Why Escape Rooms are the Best Option for Professional Team Building

September 2, 2022 by Nate Martin

Maybe your last team-building event didn’t go so well – maybe no one even showed up. You’re struggling to think of a way to engage the whole staff, especially because fractures are starting to form between them. You need something that will bring them together and help them work better as a unit. What can you do?


Escape rooms may just be your perfect solution. But if you’re not sure how to organize one, it’s your lucky day, because we’re here to answer all your questions and show you just how virtual escape room team building works!


Team building employees will look forward to


In decades past, team-building exercises were often something that employees dreaded. They were time-consuming, boring, and often felt like a waste of energy. They included things like:

  • Trust falls
  • Group activities with no clear purpose
  • Time wasted in brainstorming sessions that went nowhere

There wasn’t a whole lot of evidence that these things worked, though some managers were convinced that they did. In recent years, though, there has been a shift towards team-building exercises that are enjoyable. And what’s more enjoyable than trying to escape from a room?


Escape rooms have become increasingly popular in the last few years as a fun way to spend an afternoon or evening with friends. 


They’re also perfect for team building because they require people to work together to succeed. And unlike trust falls and other traditional exercises, there is clear evidence that escape rooms improve team performance.


One study published in The Cureus Journal of Medical Science suggested that nine out of ten participants found the experience motivated them to learn more about teamwork, and all of them rated it as a fun team-building activity. No more trust falls!


So if you’re looking for a team-building exercise that employees will enjoy and that has proven benefits, there are a few different options.


In-person escape rooms


The traditional in-person escape room is great for small teams of four to six people. It’s a perfect way to get everyone out of the office and into a fun environment where they can work together.


There are now escape rooms all over the world, so you’re sure to find one near you. And if you have a larger team, many companies will allow you to book multiple rooms at once so that everyone can participate.


Some of the benefits that a physical location can provide are:

  • A more immersive experience
  • More opportunities for physical activity
  • A chance to bond with co-workers outside of the office

There are some disadvantages too, however, as things can

  • Be more expensive
  • Be logistically difficult to organize
  • Require more time

If your staff is spread out across the world, or even just not interested in going to a public place with coworkers, virtual escape room team building is another option.


Virtual escape rooms


With the emergence of companies like Puzzle Break, virtual escape rooms are now becoming all the rage. They can:

  • Be done remotely, so everyone can participate no matter where they are
  • Be customized to your company’s needs
  • Take as little as an hour to complete

Virtual escape rooms work just like regular escape rooms, except that they’re played online. You’ll be given a series of puzzles to solve as a team, and you’ll have to use teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills to succeed. 


They’re perfect for team building because they’re so concise and because they can be done entirely remotely. If you’re interested in organizing a virtual escape room for your team, there are a few different things to keep in mind. 


First, you’ll need to decide what kind of room you want. There are lots of different options available, from haunted houses to heists and more. You can also choose to have the room specifically tailored to your company’s needs. 


For example, if you want to focus on communication, you can choose a room that requires everyone to work together to progress.

Once you’ve decided on an experience, decide whether you want it to be held completely remote, or a hybrid of in-person and online. We (Puzzle Break) can bring one of several rooms to a corporate event, where attendees can participate in person while those who aren’t able to make it can still join from the comfort of their home. 


Finally, you’ll need to decide when to have the escape room. You’ll want to choose a time that works for everyone on your team, and you’ll also want to make sure that you allow enough time for everyone to complete the room. 


Organizing a virtual escape room for your team is a great way to promote teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills. And with so many different rooms and experiences available, there’s sure to be one that’s perfect for your team.


Build skills and lifelong memories


Do you ever get together with old high school friends, and just talk about that one time when you all helped Josh’s dad build a deck? Shared experiences are some of the most lasting memories we have, and they help to build skills that we never forget.


The same is true for co-workers. When they work together to solve puzzles and complete challenges, they’re building skills that will help them in their day-to-day jobs. They’re also creating memories that they can look back on fondly, and reminisce about when things get tough at work.


Escape rooms are the perfect way to build skills and create memories because they’re designed to be challenging. They force people to think outside the box, work together, and use their strengths to solve problems. And when everyone is working together and having fun, they’ll be more likely to remember the experience fondly.


There are so many ways in which team building can improve productivity; let’s take a look at a few.


Critical thinking that makes employees bond together


To solve the puzzles in an escape room, employees have to think critically and work together. This type of problem-solving is beneficial for a few reasons.


First, it allows employees to bond with each other. When they’re working together to figure out a puzzle, they’re also building trust and communication. And when they know they can rely on each other, they’ll be more likely to work well together in the future.


