And I’m not talking about my business. I’m talking about yours. It’s no surprise that escape rooms successfully exist and continue to open up shop up all throughout the world. The popularity of the real-life escape game is growing exponentially and if seen from this perspective can mean growth for your business.
While the escape point-and-click computer games existed in the 1980s, the first physical escape room dates back to 2006. The mainstream appeal of escape rooms throughout the world has taken off in the last few years. Today, over 2,800 escape room venues exist worldwide.
A real-life escape room is a physical and mental adventure game where participants are locked in a room and are designated with a set time limit, typically 60 minutes, to escape. The room is made up with a series of puzzles and ciphers, locks, and secret rooms that must be found and solved, often in a series of steps by collectively working as a team to win. Real-life escape rooms take place in a variety of thematic settings including dungeons, apartments, and prison cells. Creative escape room operators have found success with casino, classroom, and bank-themed rooms.
The popularity of this game has been huge in the realm of business, in particular with team building activities. How so? The elements of participating in an escape room experience have its benefits when it comes to your business.
Just like any task with a group of people, someone has to take the charge. Think of this as a 60-minute project. People need to rely on each other and use intellectual strengths to tackle simple, yet complex surroundings. Clues exist throughout the entire room and piecing them together in a timely fashion can ensure a successful escape. We’ve found that in varying circumstances, leaders emerge, and in some cases, different people depending on the issue at hand within the 60-minute experience.
When it comes to different individual interests, strengths, and weaknesses, the collective work of an entire group is often greater than the sum of individual efforts. Escape rooms provide an opportunity for group interaction and teamwork. This could mean knowing what two, three, or four people work best together or what otherwise cordial personalities can spell disaster or inefficiencies. The synergy developed by participants can be easily transferred at work.
From a leadership perspective, it’s sometimes best to sit back and observe what’s happening. How your team members behave in this gut-wrenching environment can give you insight on how to lead, train, or speak with them. There’s a strong chance you’ll walk away with opportunities for engaging leadership, teamwork, and efficiency on the job site. You can then implement different strategies for ideal effectiveness in similar work situations.
One of the most challenging things people face in business is communication, within the company and with customers and clients. Everyone has their own style. As a leader, you’re often challenged to deliver the same message to people who see, hear, and understand all things differently. Escape games require lots of communication and it’s not just about sharing what you find, it’s also about communicating thoughts, ideas, and strategies. You’ll be put to the test in not just how well you’re able to gather information, but how to disseminate among many people working on multiple tasks. One person can solve problems through sight. Others need to hear things. Some need both. Escape rooms provide the opportunity to engage among many communication lines. Translate that at work and that could mean landing that next big sale or meeting a deadline ahead of schedule.
Morale and Motivation
Just like how people communicate differently, people are motivated differently. Some members of your team need a pat on the back, others are motivated by checking off boxes on a to-do list, while others strive when challenged in a leadership role. We’ve learned that escape games are not only fun as a participant but everyone can become thrillingly engaged in working together. Leaders can push forward with this excitement and tackle difficult upcoming work projects in good spirits.
For the leaders hiring new employees, switching people among departments, or feel there’s a plateau within the team, escape games offer some immediate flare. When the clock starts ticking people are immediately on the move. You and your team need to think quickly and be proactive on numerous levels, just like in everyday business. From communication breakthroughs to motivating moments, escape rooms are a great way for people to start working together quickly, thus quickly breaking the ice and getting to work.
Take Your Customers
The business benefits of an escape room go beyond within your team, we’ve seen businesses bring customers along for the experience, too. In an ongoing consulting and collaborative B2B or B2C environment, knowing just a little more about each other can improve two-way working relationships.
Now with all the benefits of escape rooms and team building, escape success rates range only 10-40%. Whether your team escapes or are left “locked” in the room, we know one thing is for sure, people have a greater understanding of each other and if you can implement these understandings to add onto your successes and improve your (or avoid anticipated) failures at work, then you’ve won… And that is good for business.