Virtual Escape Rooms: The #1 Best Team Building Activity

November 8, 2022 by Nate Martin

Before the 20th century, no one gave much thought to team cohesion and communication. Why sit around talking about your feelings when there’s work to be done? Trust falls were nonexistent and ‘get to know you’ sessions would have been laughed out of management’s office.

There’s no denying that we’re in a better place these days. Workplaces actually care about their employees, for starters (hooray for the bare minimum!) and people are slowly but surely realizing that happy employees make for a more productive workforce. 

But here’s the thing – normal team building exercises just aren’t that interesting. They’re not. And now that 42 percent of us work from home in the US, they’re even more of a drag than they used to be. Share a fun fact about yourself! What’s your favorite color? If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Bleh. 

We’re all adults here – we don’t need Zoom icebreakers to get to know each other. We need something that will challenge us, that will force us to think outside the box and work together towards a common goal. And that’s where virtual escape rooms shine. 

What is an Escape Room?

Great question. 

Back in 1988, a man by the name of John Wilson created a game called Behind Closed Doors. It was a computer game, but it featured something that would later become integral to escape rooms: a character who was trapped inside a room with the challenge of escape. Escape-based games only gained popularity from there.

Then in 2007, Takao Kato – an avid gamer and adventurer from Kyoto – brought the concept to life with the first physical escape room. And thank goodness he did! The trend caught fire, and now there are escape rooms all over the world. 

For lovers of puzzles and games, the invention of escape rooms was like a dream come true. You could physically enter the game and engage with the fictional story; it was one of the first fully immersive gaming experiences. (And no, you didn’t need a pair of VR goggles to enjoy it.) 

For those unfamiliar, here’s how an escape room works: 

  • You and your team are given a scenario and placed in a room (or several rooms) together. 
  • In order to escape, you’ll need to solve a series of puzzles that are all interconnected. 
  • The puzzles can be anything from finding a key to opening a lock, but they’ll always lead you one step closer to freedom. 

Oh, and you’re usually on a timer too. Just to add an extra sense of urgency (and fun!) to the mix. 

Virtual Escape Rooms: The Future of Team Building

Here at Puzzle Break, we’ve been running escape rooms – and absolutely loving it – since 2013, when we launched our first room with a measly $7000 loan. But things have changed a heck of a lot since then, and not just because we’ve paid off our debt. 

The pandemic has forced us, like so many others, to adapt to a new normal. And that means offering our escape rooms online. 

We were hesitant at first (would the same magic translate through a computer screen?) but before too long, we were experimenting with state-of-the-art tech and other immersive elements to create a brand new type of virtual escape room experience. 

Our online rooms are just as challenging, engaging, and fun as our in-person ones – if not more so. Whether you’re a seasoned escape room enthusiast or a first-timer, our virtual rooms are the perfect way to boost your teamwork skills from the comfort of your home or office desk. 

How does Team Building with Virtual Escape Rooms Work?

What are the best parts of any escape room? The story, definitely; there’s usually a thrilling plot that requires quick thinking and resourcefulness to solve. Then there’s the visual element; most escape rooms are designed to be visually stunning, with beautiful (or creepy!) puzzles and props. And of course, the puzzles themselves!

Believe it or not, virtual escape rooms don’t have to compromise on a single one of these elements. They’re just as interesting, just as detailed, and just as challenging as in-person rooms. 

The way it works is simple: 

  • You and your team join a conference call, along with a Host who will be curating the entire experience to ensure maximum engagement and success.
  • You’re given a series of puzzles to solve, which you’ll need to figure out using teamwork, communication, and lateral thinking.
  • The puzzles aren’t just words on a screen – they might be audio clues, videos, or other visual elements that you’ll need to interact with.
  • The Host is there to give you hints if you get stuck, but it’s up to you and your team to crack the case!

Since part of the appeal of any escape room is the simulation of being in a different time and place, our Hosts create the same level of immersion you’d expect from an in-person room. We’re all about the details, so you can be sure that your virtual escape room will be just as transportive as the real thing. 

