Hybrid Team Building: Connect Your Remote Workforce!

December 6, 2022 by Nate Martin

In 2019, before the entire world was forced to change the way they thought about deploying a workforce, only 12 percent of employees that were part of a firm of over 500 people had access to remote work. That number shrank significantly when looking at companies with fewer than 50 workers.

Compare that to today, when McKinsey reports that 58 percent of all Americans have the opportunity to work from home at least one day a week. That number is likely only going to go up as more and more businesses realize the benefits of a remote workforce, and the next generation demands some flexibility in their scheduling.

With this in mind, the world of team-building has changed dramatically. No longer can you simply bring in an event team to your site to put on an activity, or take the whole office down the street to the bowling alley.

No, now you have to find a way to connect in-person and online workers at the same time in a hybrid environment.

Challenges of hybrid team building

While hybrid work environments and flexible schedules might be the norm in a few years, there is a huge elephant in the room: how do you create a team atmosphere, with people who never see each other?

In a traditional office, it’s easy to build a team. You see each other every day, you have the same coffee breaks and water cooler chats. You might even go out for drinks after work or on the weekends.

But when people are in different locations, it’s harder to create that sense of camaraderie and common purpose.

There are a few ways to get around this.

  1. Use technology to your advantage: There are a lot of great tools out there to help with communication and collaboration, from Slack to Zoom to Google Docs. Utilize them!
  2. Encourage socializing outside of work: In a remote work environment, it’s important to encourage socializing outside of work. This can be done by organizing social events or even just having regular video chats with your team members.
  3. Make sure everyone feels included: In a hybrid team, it’s easy for remote workers to feel left out. Make sure you are including them in all aspects of the team, from decision-making to social events.
  4. Communicate, communicate, communicate: In any team, communication is key. But in a hybrid team, it’s even more important. Make sure you are over-communicating so that everyone is on the same page and no one feels left out.
  5. Get creative with your team building: Just because people are in different locations doesn’t mean you can’t do traditional team-building activities. There are plenty of remote team-building games and activities that can be done online or over the phone.

Luckily, one of those traditional methods – escape rooms – has been revolutionized for the hybrid environment. Puzzle Break’s escape rooms can now be played both in-person and online, making them the perfect activity for a hybrid team.

Not only are they a great way to get everyone working together towards a common goal, but they are also a lot of fun! And with a customized experience that can be tailored to your company, you can be sure that your team will love it.

Use a hybrid escape room to bring the team together

An escape room is a physical adventure game in which players solve puzzles and riddles using clues, hints, and strategy to complete the objectives at hand. They are excellent team building because they require players to work together to solve the puzzles.

Each player brings their strengths and weaknesses to the table, and it’s up to the team as a whole to leverage those various strengths to create a cohesive whole.

Team-building benefits of an escape room

Just ask any of Puzzle Break’s satisfied customers, like Sandra de Novellis, the co-founder of Evolve Strategic Communications:

“Super fun experience, the virtual escape room with Puzzle Break is both highly challenging and fun, and a great way to collaborate with colleagues and friends. I would highly recommend this to corporations for team building – it’s exactly what we need right now!”

There are a handful of real-world benefits to putting your team through a task like this. It can:

  • Help employees better understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Encourage employees to think outside the box
  • Improve communication and collaboration among team members
  • Enhance problem-solving skills

In other words, not only is an escape room a fun way to spend an afternoon with your colleagues, but it can also help improve your business. And Puzzle Break makes it easy to implement in your workplace.

Bring together teams from all over the world

The key to hybrid escape rooms is that they are portable – meaning they can be brought directly to you – and they can be played by people in multiple locations at the same time.

This is perfect for businesses with a workforce that is widely dispersed. Some people might want to play in person in a physical space, while others might want to join virtually from their home office.  As more and more companies diversify their workforce, the ability to connect people from all over the world in a fun and interactive way becomes increasingly important.

Listen, 97% of employees say that they don’t want to go back to the office full-time. We get it. The last thing you want to do is force people to come into the building for a team-building event when they’re not comfortable.

That’s why hybrid escape rooms are perfect – because they give employees the ability to choose how they want to participate.

So whether you have a workforce that is fully remote, partially remote, or looking to become more remote in the future, portable, hybrid escape rooms offer a solution that can work for you.

How hybrid escape rooms work

The team at Puzzle Break will work with you to sort out the hybrid escape room experience that is perfect for your team. We will come to your location – or wherever you want us to set up shop – and quickly setup in the physical space (conference room, hotel meeting room, stadium, they’ve done it all!) for the in-person portion of the game.

Each hybrid Puzzle Break escape room is designed for remote participants to engage as fully as the folks in the room. Whether you have a team of 6 or 600, we can accommodate you and make sure everyone has a great time.

Can your team escape the room in time?

Here is a taste of some of our most popular hybrid escape room experiences:

A Hollywoodland Mystery

Put your detective hat on and pull out your notepad, it’s time to solve a murder! In this classic 1950s Hollywood caper, your team will examine footprints, follow unfinished maps, and decipher complex codes to try and find out who did the deed!

Your group will have to work together to solve many of the challenges, meaning communication is key. When you finally write down an answer, there will be cheers in the hallways both real and virtual!

The Sentinel Saga

Connect employees from all over the world in this extraterrestrial thriller, which tasks your team with cracking a code from outer space. Can you confirm life beyond the stars, or will time run out before you have the necessary proof?

This sci-fi escapade will give your team members a real sense of accomplishment when it’s finally finished, and allow them to get better at relying on one another in the workplace.

The Grimm Escape

The night seems eternal in the forbidden forest, which keeps you trapped in a mysterious realm as you try to break the witch’s curse. Your fate lies in the hands of your peers, who must solve enough of the riddles to break the magical spell and allow the party to return home.

If your team is interested in the weird, creepy fantasy world of swords and shields, this room will test your coordination and resolve.

Virtual escape rooms for fully remote teams

Don’t have an office to host part of the event? Is your team completely remote? No worries, as Puzzle Break has fully virtual escape rooms to offer as well.

Whether it is the Hackfiltration cyber adventure or a seasonal romp in The Winter Tail of Jackalope Frost, there is the perfect solution for your company (big or small).

Does hybrid team building really work?

Yes! We’ve seen it time and time again. Groups come in with a little skepticism or pent-up frustration and leave with a huge smile on their face, chattering on about how they can’t wait to do it again.

Plus, what other work activity can say that it’s truly fun for everyone – whether they’re in the room or not?

Reach out today and start planning a hybrid escape room for your next team-building event and let your employees recharge those batteries with a few puzzles and tricks!

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