Do your memories of team building activities involve sitting elbow to elbow in a cramped office space while playing ice breakers and “get to know you” games with coworkers? Team building is an essential component to improving the performance of any collaborative group.
Not only does it provide team members the opportunity to get to know each other a little better, it also increases morale and performance. It takes more than a Jimmy John’s work luncheon and a round of 2 Truths And A Lie for people to relate and bond to one another; nobody wants their livelihood in the hands of coworkers that they barely know during a trust fall.
What's An Escape Room?
Curious about upcoming evaluations, you and 6 coworkers sneak into your boss’s office to take a peak while she’s out to lunch. Boom! The door closes hard as you all reach Karen’s desk. “It’s locked from the inside”, Darnell shouts to the group. It’s known that Karen loves her routines, and that she will return promptly in 60 minutes. You all must search around for solutions in order to escape the room before boss-lady returns and fires everyone!
This is just one example of the many scenarios you can come across in an escape room challenge. Escape rooms have grown into one of the hottest attractions for adults of all ages since the first U.S. establishment opened in 2012. These challenges usually involve teams from 2-20 solving clues, finding keys, and unlocking puzzles in order to accomplish a particular task.
While escape rooms were originally designed to be an immersive gaming experience, they inherently have a unique team-building aspect. Since these games are built for the mind, they are also fun for diverse and eclectic groups. Plus, they are LOTS of fun. Don’t be surprised if you are suddenly the popular person in the break room after coordinating one of these.
Still need some convincing? We have compiled a list of the top 5 benefits you will gain by choosing an escape room as your next team-builder.
1. Improves Team PerformanceIt is important that team members act, move, and behave as a team. The point at which a group becomes a team happens when individuals agree on a purpose and a set of goals and objectives, which usually involves solving some sort of problem. Teammates should all feel accountability for the actions of the team as well as feel a sense of pride for team accomplishments.
Escape room adventures create an environment that allow employees to cooperate and collaborate to achieve a particular result. These challenges tend to bring out the competitive nature in people, and encourage the team to interact and focus on their performance. Room escape games allow your team to go through the motions of creating a cohesive unit in a fast-paced environment while having a fun time in the process.
2. Strengthens Intergenerational Team Cohesion
Fun is THE universal language when it comes to team building. Competitive activities encourage everyone to participate and interact with one another. Gaming and hands-on activities transcend multiple generations, which breaks down many barriers of communication between people that may not usually have much to talk about.
Many teams suffer from its members being unable to relate beyond generational gaps. Seasoned vets, hardened by the woes of corporate america, sometimes have trouble relating to the bright-eyed, bushy-tailed college graduates ready to take on the world. These connections are especially important because as time goes by, newer teammates will eventually take over and all of that knowledge will need to be passed down for the success of future projects.
Escape rooms appeal to audiences of all ages, and the success of the adventure is driven by brainpower and team cooperation. Since there is usually minimal physical exertion associated with escape rooms (bending over and walking up stairs at the most), they are perfect for groups with varying ages and physical limitations. Well-designed escape rooms will have a good mix of puzzles and clues available to keep everyone searching the entire time. You will be amazed at how quickly your team comes together to think their way out. This is definitely a must-do team builder for groups with intergenerational team members.
3. Strengthens Interdependent Team Structures
Variety is the spice of life! Everyone has their own, unique skill set that allows them to contribute to a team. It’s important to understand the skill sets of everyone you are working with and how they can contribute towards the purpose of the team.
During your escape room experience, you may discover talents and personality traits about yourself and teammates that you hadn’t noticed before. Notice how one of your coworkers thought of a way to retrieve a clue that was a little unorthodox? Their thinking talents may be rooted in innovation and using their creative abilities. Now think about this coworker’s role at work. Are they currently in a role that allows them to be creative or to present innovative solutions? If not, this may open the door for a conversation about future opportunities or placements.
4. Reduces Role Ambiguity
Rome wasn’t built in a day and it definitely wasn’t constructed by one person. Successful teams are composed of individuals that take ownership of their own responsibilities while also respecting the roles and duties of other team members. Teammates must rely on each other to contribute to the team’s ultimate success.
Role designation is important so that a hierarchy is established and everyone understands their own unique contributions and responsibilities. There are not many things more frustrating than when the leaders of a team are indecisive. It is equally as frustrating when people are not confident and competent in the roles that they have selected or been assigned.
Escape rooms may help individuals hone in on their leadership skills and find their role within the team. When the countdown timer starts ticking and the pressure to escape starts building, it is always interesting to see who steps up to certain challenges and who lets frustration get the best of them.
5. Builds Trust
Have you ever worked on a project where members of the team were distrustful of one another? If so, you know exactly how frustrating it can be to work in this type of hostile work environment. Without trust, you simply have a group of people working towards a common goal while getting less than impressive results. What else should you expect from a team where members may be hogging information because of power struggles or butting heads over responsibilities and roles?
Lack of trust is definitely the killer of creativity, productivity, and innovation. It is imperative to have trust amongst the individual members so that the team can tackle even the most challenging obstacles. Trust builds bonds between teammates that act as a glue for their relationships with one another and helps to hold everything together. This, in turn, promotes individuals of the team to learn to rely on the integrity, abilities, and persistence of their teammates.
The use of collaboration to solve puzzles presents opportunities to develop good cooperative learning practices. Since there is little to lose with escape games (other than bragging rights, of course), players will let those guards down and communicate openly in a fun and non-threatening environment.
Who knew escape rooms had so much depth!?
Be the star of your workplace this week! Navigate to your favorite escape room directory (like this one - http://escaperoomdirectory.com/), and find room escape challenges in your area.
If you are looking for a team outing in St. Louis, Missouri, make sure you contact us here at No Way Out Escape Room Adventures to set up an escape room and team-building event for your corporate team.