Why You Should Try A Virtual Escape Room

We get lots of different people coming in to try our escape rooms. Friend groups and family units love our Seattle escape rooms as something to do while visiting the area. We’ve got our regulars, too. 

A group that particularly loves our virtual rooms, though? Businesses looking to improve their employee / team performance.

Virtual escape rooms are the perfect way to build teamwork skills and communication within a remote team. They force you to think outside the box, work together under pressure, and come up with creative solutions – all qualities that are essential in any business setting. 

Plus, they’re just plain fun! And who doesn’t want to do something fun with their coworkers? Everyone’s tired of snail’s pace Zoom meetings that achieve nothing and waste everyone’s time. A virtual escape room is the perfect way to break up the monotony, build morale, and get everyone working together towards a common goal. 

What You’ll Gain As a Team

It’s no secret that team cohesion is crucial to a successful business. Reports like this one demonstrate how a more cohesive team is vastly more efficient, productive, and successful than a team that doesn’t work well together. 

Escape rooms are nothing short of exceptional when it comes to building teamwork skills. Seriously – enter that virtual escape room, and you’re instantly confronted with the perfect storm of team-building opportunities. 

Each team member will have to: 

  • Communicate effectively with the rest of the group 
  • Take on different roles and responsibilities based on their strengths 
  • Help each other out and offer support when needed 
  • Delegate tasks in order to make the most efficient use of everyone’s time 
  • Make decisions as a group, then execute them quickly and efficiently

All of these skills are essential in any business setting – from start-ups to established corporations. By doing a virtual escape room with your team, you’re giving everyone the opportunity to practice and refine these skills in a fun, low-pressure environment. 

Not only that, but you’re also building morale and fostering a sense of camaraderie within your team. You’re learning who’s good at what. Who knew that Dan was so great at solving puzzles? And who knew that Jenna was such a natural leader? 

It works wonders for team morale when everyone starts to see each other in a new light and appreciate each member’s strengths. 

Additional Virtual Escape Room Benefits for your Team

Team-building benefits aside, our virtual rooms are also the most convenient way to do an escape room. No need to drive anywhere or worry about parking – you can do it all from the comfort of your own office (or home office, these days). 

For hybrid teams, we’ve got your back. Our hybrid escape rooms are designed specifically for groups where some people are in-office and some are remote. You can all enter the room together and work as one cohesive team, no matter where you’re located. 

And for our on-site teams? We’ve got options for you, too. Puzzle Break portable and hybrid escape rooms can be taken and set up anywhere. We’ll come to your next conference, or right into your boardroom. The limit does not exist!

Puzzle Break Virtual Escape Rooms

At the moment, we at Puzzle Break are proud to offer six unique virtual escape rooms. We’ve worked with the likes of Google, Apple, Amazon, Twitter, and more to help their teams build communication, collaboration, and problem-solving skills – so you’re in good hands.

Here’s a quick overview of each room:

  • School for Spies: It’s finals week at Spy Academy and the professor has gone missing! Can you and your class find the clues scattered around the globe to pass your exam?
  • Hackfiltration: In this irreverent cyber adventure from decades past, you and your team of elite hackers must infiltrate the system to fight the power!
  • The Winter Tail of Jackalope Frost: ‘Tis the season to gather close your team of brave adventurers and solve the mystery of mischievous Jackalope Frost.
  • The Grimm Escape: Your troupe has become trapped in an enchanted forest. Do you have the wit and wisdom to defeat the curse before time runs out?
  • Disco Detectives: A priceless artifact has been stolen from the Firestone Museum of History. It’s up to the legendary Puzzle Solving Investigator unit to crack the case.
  • Monsterpelago: 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? We hope so!

There’s truly something for everyone in our virtual escape room offerings. If you’re looking for a fun and unique way to boost teamwork (and have a blast while you’re at it), look no further than Puzzle Break.

Get in touch with us now to book your virtual experience!

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