Complex projects, consecutive meetings, and the pressure to meet deadlines can take a toll on an employee’s performance. Work accompanied with fun activities is what they need. A little break from work boosts productivity and improves performance.
There are several activities that HR arranges for employees with the aim of building rapport and encouraging teamwork. One of them is an ‘escape room’. Does that ring a bell? Let’s find out more:
What is an Escape Room?
An escape room is a team-building activity in which people are locked in a room with the purpose of solving a puzzle or riddle using clues. The sooner they solve the puzzle, the faster they can escape the room. The idea is to generally escape the room in 60 minutes or less.
People are divided into teams of 10 or 12 and have the choice of selecting from a wide variety of themes, some of which are:
- Prison Cells
Rooms are designed as per the theme. All rooms have certain features in common such as:
- Locks and keys
- Multiple rooms
- Locked or hidden doors
Every room has a story to it and players have to play the character. For example, breaking free from prison, playing a hostage, or discovering hidden clues.
All team players have to work together to escape the room as fast as they can.
How to Play an Escape Room?
As mentioned earlier, each room comes with a theme and mission of its own. Teams have the option of choosing from a variety of adventures.
Every escape room has a guide who explains the purpose of the escape room, the rules, and any other questions participants may have.
Players are first shown a video that explains the chosen adventure, objective, and timeline. Once the video ends, the game begins.
A frequently asked question is if people are left entirely alone in the room? Well, yes they are but are being constantly monitored by guides via camera and microphones. In some cases, the guides also provide teams with clues and hints.
In case a team wants to quit, they have the option of leaving.
What is a Virtual Escape Room?
Things have taken a turn since the pandemic started. People are working remotely, meetings have become completely virtual and dependence on technology has increased.
Employees are glued to their screens, feeling trapped in their own space. In crazy times like these, employees may need a breather.
Which is where virtual escape rooms are gaining popularity. Sounds crazy, yeah?
Virtual escape rooms are the same as physical escape rooms. The only differences are that there is no physical room and they are played on video conferencing platforms such as Zoom.
The aim of having an escape room online is to engage remote employees and help them escape their daily routine. It also helps them interact and build rapport with their co-workers. The end goal is to boost their morale and productivity.
With businesses going totally remote, many organizations are either following a hybrid model where they work from office and home or have gone completely remote.
You must have hired employees who you may have not met in person at all. Your employees may be working completely remotely and haven’t had the chance of interacting with new hires.
Virtual escape rooms are fun, challenging, and appropriate for a time like this.
Through online escape rooms, new and existing employees can play and get to know each other. You can count on it as an ice breaker activity.
What are the Best Escape Room Online Games?
Are you counting on online escape room games to help your team escape reality?
Below is a list of some of the best and fun virtual escape room games that will help your employees have a fun-filled experience.
Located in Philadelphia, Expedition Escape has some of the best escape rooms. And now, it has converted all those into virtual rooms. Isn’t that exciting?
It is known for its 3 best virtual escape rooms which will get your employees’ thinking caps on. Its most popular online escape room is The Heist. In this, your team will be a part of a criminal family, on a mission to unlock a safe.
Puzzle Break is known as one of the pioneers of physical escape rooms. It was also the first few early adopters of the virtual escape room concept. One of its famous online escape rooms is The Grimm Escape.
The Grimm Escape is a story-themed adventure that is played live on Zoom. Teams are on a mission to escape an enchanted forest and break free from a witch’s curse. It is sure to get your adrenaline rushing.
Mystery Escape Rooms
Whether you have to discover a secret or solve a mystery, you are sure to experience a great deal of fun and excitement.
Pull up your socks to find the famous Nancy Drew. Make your way through clues, hints, letters, and incomplete pieces.
This game is best if you want to incorporate the three Cs amongst your employees: communication, collaboration, and coordination.
The Escape Game
Are your employees and co-workers looking for a thrilling virtual escape room? The Escape Game has you covered.
Some of their famous virtual escape room games are Prison Break, The Heist, Ruins, and Gold Rush. What sets them apart is the user experience. While at it, you will not feel you’re playing online. Your mind will force you to believe that you’re actually breaking out of prison, hunting for gold, or running through ancient ruins.
