If you’re one of the millions of Americans who switched to remote work after the pandemic, you’ll be feeling the many frustrations that come a long with it. No need to leave the house? Awesome. But… no human interaction for days on end? Not so awesome.
This is one of the biggest reasons people suffer in remote work settings—the isolation, loneliness, and downright boredom. How long can we put up with glitchy Zoom meetings before we go stir-crazy? Without something refreshing and entertaining to shake things up a bit, probably not long.
But we’ve got the answer: virtual escape rooms. If you haven’t heard of these epic online adventures, keep reading. They may just change your work life for the better.
Have you noticed? Since the pandemic, it seems like everything’s been given a virtual spin for our benefit. There are now virtual tours of the world’s most famous museums, virtual happy hours with friends (or strangers), and even virtual church services if that’s your thing.
In the workplace, the activities we were used to in-person are going virtual as well. You can now take virtual yoga classes for work stress regulation. Teams can be trained entirely online; they’re hired via Zoom too. The weekly meeting is now a virtual hangout. The boardroom is now a conference call.
With all of these trends, it’s no surprise that escape rooms—one of the world’s most popular group activities—have also gone digital. And we’re not talking about a few simple puzzles slapped onto a Google doc. These virtual escape rooms are full-blown, immersive experiences that will take your team on an epic and challenging ride.
For some people, escape rooms seem kind of… nerdy. They’re literally rooms filled with puzzles, codes, and clues that need to be solved in order to “escape.” But the appeal is undeniable. No matter how cool and collected you are, everyone has an inner Sherlock that can’t help but emerge in the face of a good mystery.
And that’s the magic of escape rooms—they bring out the best in all of us. They’re challenging, but not impossible. They require teamwork and communication, but also individual thinking and creativity. Plus, they’re just plain fun.
The issue with escape rooms, though, is that they’re traditionally an in-person deal. But we’ve changed all of that with our virtual escape rooms, a project we’re incredibly proud of and super pumped about. Get your team rallying for some good old-fashioned fun—these escape rooms are about to take your remote work life to the next level.
At Puzzle Break, virtual escape room team building is something we pride ourselves on. We especially enjoy weaving together engaging narratives with challenging puzzles that force teams to think outside the box.
We’ve got something for everyone; there’s fantasy, spy drama, murder mystery noir, and high-speed hacking. Let’s take a closer look at some of our all-time favorites, shall we?
You’re a high-achiever at the Spy Academy, and finals week is rolling around. It’s your time to shine before you graduate as a full-fledged spy, ready to take on the mysteries of the world.
But what’s that? Your professor has gone missing! This won’t do. It’s time to put your skills to the test and find him using the clues scattered across the globe. Only then will you be able to pass your exams… so put your heads together and get to work!
We love this storyline for the way it encourages thinking with a global perspective (not only that, but it speaks to our inner child who always wanted to be a super stealthy spy. Or is that just me…?).
Here are some of the skills you’ll be developing as a team along the way:
Long story short, this is a Bourne-esque adventure you won’t forget in a hurry. And you’ll come out of it with better teamwork skills than ever before.
The hackers we see in movies are pretty epic. We all know the scene: they sit in a dark room, illuminated only by the glow of their screens, as they type away at lightning speed to take down the bad guys.
But what if you could be that team of hackers? Pretty awesome, right? That’s why we’ve put together Hackfiltration, our beloved tale of skilful tech heads. In this irreverent cyber adventure from decades past, you and your team of elite hackers must infiltrate the system to fight the power!
Here are a few of the skills your team can pick up along the way:
We often recommend this story to teams wanting to work on their collaboration. The story focuses in on active teamwork and problem-solving as players race against the clock to stop a nefarious plot. Plus, it’s an enormous thrill to finally crack the code.
Globally, we’ve done a pretty ace job of moving the workforce online. That is, until it gets to holiday season… where’s the epic Christmas bash we’ve all grown to anticipate at the end of each year? It’s not so fun when you’re all staring blankly at a conference call. (Even if you’re wearing Santa hats).
But all hope isn’t lost. ‘Tis the season to gather close your team of brave adventurers and solve the mystery of mischievous Jackalope Frost!
With this story, you can bring back Christmas parties and make them even better than they were before. Grab some boozy cocoa and settle in for a night of fun with this winter-themed escape room, guaranteed to tickle your Christmas spirit.
