Mention “team building exercise” and most people cringe. Their minds conjure visions of blindfolds and falling nervously backward into (hopefully) the arms of an equally reluctant co-worker, or awkward “sharing circles” where eye-contact is mandatory. M-A-N-D-A-T-O-R-Y!! But thankfully there’s a better way!
Escape rooms are a relatively new option for one of the best team building exercises you can find for both employees and employers. Here’s why:
1) Work toward a common goal
With just 1 hour to find and solve clues to escape the room, this is a great way to support collaboration and communication skills between team members. Rather than employees completing individual tasks or pairing off, the entire team is working together on both the individual components of the escape room, as well as the bigger picture of pulling all the clues together. The better a team can collaborate and communicate, the faster they will gain freedom and bragging rights!
2) Discover who rises to challenges in surprising ways
An escape room challenge can be a unique way to identify the individual strengths and hidden talents of team members. While some team members may naturally excel at coordinating the progress of the game to keep everyone focused on piecing the clues together, others may excel at solving riddles or lateral thinking, unearthing clues overlooked by others. An abseiling exercise may never have revealed that Janine, the bubbly receptionist, is in fact an avid cryptologist, adept at solving mysterious codes by the eerie glow of an antique lantern!
3) Build strategy and problems solving skills
In each escape room there are a series of different puzzles, clues and challenges to solve. Some of these have many multiple parts, or more than one purpose. Nothing is as it seems..! Teams need to devise a cohesive strategy in order to solve the mysteries of the room in time. This might be allocating team members to search various sections of the room, working out how to collate and manage clues, or sharing ideas to decipher a tricky problem. There is no one strategy, so each team must come up with their own plan of attack.
4) Develop time management skills
Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Teams only have 1 hour to find all their clues and reveal their secrets! Will it end in panic and pandemonium… or will the game unfold with the well-oiled precision of a military machine? Escape room challenges reveal a lot about time management skills. Will teams see value in allowing time to devise a strategy, or will they jump straight in with no clear intent in mind? How long will they spend trying to solve an existing clue if they are stuck before stepping back to re-examine existing clues, or to try a different approach? This is where different time management styles may result in very different outcomes.
5) Find a fresh perspective on team members
So now we’ve discovered Janine is full of code-busting surprises, what other surprises may be unveiled throughout the course of the game? Who will spur the team to success? Who will be the quiet achiever? Who ensures the team is keeping on track? It may not be the people you expect? Because escape rooms create alternate realities and day-to-day tasks and expectations are suspended, it’s easier for people to relax their work personalities and reveal new sides of themselves.
6) Everyone can feel included and part of the team
The great thing about escape room team building challenges is everyone can participate at their own level. There are no physical challenges that might be problematic for employees with physical or medical conditions. And there is absolutely NO mandatory eye-contact or sharing of personal details to make the introverts or socially anxious feign illness – scouts’ honour! Everyone has an opportunity to find their niche skill set and participate the way they feel most comfortable. It may be breaking code, recognising patterns, coordinating the team’s effort, finding hidden clues, or just cheering the team on, regardless of the ultimate outcome.
7) Super fun!
Let’s be honest… who doesn’t like to get away from the day-to-day work? Not only do escape rooms switch up the daily routine, but each room offers a completely different setting for a unique adventure. Whether teams are saving the world, travelling through time and alternate dimensions, or unearthing the clues to discover vast fortunes, they will have the opportunity to take an intrepid break from reality. As they say, a change is as good as a holiday, so what better way to refresh and connect your team than with an escape room adventure!
Discover new and exciting worlds with Mindshift Escape Rooms and book your team building adventure today!