Paruzal’s Live Online Escape Rooms
Paruzal takes a creative approach for Escape Room games. Instead of developing games focused on action or thrill, it creates interesting themes such as putting you in charge of a pizza parlor or backstage of a concert.
Like other virtual escape rooms, these games are played on Zoom.
Hogwarts Digital Escape Room
Do you have a dedicated Harry Potter fan base in your workplace? If yes, there is a good news for them.
Transport yourself in the magical world of wizards. Live the experiences of a Hogwarts student, solve mind-boggling puzzles, and fun challenges.
Do you know what’s even more interesting? It’s free.
So, get your wands and brooms ready!
The Panic Room
The Panic Room offers 30 games to choose from. Whether you are looking to escape prison or solve a murder case, they have it all. With no limit to the number of players, the Panic Room is great for remote team interaction.
The Panic Room offers convenience by allowing teams to play from a computer, tablet, or phone.
Apart from offering virtual escape rooms, the company offers a number of other online games that encourage team building.
Trapped in the Web
Want your employees to catch up with others in their free time? Here is the way.
Trapped in the web, unlike many others, doesn’t require a live stream setup.
Employees can challenge themselves by choosing from different difficulty levels. Another interesting aspect is that its games are reasonably priced. Some of its popular games are The Space Race and Lockdown Escape.
Midnight Express by Escape the Crate
Solve an unusual train mystery with your co-workers in the comfort of your home and that too for free. Enhance your employees’ thinking and analytical skills through online escape room games such as this. Arouse curiosity by engaging them in virtual escape room games. This game promises fun and a strengthened team bond.
Are your employees looking for something relaxing to engage in? Know Escape has interesting games to choose from. Two of them are ‘The Dentist’ and ‘Alex’s bathroom’.
Both the games are fun and relaxing. They can be played on a Friday when employees have slipped into the weekend mode or after work to release stress.
Virtual escape rooms are offered by YouEscape via Patreon. You have the option of choosing from a variety of themes such as musical, bomb diffusing, or murder mystery. The time duration for each game ranges from 60 to 90 minutes.
Game makers of this company offer a hybrid experience to their users. Players are paired with a guide who is physically present on the site. The idea is to provide users with an experience that is similar to a real escape room. Games by this maker are sure to get your employees’ adrenaline pumping. That is because they will either be in a race to defuse a bomb, escape prison, or planning a getaway from a runaway train.
Another set of mystery games that your employees will enjoy. By signing up for this game, your employees will get to improve their problem-solving skills. Some of the games on offer are the Gallery, The Crypt, and Before Moonrise.
Wildly Different Escape Rooms
Games designed by this company are played on an app. It also offers the option of customization where you can get your escape room game designed according to the nature and objective of your organization. They offer a variety of adventures such as Undercover Escape, Escape the Arctic, etc.
Cofundrum Escape Rooms
What sets Confundrum Escape Rooms apart from other virtual escape rooms is their 3-D graphics. Employees can choose the difficulty level and play in a team of 8. It also offers an array of themes such as Twisted Woods, Blackbeard’s Brig, and Cypherspace.
They provide the option of corporate booking in addition to package deals.
Murder in Ancient Egypt
Although not entirely a virtual escape room, this game is all about discovering hidden secrets and mysteries. It’s more like a team-building activity but uses the same mechanics as an online escape room.
Race for The Lost tomb
With no limit to the number of participants, this escape game is sure to challenge your employees. Participants have to escape the lost city by searching for ancient clues and riddles.
This game requires teamwork. Can your team take up this challenge?
Test your employees’ negotiation and communication skills by signing them up for this one. Played on Zoom, participants are expected to navigate their way through a room or save the city from a bomb threat.
Whether players make it out on time or not, they are sure to have developed a bond with their teammates.
Does your team like to resolve criminal cases? If yes, then this is the option for you. As the name suggests, this game is about searching for diamonds that have been stolen by a mysterious burglar. Players have to take up the challenge of finding the jewels before they disappear forever.
Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it?
