There are about 2,300 escape room businesses operating in the U.S. today. That number has grown dramatically over the past few years, as this concept has gained popularity with friend groups, families and even business teams.
If you’re not familiar with the escape room concept, here’s how it works. Basically, you’re placed in a themed room and then given a mission to find hints and clues that go along with your theme. You may need to find a key or figure out a passcode. The ultimate goal is to find a way to escape the room you’ve been placed in. Your team needs to work together to figure out each clue and work toward that larger goal.
This activity can provide small businesses with a unique opportunity for team building.
Jonathon Murrell, founder of The Escape Game said in an email to Small Business Trends, “Plato once said, ‘You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.’ The Escape Game gives teams a great opportunity to get out of the office and work together to complete a mission. In order to escape, you have to communicate well, you have to trust each other, and everyone has to fulfill different roles. Unlike other team building activities, The Escape Game forces people to work together and communicate in order to reach a shared goal. And without the distractions of phones and outside interactions, people really get to know their teammates and discover more about them. People not only find out about the strengths and weaknesses of their teammates but also of their own qualities that they bring to the team. These qualities all transfer back to the workplace plus you have some awesome memories to look back on as a team.”
The Escape Game offers 60-minute adventures that engage all your senses and provide movie-like settings. You get to choose from a variety of themes to fit the preferences of your team. They have museum heists, prison breaks and even space settings. But they all incorporate the general concepts of teamwork and problem solving.
So you can see why this concept may be so beneficial to businesses. Traditional team activities like company picnics or meetings tend to include a lot of talking, but not much in the way of actual problem solving practice. This activity allows people to flex those creative muscles in a really interesting environment, rather than simply talking about solving problems. Flexing those muscles allows your team to get used to working alongside one another so that they can better complement each other in a business setting. It can also help you better get to know the unique strengths of your team.
Murrell says, “Teamwork is a huge benefit because teams have to communicate and trust each other in order to escape and everyone wants to escape so they figure it out as a team. Inside these adventures, relationships are made and bonds are forged. When teams come and play one of our games, they really learn how to work together in those crunch time situations. It is really cool to see teams come alive inside the room as they are relaying information, dividing up to complete different tasks, solving puzzles together, and having a blast doing it. Every skill involved in a successful escape translates back to the office because it all comes down to teamwork and if a team is working well together, they can achieve anything.”
So the next time you’re planning a company picnic or other generic event, it may be helpful to think creatively and find a more unique solution. Since this concept is spreading throughout the country so quickly, there’s a good chance that there’s one near your business.
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