To answer this question, I first had to answer the question “What is team building?” I pulled the following definition of team-building from Wikipedia, so you know it’s true.
· aligning around goals
· building effective working relationships
· reducing team members' role ambiguity
· finding solutions to team problems
OK, I’ll work with this definition. Let’s look at each and see why team-building works so well in an Escape Room like Enigma HQ.
Aligning around goals. One of the great things about Escape Rooms is there is a defined goal. Whether it be a traditional escape room where you are trying to get a key to leave to room, or a goal-driven one like ours, you know what you are there to do… and the time limit to do it in!
Building effective working relationships. In most work environments, the work can get a little stale after a while and it hurts a team’s effectiveness at working together. Escape Rooms help provide a different context for a team that is less mundane and more fun. This helps bond a team together as well as facilitating relationships toward a shared goal.
Reducing team members' role ambiguity. Escape Rooms usually have different puzzles that can be worked on at the same time. Or a puzzle that has different components so that it can be divided up amongst the team. This helps divide the team into different roles. The best Escape Room teams know how to divide up inside a room, and teams gets better at this skill just by playing.
Finding solutions to team problems. The great thing about puzzles is that they are a problem with a clear-cut goal and reward for its solution. Between the puzzles and the time limit, teams are motivated to work together to succeed. This helps foster a strong team spirit.
Much of what is done in an Escape Room is not so different from what happens in a successful workplace. Teams are formed. Roles assigned. Problems solved with a timeline. Escape Rooms are just a whole lot more fun!
Brian Hacker is the team member most likely to distract his team with crazy theories. He's been in the games industry for over 20 years, first as a professional Magic player then became e a professional poker player and game designer. In an effort to understand obscure technologies and lose what remaining free time he had, he opened Enigma HQ!