Designed for teams of 5, this game is intense yet fun. An interesting fact about this game is that the team gets to interact with a sixth external player who plays the role of Agent Venture. Each player has a different role in the game depending upon their area of expertise.
In the end, it’s all about unraveling the clues, finding solutions, and making memories.
Mr. X. takes a slightly different approach. In order to find Mr. X’s location, players have to use google maps and Youtube. This approach can help employees brush up their research skills.
As an HR professional, this game can assist employee in polishing their internet as well as time management skills.
Benefits of Virtual Escape Rooms?
Apart from virtual escape rooms, there are multiple remote team-building activities that you can arrange for your employees. But, you would not want to miss out on the benefits that online escape rooms offer.
Encourages Team Building
With employees working in remote settings completely or partially, it has become essential for HR to ensure that teams stay connected, motivated and productive.
One of the effective ways of encouraging employees to interact with each other is through virtual escape rooms. Online escape rooms help team building. Presenting employees with challenges to find clues and hidden trails and solve puzzles; virtual escape rooms prompt employees to collaborate, discuss and solve problems together.
Another reason to host a virtual escape room in your organization is that in the past couple of months a lot of hiring has been done remotely. New hires haven’t had the chance to interact and communicate with existing employees. So, an online escape room can serve as an ice breaker where both new and old employees can get to know each other.
Develops Problem-Solving Capabilities
Employees are expected to solve problems regularly. But did you know that there is a creative way of developing their problem-solving capabilities?
Virtual escape rooms generate many emotions: confusion, excitement, curiosity, a desire to win, and the fear of losing.
Online escape rooms create an environment where employees must get together virtually, think through a problem, brainstorm ideas, communicate effectively and of course have fun.
This activity is healthy as it provides them with a break from their mundane routine. They can return back to work feeling happy and less stressed.
You can observe their performance and behavior to see if there has been a noticeable boost in their morale.
Enhance Communication Skills
Social distancing has forced employees into working from home. Communication is now limited to video conferences or text messages on slack.
People tend to communicate asynchronously, sometimes missing important messages in between and distorting the flow of communication.
A quick reminder for you: communication is just not spoken or written. It includes non-verbal aspects such as listening.
How can you ensure that your employees don’t lose their phenomenal communication skills? Because this will have a direct impact on their performance.
The answer is hosting virtual escape rooms. Unlike other team-building activities, online escape rooms stimulate players to use their problem solving skills. Requiring teamwork, virtual escape rooms expect players to communicate effectively with each other. This includes both verbal and non-verbal.
By participating in an online escape room, employees will not only learn to pitch in their ideas but will also learn to actively listen to each other.
Reduces Stress and Improves Mental Health
The pandemic has caused havoc across the globe. It has not only impacted physical health but has also taken a toll on mental health.
Anxiety is evident in employees. Statistics show that the number of people reporting symptoms of depression and anxiety has increased from 11% during January 2019-June 2019 to 41.5% in February 2021.
In order to ensure your employees are happy, you have to devise a solution that keeps them satisfied and less stressed in such trying times.
Virtual escape rooms could be your go-to solution. They are fun, competitive , and are sure to create memorable experiences for your employees. Employees will feel relaxed and are likely to return to work with a fresh mind.
Get an Escape Room Online Customized for your Employees
Now here is the catch.
You have the option of customizing an online escape room as per the objectives of your workplace. Isn’t that creative?
A customized theme has the following advantages for your employees::
- Provide training
- Enhance their problem-solving skills in the context of their role
- Allow them to implement solutions and strategies in their upcoming projects
Are you Ready to help your Employees Escape?
Although economies are slowly recovering with vaccination efforts, some employees aren’t sure if they want to go back to business as usual.
Team building is essential whether employees work from home or office. HR should look for ways that keep employees calm and motivated in these trying times.
By arranging virtual escape rooms, you are investing in a way that will benefit your workplace in the long run. Also, don’t you think escape room ideas are a creative way of helping employees brush up on their skills?
Arranging workshops on teamwork, communication or collaboration can get monotonous. Online escape rooms are much more educational, interesting, fun and challenging.
So, will you help your employees escape these stressful times?