And while Christmas parties aren’t meant to be about work, you’ll be learning these skills as an added bonus:
Even if Christmas parties aren’t really a thing at your company, we think this escape room is a great way to get everyone in the holiday spirit. So gather your team, put on some ugly sweaters, and let’s have some fun!
Everyone loves an adorable monster, and that love is what we’ve tapped into with our next virtual escape room: Monsterpelago. We know that this is a little left-field for an escape room—and honestly, we’re glad about that. You won’t find anything to snore at here.
Journey to the fabled isle of Monsterpelago, famous for its mystical inhabitants: Monsters! Does your team of dedicated experts have the skills and teamwork to save them from extinction? Or will you perish in the attempt?
If you’re looking for a challenge, look no further. Monsterpelago is a race against time to save some of the most adorable monsters you’ll ever meet. You’ll need to be good at:
And don’t worry—if you aren’t great at those things already, an escape room is the best way to develop those teambuilding skills.
We know what you’re thinking. What do discos and detectives have to do with each other? That’s exactly what you’ll find out in this charming virtual escape room (as it turns out, the two go together quite well).
A priceless artifact has been stolen from the Firestone Museum of History and it’s up to the legendary Puzzle Solving Investigator unit to crack the case! Can you dance your way to the truth or will you get lost in the beat?
This escape room is perfect for groups who want to have a refresher on skills like:
It’s easy to let employee recognition slip to the wayside, but without it, your morale and productivity can take a nosedive. Gift your team with an unforgettable experience that will have them jiving along to the beat of your appreciation!
And finally, this one’s for the fantasy lovers. We see you, we hear you—it’s time for a magical and mysterious adventure that will have you feeling like you’re a part of your favorite fairy tale.
In this fantasy adventure, your troupe has become trapped in an enchanted forest. Do you have the wit and wisdom to defeat the curse before time runs out? You’d better move fast, because the clock is ticking…and there may be something lurking in the shadows.
We’re obsessed with this story; it’s one of our originals and it really seems to bring out the best in teams, especially in the areas of delegation and communication. If your team is looking for an escape room that will test their mettle, The Grimm Escape is the perfect challenge.
It’ll test skills like:
So there you have it—six of the best virtual escape rooms for 2022. If you’re stuck on which story to choose, let us make things a little easier for you. You can’t lose! Spin a bottle, pull a name out of the hat, roll some dice—whatever your method, just pick one and you’re bound to have a ton of fun.
Since escape rooms are such a sensory experience, we’d forgive you for wondering, “well… how exactly do these things work if they’re online?”
Quite frankly, no one wants to sit down for an hour to a glorified Zoom meeting with some spooky background music and a few cryptic clues. So how do we make sure our escape rooms are fun, engaging, and—most importantly—social?
First of all, we don’t just send you the clues and leave you to your own devices. One of our Game Masters is there to lead players through the entire narrative, making it engaging, well-paced, and never awkward.
We’ve also designed each story with the most immersive video-audio elements we could muster. You’ll feel like you’re right there in the room with the other players, trying to find your way out. We make use of all the latest tech to really bring the experience to life.
Of course, not all workplaces went fully remote in response to COVID-19. If you and your team are working in a hybrid office/remote situation, that’s a challenge we’ve well and truly prepared for with our hybrid escape room experience.
In these games, some of your team members can gather in person while anyone not present can join via video call. This gives the escape room experience so much more flexibility; it can be tailored to your specific needs and working situation.
If, for instance, you’ve got an in-office team in your city and then a number of freelancers, contractors, or remote workers in other parts of the world, you can help them to feel more part of the team by playing a hybrid escape room. It’s the perfect way to bridge the gap and help everyone feel like they’re collaborating.
The Puzzle Break escape rooms aren’t your only option when it comes to virtual office activities, but the reason we think they’re the best is pretty simple: they offer everything you need in an online team-building experience.
They’re social, immersive, and most importantly—fun. Puzzles have a way of keeping our brains active and engaged, so they’re perfect for a remote working environment. The skills you’ll develop as a team along the way are a delicious cherry on top.
If you’re interested in booking a virtual experience for your team, get in touch with us and we’ll arrange the details. We know you’ll love it!