Second, it is a skill that employees can use in their day-to-day lives. If they can learn to think critically and solve problems as a team, they’ll be more likely to find creative solutions to work-related challenges.


Finally, critical thinking is just plain fun! When employees are allowed to use their brains and work together, they’re bound to have a good time. And when they’re having fun, they’ll be more likely to come back for more team-building activities in the future.



Explore your strengths and weaknesses


At work, an employee might shy away from something they don’t feel comfortable doing. In an escape room, there are no such boundaries. Every person has to step outside their comfort zone to complete the challenges.


This is a great opportunity for employees to explore their strengths and weaknesses. They might be surprised at how much they’re capable of, and they’ll learn to rely on each other for help when they’re struggling. As a result, they’ll be more likely to ask for help when they need it at work.


There is a real sense of accomplishment when you complete something you didn’t believe you were good at. For example, introverted people might find that they’re quite good at leading a team through the challenges, given their prior knowledge of a specific subject. 


Or, a more outgoing person might realize that they’re good at coming up with ideas, but need help when it comes to executing them. Either way, employees will start to learn how they can turn weaknesses into strengths, and improve their overall ability.


It can be a huge benefit for managers too, who can monitor the adventure and get to know their staff better. They’ll be able to see which employees step up in a crisis, and who works best under pressure. Next thing you know, you’ll be handing out tasks that play to everyone’s strengths!


Build better communication (and employee retention)


Everything, everywhere, comes down to communication. Without it:

  • Tasks go unfinished
  • Objectives are not met
  • Goals are not achieved

You can improve communication by: 

  • Encouraging employees to share their ideas 
  • Asking employees for feedback and suggestions 
  • Listening to what your employees have to say 
  • Encouraging team members to work together on projects.

Do those things sound familiar? They’re all necessary for a successful escape! It won’t feel like work, but your team will be building better communication skills. That will quickly lead to a more productive workplace, as employees start to feel more comfortable sharing their ideas and working together. 


At a virtual event, it could even be people who would normally never get to speak with each other! Sometimes – and yes, it sounds oversimplified –  the best way to build communication is just by allowing employees to talk to each other.


An escape room for every type of employee


Are you interested in math problems? What about code-breaking? Riddles?


If you can think of it, there’s probably an escape room that incorporates it. And that’s one of the great things about them – there’s something for everyone.


If you have a team of people who are all working towards the same goal, it’s important to make sure that everyone is engaged and enjoying themselves. Otherwise, you’ll just end up with a group of people who are bored and resentful.

Escape rooms are the perfect way to do this because there are so many different types to choose from. 


If you have a team of mathematicians, there’s an escape room for them. If you have a team of history buffs, there’s an escape room for them too. A knitting club? Well, wouldn’t you know it, the only way to get out is to crochet a beanie!


No matter what your team’s personality type is, there’s an escape room out there that will challenge and engage them. And when everyone is engaged and working together, that’s when the magic happens.


Win or lose together


There is something about competition that can forge unbreakable bonds. It’s the feeling of being in it together and fighting for the same goal. When people come together to compete, they develop a sense of camaraderie that can be hard to come by in other circumstances.


In an escape room, everyone is working towards the same goal: escape! This means that everyone has to be on the same page, working together and helping each other out. There is no room for egos or in-fighting because everyone needs to be focused on the task at hand.


This sense of unity can carry over into the workplace, where people will be more likely to work together and help each other out. Because they’ve experienced firsthand what it’s like to win (or lose) as a team, they’ll be more invested in their co-workers’ success.


Puzzle Break’s best options for team building


Convinced yet? Let’s look at a couple of Puzzle Break experiences that are perfect for coworker team building.

Hackfiltration


If you thought youth soccer was a good teambuilding exercise, just wait until you have to take down a whole corporation that is in the process of building a superweapon. Not exactly a trust fall, is it?


This virtual escape room brings participants into a world filled with cyber attacks and resistance movements, asking them to stop their corporate overlords and save the world! It will focus on active collaboration, getting team members to complete tasks simultaneously, and have them laughing along while they furiously peck away at their keyboards.


The Grimm Escape


Go back in time to a place where witches still roam, and try to break a (previously) unbreakable curse. Letting your imagination run wild for a few hours will allow team members to get work completely off their minds, while flexing a little bit of their brain power. 


The fantasy adventure, now available as a fully virtual escape room, forces your team to triage several problems and delegate tasks efficiently. Or else you’ll never escape the enchanted forest!


These are just two of the many options available at Puzzle Break for virtual, hybrid, or in-person events. Now that you know why escape rooms are so effective for team building, go get solving!

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