Updated: Jul 12, 2022
For many groups, the term team building can dredge up memories of awkward ice breaker sessions and comedic stereotypes of overenthusiastic managers. Yet, despite this, it is a critical investment for every organisation that values employee welfare and productivity. So how can you do it effectively without getting trapped in those terrible tropes?
Enter Escape Rooms; which may seem like an odd proposition, but hear us out. Escape rooms are in a unique position where they can simultaneously achieve everything you want to accomplish with team building, without the pesky pressure of disconnected HR expectations.
To get us on the same page, let us first break down what makes good team-building in general. Ideally, a good team-building exercise should; be some form of activity that breaks the monotony, something challenging for the team to overcome with problem-solving skills and conflict management, encourage communication between members to help break the ice and establish team dynamics, and expose skills such as leadership and creative thinking, bridge the gap between cliques, increase team morale and do so while feeling organic.
So now that we’ve established our ideal goals we can begin to explore why escape rooms are so perfect for this task.
Escape rooms are a fun non-work environment to explore personal or group dynamics, and in a way that members like non-drinkers can participate socially.
Escape rooms are fun, yes, but not easy. Skills like problem-solving, communication and collaboration are crucial to succeed in an escape; along with concepts like sharing ideas, multitasking and personnel allocation, all under the pressure of time, just like you’d expect in your work environment.
An escape room encourages every team to compete not only against time but against themselves. Members are driven to direct their efforts and perform their very best, collectively aiming to achieve victory. Emphasis on victories turns failures into learning experiences, and not sources of criticism, giving freedom to experiment and grow.
With increased freedom comes increased expression. Members will develop a sense of appreciation for those with specific talents, and the variety of tasks to overcome will give everyone a chance to contribute and engage, group “aha” moments will create shared memories and stronger bonds.
Ingenuity is rewarded; a lot of commercial team-building exercises try to make every member conform to a mould that meets the organisers' preconceived desires. This can often distort organic team chemistry, or violate their own feelings. The freedom of escape rooms allows unique individuals to think outside the box, finding shortcuts and solutions that will benefit the team's performance as a whole.
Escape rooms are fun! This needs to be repeated, as having fun together reduces workplace tension and generates a feeling of acknowledgement. Joy creates a positive culture, which comes with greater motivation and higher retention. Not only is team building accomplished, but the very act of going team building itself can become a reward for everyone involved.
Although a person can only do each escape room once, different teams can do the same room. This allows multiple teams to have similar yet different experiences, the process of exchanging and comparing these can help develop bonds between them without even needing to work together, helping inform each other of strengths and weaknesses by reference.
More generations are coexisting in one workforce than ever before. Overcoming the generational gap is troublesome, especially in a job market ever more reliant on technological trends, but a trip to the escape room will help connect the shared values and interests of your team through timeless adventures.
So, we’ve established that escape rooms are a productive method of building your team, a chance to develop skills without wasting time on topics like basic human decency and minimum trust. You can even masquerade your escape room visit as a fun day, to remove the negative connotations of team building and enjoy all the benefits of other methods with none of the drawbacks.
With that obvious stuff out of the way we should take this chance to brag- uh… convince you why The Escapement, as the UK’s No.1 escape room, is the optimum choice for your needs.
The Escapement has five award-winning immersive escape rooms that can be run concurrently, With the venue supporting up to 150 people a day, you can mix teams and encourage competition. Perfect for introducing new staff, building familiarity with other personalities, or dividing and combining cliques that may be developing in the workplace.
Unlike most other escape rooms, Escapement’s staff give enthusiastic debriefs that break down the performance of every team, showing areas where they excel and struggle. This engaging third-party analysis can serve as a great guideline for management, as having feedback provided by someone from outside the workplace makes everyone more amenable to receiving potential criticism.
If your team is situated in Broadstairs you can even help them connect not only with each other but with the culture of their area, through the outdoor escape room experience we offer. Tasked with travelling around the town and learning its history, everyone will become familiar with the local area as a team.
Lastly, we will mention one of the biggest potential pitfalls of other team-building strategies; the newly established dynamics or group bonds aren’t carried back to the workplace. Escapement, however, in our infinite wisdom, even has a solution to that. The Network, a board game built to provide an at-home escape room experience, will perfectly allow them to reapply their experiences and reinforce the team dynamics, while also being in the location of their workplace environment.
Now it should be pretty clear why escape rooms are the perfect team-building activity, and especially why Escapement is a cut above the competition, there is no time like the present to secure your team-building adventure.
Contact us and we can help prepare the optimal booking to fit your needs.