Remote work is all the rage in 2022. As technology becomes more advanced, flexibility becomes more common, and overhead costs become more manageable. Yet, amidst this new asynchronous workforce, company leaders are looking for ways to bring talent together outside of typical revenue-centered meetings or deadline-driven brainstorm sessions.
How do you bring a virtual team together?
Virtual escape rooms for team building are a sure-fire way to reinforce employees’ communication skills, build relationships with coworkers, and work towards shared goals — all outside of the typical work environment. Let’s take a closer look.
Virtual team building differs from its in-person counterpart in a few key ways. Most notably, participants aren’t physically present in the same space when working together. They have to use digital tools to communicate and collaborate. Remote teams commonly employ additional forms of technology or media to bridge the gap, including video conferencing, instant messaging, and document sharing.
Virtual teams work hard to stay connected and in-sync, a worthwhile investment given that 75% of employers rate teamwork and collaboration as one of the most important parts of the workplace. In remote-heavy offices, virtual team building has a number of advantages. One is it allows leadership to provide new, affordable, and fresh experiences outside of the corporate landscape. Virtual team-building games, escape rooms, and puzzles are fun ways to build strengths without being stale.
That’s not to say that traditional types of team-building events like conferences, lunch-and-learns, etc., can’t be integrated with their virtual counterparts. In fact, integrating a virtual-aspect of team building into an in-person event opens up participation to team members who may not have been able to come.
Physical and virtual escape rooms don’t differ as much as many believe.
In order to do a virtual escape room, you need many of the same technological tools you’d use for regular virtual office activities. At the very least, each team member will need a computer or laptop with a webcam and an internet connection.
It’s helpful if everyone has a microphone so they can communicate easily. You’ll also need a way to share your screen with the other members of your team, done through a service like Google Hangouts or Zoom. If you want to add difficulty, you can have one member of the team act as the “host” and share the screen. This could double as pseudo-training for managerial roles, as facilitating effective meetings is a key characteristic of a team leader or manager.
Virtual escape rooms can be played by teams of any size and used for different purposes. For instance, a team of salespeople can use an escape room to practice their negotiation skills, whereas a team of engineers can use an escape room to practice their problem-solving skills.
Physical and virtual escape rooms both have team-building strengths and weaknesses.
Virtual team building activities use the attributes of large teams as well as individual team members to build cognitive abilities, critical thinking, participation and collaboration skills, communication skills, and more. Each team member is placed in charge of a different task to complete before the group can progress to the next part of the room. In order to escape, everyone needs to contribute. This type of activity requires time management and leadership. If one team member doesn’t fulfill their responsibilities, it can hold the rest of the group back.
Team puzzles, logical exercises, and virtual escape rooms all serve as entertaining and stimulating icebreakers for new employees, or ways to demonstrate and refresh existing skills. What’s more, just by making social connections through these exercises, workers can improve their general cognitive abilities. From a management perspective, these team-building activities are efficient and effective at increasing employee participation, team communication, and overall workplace harmony.
When the Annual General Meeting rolls around, or your team schedules an in-person meetup, perhaps they’ll want to do a physical escape room. If the meetup location is in Seattle, our team at Puzzle Break has a variety of world-famous, award-winning escape rooms your team will surely enjoy. If Seattle isn’t your team-building location of choice, don’t worry! Our escape rooms come to you. We’ve got portable/hybrid offerings now available for offsite companies or team meetings anywhere in North America.
Our rooms are great for corporate events, team building, holiday parties, and more. They serve as good team building escape rooms, no matter where your team is arriving from or how many escape rooms they’ve already conquered. Each experience is new, fresh, and guaranteed to be the talk of the virtual watercooler for weeks to come.
There are many things that make a good team-building escape room. The puzzles should be challenging but not impossible to solve. They should be creative and engaging while also promoting teamwork and communication. By requiring players to work together in order to solve the puzzles and escape the room, in-person escape rooms help employees build relationships with each other and learn to communicate effectively. Virtual escape rooms promote these same skills at a typically lower cost with the added benefit of location flexibility.
Portable/hybrid escape rooms should be your go-to if you want both of the benefits from in-person and virtual escape rooms. These escape rooms can be set up in any location and don’t require a dedicated space, like traditional in-person escape rooms.
Regardless of format, a good team-building escape room should include:
When you’re working on a team, it’s important to be able to know your coworkers have your back, and that you can rely on them to help you get the job done. How do you build that trust? Organize your next team building event around an escape room and see how much more you can unlock than just puzzles and locks.