8 of the Best Reasons Virtual Escape Rooms are Great for Team Building

September 14, 2022 by Nate Martin

According to one estimate, 25 percent of all jobs in North America will be remote by the end of 2022. As more and more people stay home to work, employers are starting to see cracks in the foundation of what were previously rock-solid teams. 


Without physical exposure to each other, team members can quickly become isolated, leading to a decline in communication and collaboration.


But there is hope! Recent advancements in technology have given rise to an answer: virtual escape rooms for team building. Virtual escape rooms are immersive, interactive experiences that take place entirely online. 


They’re the perfect way to keep your team connected and engaged, no matter where they are in the world. Let’s take a closer look at how they could be the perfect solution for your business.


Virtual escape rooms make team building fun


A virtual escape room, like the ones found here at Puzzle Break, is a perfect way to get your team working together again. They’re designed to be just as challenging and engaging as traditional escape rooms, but can be played from anywhere in the world.


Virtual escape rooms for team building create the need to work together to solve puzzles, find clues, and crack codes. Even if you’re not there in body, the goal is still to escape before time runs out!


That can quickly build teams back up through: 

  •  Improved communication
  •  Enhanced collaboration
  •  A sense of shared accomplishment

In other words, by playing a virtual escape room, your team will have a blast while simultaneously rebuilding the bonds that keep them together. Everybody wins!


If you’re thinking “I want a reason to get my team together in one place”, there’s also an answer for that. Hybrid models can also be brought directly to a work event, and you can still visit one of the many physical locations to interact with an escape room in person. 


How can a virtual escape room help team building? Let’s dig into the eight of the biggest benefits.


Improves memory skills


Even in the simplest puzzles, players will need to remember a lot of information. What did that clue say? Where was that number hidden? By the end of the game, players will have exercised their memories in a way they might not have in months.


Players will come out of the experience with better working memory, which is the ability to remember and manipulate information in your mind. That’s because solving puzzles requires you to keep track of multiple pieces of information at once while also thinking creatively to combine them in new ways.


This can help: 

  • Improve task switching: The ability to quickly switch between different tasks is essential in many jobs, especially ones that involve a lot of multitasking.
  • Enhance problem-solving skills: You need to be able to see the big picture and identify the connections between different pieces of information to solve complex problems.
  • Boost focus and concentration: By playing an immersive game, you can train your brain to filter out distractions and focus on a single task. That’s a valuable skill in today’s workplace, where open-plan offices and constant interruptions are the norms.

The shared experience of that challenge can also help players remember each other’s names and face better. So not only will your team have improved memory skills, but they’ll also get to know each other better in the process!

Understanding who is behind that username in the Slack channel is one thing. But seeing them work together to solve a puzzle is a whole different level of connection. And that can be useful for more than just getting to know your teammates better.


Building trust is essential for any effective team. If team members don’t trust each other, they’re less likely to: 

  •  Communicate openly
  •  Admit when they need help
  •  Share their ideas
  •  Take risks

All of which are essential for innovation and creativity. So by playing a virtual escape room together, team members can start to rebuild trust and lay the foundation for more effective teamwork in the future.


Welcomes new coworkers


Have you ever started a new job and felt a bit like an outsider? Just imagine what that would be like without even a shared workspace in which to interact.


That’s where virtual escape rooms for team building can help. It’s the perfect icebreaker for new employees. Not only will it help introduce them to the team, but it is a helpful experience for the entire onboarding process. It can achieve:

  • A shared team goal to work towards
  • A way to learn about each other’s strengths
  • An opportunity to have some fun together right off the bat

In other words, a virtual escape room is a perfect way to help new team members feel like they’re part of the group. And that can make all the difference when it comes time to collaborate on projects down the line. 


Once you’ve hacked into the system to infiltrate the oppressive government together, completing an interdepartmental project will seem like a breeze. Just don’t get too comfortable – the next virtual escape room is right around the corner, and your skills will need to be sharp!


Unites employees old and new

Not only is it an effective onboarding tool, but it can also serve as a way to invigorate and motivate more senior employees.


A study from the Harvard Business Review quantified the value of “workplace belonging” and found that high belonging was linked to a 56 percent increase in job performance.


Virtual escape room team building can help new hires feel like they’re a part of the team from day one, while also giving more tenured employees a chance to bond with their coworkers in a fun and unique way. Suddenly, even employees that have been with the company for a long time be more engaged, which can lead to: 

  • Improved job satisfaction
  • Increased morale
  • Greater productivity

Escape rooms can help with burnout, too, something that is on the rise in American companies. And when you’re burned out, it can lead to all sorts of problems, including: 

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sleeping problems
  • Weakened immune system

By offering a fun and challenging way to take a break from work, virtual escape rooms can help employees come back refreshed and recharged.

Works for any level of seniority or company role


The best part? It doesn’t matter what level of seniority or company rank your team members have. 

Virtual escape rooms are flexible enough to work for anyone, whether they’re entry-level employees or high-ranking executives. They can be scaled to meet the needs of any group, no matter its size or makeup.


That is one of the biggest benefits of an experience like this. It can help to – at least for a short time – humanize an employee’s senior management, giving them an understanding of the person behind the memo.


Virtual rooms can work in the opposite direction too, giving upper management a chance to see their employees in a new light and better understand how they work best. 


It can be hard to relate to someone that isn’t anywhere near you on the organizational hierarchy. Social status, economic class, and location can all contribute to a feeling of disconnection.


That’s why, even if you’re based in the same city, it can be difficult to build relationships with people in other departments – or even your team. If you don’t have anything in common, it can be hard to find things to talk about. 


But there’s one thing that we all have in common: We’ve all been through tough times. And what better way to bond with someone than by sharing those stories?


