are all thinking it. Once you have been working every weekday for over a year, you’ll understand too. Why do field trips have to be reserved for kids anyway? I for one vote field trips for workplaces to be normalized!
Even if you don’t agree with me totally, you can’t deny the fact that people work better when they are given a bit of a break. Whether it be a vacation with the family or an escape room outing before (or after) the daily grind, any kind of break from work will have positive effects on one’s work ethic and energy levels.
Charlotte Fritz, Allison M. Ellis, Caitlin A. Demsky, Bing C. Lin, and Frankie Guros from Elsevier say it best, and they are backed up by research:
“Although findings vary somewhat in terms of the activities and experiences that promote optimal recovery during different types of breaks, overall findings show that it is important to take time to step away from work and allow for the recovery process to occur. Organizations that understand their role in facilitating employee recovery, and that encourage their employees to leverage work breaks for the purpose of recharging and unwinding will benefit from a workforce that is healthy, energized, and ready to work.”— Embracing Work Breaks: Recovering From Work Stress
You can sneak a team building event into any workday with the average escape game being around 1 hour long. Start the business day a little late and book an escape room for before work. Or, leave a little early and meet up afterward at an escape room near you. It will be a nice change of pace, and you will instantly see the benefits in the form of smiles on your employees’ faces as they bond and grow in a totally unique way!
#6: A bit of light physical activity is great for jobs that require you to spend long hours at a desk
Taking the time to stretch when you work all day in a desk is crucial for your overall health and well being. Consider escape room games to help get your team off their feet if their job fits includes any of these tasks:
- Sitting for extended periods of time
- Attending meetings
- Performing repetitive tasks
- Any other sedentary task
According to our 12 Reasons Why Escape Rooms Benefit Health, you can get double your daily recommended amount of light physical activity with just 1, 1-hour escape room.
Don’t worry, you won’t be required to do any excessive physical activity like you would in an obstacle course. Escape games are more like life-sized board games. Your team will be speeding around a room trying to uncover and connect clues and solve puzzles. You have a super fun mission to complete, so performing this light physical activity comes easy to anyone, any age!
#7: Celebrate wins and milestones
Your longest running team member is retiring, you just opened a fresh new location, it’s your birthday, you guys blasted past your sales quota this month – there are dozens of reasons to celebrate at work.
How you celebrate is totally up to you. Chances are your idea of celebrating wins in the workplace is a quick high five and a small celebratory dance. Not good enough! If your team accomplishes something that is really worth some kind of recognition, consider doing an escape room! It’s a great option because it doesn’t break the bank and is fun for any type of person any age. This is just another reason you don’t necessarily need to improve teamwork to have a team building event at an escape room!
#8: You can turn your standard company meeting into a team building adventure
Turn your regular meeting into a fun one. All escape rooms are going to have different amenities for their team building events. At Big Escape Rooms, you can expect all sorts of add-ons to have a meeting that is far from average and boring.
For the meeting part, we have multiple conference/board rooms that make the perfect place to hold company meetings complete with a projector at no extra charge. You can host a meeting surrounding a projector for up to 150 people. Prices vary, so be sure to call for details.
After the Meeting
The meeting spaces are transformed into a dinner or lunch area. If you decide to cater with us, set up and clean up is completely complimentary. There is plenty of space for a dance floor too, we don’t judge!
But wait – there’s more. We offer a complimentary 10-minute team building debrief after your game. Scroll down to #12 to see the details on what this includes. This can be a great option if you plan to have a meeting after your escape game(s).
And best of all – you can have a full bar set up for once you are done with all of your serious meeting stuff. (See below!)
#9: Happy Hour (enough said)
Ah yes, ye old elixir of companionship! Nothing says “unwind after work” like an open bar with top-shelf liquor, beer, and wine. Not all escape rooms offer this amenity, but we do at Big Escape Rooms.
You can add this extra into any escape room even. Enjoy ice cold beverages before or (AND!) after your game. Warning: escape games proceeding alcohol consumption are extremely fun.
#10: You can host a dinner event and team building with escape room
It is very common to host a dinner get together for your work team. But dinner and an escape room? Talk about awesome!
Skipping the standard night out at a restaurant and heading over to your local escape room is becoming a popular trend nowadays. Chances are they can cater some amazing food for your event!
#11: Escape Rooms are more fun and effective than traditional team building
Falling back into Kent from accounting’s arms? Questionable. Saving the world in an escape room adventure? Amazing!
It’s a new age in team building because, well, we have figured out how to have fun while doing it. Say goodbye to cheesy team building seminars, lengthy powerpoint presentations, and awkward company dinners. Escape rooms are truly a fun experience for anybody any age. If you haven’t yet experienced one, you have got to try it!
Escape rooms have strong positive effects on team work. The reason it works is that everyone is in a single space with a common goal. You have no choice but to get talking because otherwise, you’re going to sit still for an hour and fail your mission! Escape games work, and you don’t even have to try very hard. The escape game setting allows for teamwork to blossom in a natural way!
Listen to what these guys have to say about their team building event at Big Escape Rooms, Atlanta:
#12: Recieve a detailed analysis of your teams’ cohesion and performance
Take your team building escape room experience to the next level by opting for a detailed report of how you performed as a team. The level of depth covered in the report allows your team to reflect on their own performance. There are 2 types of team building reports. You have your verbal debrief and/or your written report. Let’s explore what these types more closely.
First, you have your verbal debrief.
Each Player will be given key identifiers and told where they performed best within the team. The game guide will point out one or more of their “wins” or “aha moments”. This positive feedback occurs after the game and reminds the team why they came to the escape room which further reinforces the skills they picked up on along their team building experience. This type of report is free of charge at Big Escape Rooms.
Second, you have a written teamwork analysis.
This report requires a trained game guide to watch your team very closely in the escape room game. The reporter goes into detail on things they notice amongst your team such as:
- Task delegation
This type of report is sent over to you within 48 hours after your game. Due to the level of detail a teamwork analysis requires, these can be added to your team building event for $50/room (for a team of up to 12 people). Get in touch with an escape room event planner and request to add this feature on to any booking!
#13: Escape Rooms make a great Icebreaker
It is great to get to know the people who help your company grow and thrive. When you have new faces on your team things can get very tense. This feeling lasts until some sort of icebreaker allows you guys to get to know each other better. You can do the name game… or you can team build with an immersive escape room experience!
How does it work
Escape rooms are themed rooms you are locked into. Your team has to complete some sort of crazy mission like formulating a cure for the zombie apocalypse by searching the rooms for clues and solving puzzles to progress. With the timer slowly ticking down, there is a lot of pressure to complete your mission.
Everyone wants to win the game, so the urge to get involved, search the room, and point out clues to others comes quite naturally. The intense setting in an escape room promotes proactiveness and allows everyone’s true selves to shine through! Have you ever thought of a better way to get to know someone?
#14: Why not?
If you notice everyone is looking a little burnt out, this may be a sign that it is time for a change in pace in the office. Chances are there is an escape room within a few miles of your workplace. You can fit a team building event into any workday.
“This physical rejuvenation, combined with maintained attention, leads to post-break increases in productivity; breaks that allow employees to maintain their focus on their work can actually lead toThe Microstructure of Work: How Unexpected Breaks Let You Rest, but Not Lose Focus
improvements in performance immediately following the break. “
Try this: Take your lunch break at the office a little early. Then, take a shuttle up to the escape room closest to you and enjoy an hour break! The games do not take long and you can still have a productive workday. The break will promote productiveness and rejuvenate the team.