In a virtual escape room, team members will have to rely on each other to solve puzzles and progress through the game. In the process, they’ll learn more about each other’s strengths, weaknesses, and areas of expertise. They’ll also get a chance to share their own stories and experiences.


 

All of this will help to build trust and understanding between team members, no matter their position in the company.


Ready-to-play (and schedule!) and easy to use


Giving a presentation at a work conference is reserved for those at the top of their field in their company. It’s not an opportunity for those who are entry-level or intermediate in terms of their career. The same can be said about many team-building activities – they’re not designed to work well for everybody.


This is where virtual escape rooms come in handy. No matter what level your employees are at, they can all participate and enjoy themselves. 


Because virtual escape rooms don’t require any physical activity, they’re perfect for those who may not be able to participate in more traditional team-building activities. This can be a huge boost for companies looking to be more diverse and accessible to candidates of all backgrounds. 


There’s no educational requirement, either. Some people think that you can only take part in escape rooms if you have a head full of trivia, or an advanced mathematics degree – but that couldn’t be further from the truth


In reality, all you need is a willing mind, and the ability to work together as a team and communicate effectively. You might even surprise yourself!


Helps fight feelings of isolation


Let’s be honest. The last few years have been tough on everyone.


With the pandemic, many of us have been forced to work remotely. And while there are plenty of advantages to working from home, there are also some serious downsides. One of the biggest is feelings of isolation.


It’s easy to feel alone when you’re not physically around other people. You can start to feel like you’re not a part of the team anymore. That’s where virtual escape rooms come in!


By playing a virtual escape room with your team, you’ll quickly get back that sense of camaraderie and connection. You’ll feel like you’re all in it together again, working towards a common goal, and that can make a big difference in how you feel about your job and your team. 


Just seeing another set of smiling faces, or laughing along to the same frustrating puzzle can be enough to snap you out of your funk and back into the team spirit. Help your staff members fight feelings of isolation by scheduling a virtual escape room session today.

Make remote work easier


Have you ever had a co-worker that just seemed to know what you need, before you even realized you needed it? That’s the kind of synergy that comes from working in the same physical space day-in and day-out. But when employees are remote, it can be harder to develop that intuition.


In a virtual escape room, team members need to quickly learn how to work together efficiently, or they’ll never make it out! They’ll have to read each other’s body language, understand unspoken communication, and build trust quickly. 


That experience will come in handy the next time they’re trying to collaborate on a project from different time zones.


For example, when one member of the team is stuck on a puzzle, another might quickly realize that they need to provide more information before anyone can progress.


In a remote work setting, that same team member would likely spend precious minutes typing out a long-winded explanation in an email or chat when a quick voice call could have saved everyone time.


By playing virtual escape rooms together, your team can build the skills and intuition they need to make working remotely easier than ever before, improving productivity along the way.


Trained experts to help every step of the way


Don’t worry, you don’t need to nominate a team lead.


When you book a virtual escape room with us at Puzzle Break, you’ll be assigned a Game Master. They’re there to help your team every step of the way, from providing hints to resetting the game if you get stuck.


You can think of them as your own personal cheerleader, helping you to build your team up while they play. That can be another team-building benefit, giving your members a chance to take direction as a group but only when necessary.


Building autonomy is an important part of any team-building strategy, and with the help of a Game Host to support your team when they feel a little lost, they can explore that in a safe and fun environment.


That can lead to:

  • Stronger relationships with coworkers: Your team will need to communicate effectively to succeed in a virtual escape room. By the end of the game, they should feel more comfortable working with each other and be better able to build relationships outside of work.
  • New leadership opportunities: With the help of a Game Master, your team can experiment with different leadership styles. Do they work best when there’s a clear leader? Or do they prefer to divvy up tasks and take on more of an egalitarian approach? 
  • Improved problem-solving skills: Succeeding in a virtual escape room will require your team to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions to problems. That’s a skill that they can take back to the office with them and use on real-life projects!

Virtual escape room team-building can help with all of that and more. So, where do you start? Let’s take a look at some of the top options.


Our escape room recommendations


If you want a fun, fulfilling, team-building experience, there’s nothing better than Puzzle Break’s virtual escape rooms. Here are two options that will put your group on the path to success.

Disco Detectives


The Firestone Museum of History has been breached!


After a priceless artifact called “Eye of the Sun” was stolen, our group of bell-bottomed detectives must follow clues to solve the case. Disco Detectives is one of the top virtual escape rooms for team building and offers several key focus areas:

  • Collaboration
  • Exploration
  • Multi-tasking
  • Thinking globally
  • Pattern recognition
  • Teamwork

With no limit to the number of participants in a virtual room, the Puzzle Solving Investigator unit is about to gain quite a few recruits.


The Winter Tail of Jackalope Frost


Want something for the dreary winter months, or just want to infuse a little seasonal cheer into your team? This mischievous, mythical mammal is sure to put a smile on the face of every employee. 


The key focus areas of Jackalope Frost are:

  • Morale
  • Pattern recognition
  • Logic
  • Critical thinking
  • Attention to detail
  • Memory
  • Teamwork

Don’t worry, its fearsome facade shouldn’t turn anyone off. There are no requirements to take part other than a stable internet connection and a webcam. Don’t forget your notepad! 


Final thoughts


It’s been a long two years, so if you or your employer is looking for a fun bonding experience, an escape room is a perfect solution. It can be done entirely online, at an event space as a hybrid virtual room, or in one of our Seattle escape rooms. We would love to help your group build better communication and collaboration skills while having a great time. Check out our website to book your virtual escape room for team building!

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Can your team find the clues, solve the puzzles, and escape the room?