Skip to main content

Escape Rooms Are Something Your Team Can't Escape

It's time for some team building at work, but it's also the 21st Century so trust falls and sharing circles won't work. What's a back-biting work team to do?

Well, you can always lock yourselves in a room together to see if you can escape together!


"Escape rooms" have been trendy for awhile now, and escaping takes teamwork. In the process, you'll get to know your colleagues' strengths and weaknesses that you already know from working with them every day.

Race To Escape
Escape room companies around the country are offering a wide variety of escape experiences. They're hard to (pun intended) escape these days. In the Detroit area, you can look for the new Harry Potter-themed escape room. Las Vegas has some new movie-inspired escape rooms opening soon. There are gamer-themed escape rooms galore, and reality show-themed escape rooms. You can even find escape rooms at the local mall.

This whole concept sounds very familiar. Where have I seen it before? Oh, yes: the Science Channel show, Race To Escape! In the show, two groups of strangers are locked in two separate-but-identical rooms and their job is to figure out how to escape the room in time. Here is how the show's website explains it:

In Science Channel's psychological game show RACE TO ESCAPE, hosted by Jimmy Pardo, contestants are armed with only their minds and knowledge as they race against the clock and an opposing team to solve puzzles and unravel cryptic clues hidden inside themed escape rooms. On the other side of the door is a cash prize of $25,000, and as the clock ticks away, so does the cash.

It's fun to watch -- on television. But what about in real life? Would you really want to be locked in close quarters will all of your teammates?

On a good note, making your escape as a team could lead to much-needed insights regarding individual leadership skills, ability to work under pressure, general tolerance for the co-worker who never wears deodorant, and a willingness to tune out the co-worker who won't stop humming Adele songs.


Getting To Know You
Once a work team manages to escape, they get to look back on the experience. What could they have done better/faster/slower? Who took charge, and who followed up the rear? Were there things the team could have done in hindsight that would have helped move things along faster? What does each team member see as their biggest mistake? And how does this experience reflect the team's day-to-day working relationship?

Along the way, remember to praise the teammates who ended up playing a minor, supporting role. In our haste to do some 20/20 hindsight on the Type A teammates who stepped up to lead, we can forget about the Type B teammates who played supporting roles that proved essential to the team's success. Their wins are the quiet wins, so be sure to acknowledge everyone individually for their contribution to the overall effort. All jobs are important jobs.

An escape room could be enlightening, as long as it's all done in good fun, nobody on the team is claustrophobic, and the goal is to help everyone work better together. Because zip lining is so 2015.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Seven tips for dealing with a jealous coworker

Look at you, doing so well at work! We're so happy for you. Well, most of us are happy for you and refuse to spend the entire work day talking behind your back. Let's talk about how to handle our jealous co-workers!Like every other professional, you've no doubt experienced your share of failures and successes. Lately, however, things seem to be going your way at work. And how! Perhaps you've managed to ace an important project this quarter, been instrumental in landing a huge client, earned some well-deserved rewards for this and that, or -- egads! -- been given a slight promotion or additional work responsibilities (e.g., the work responsibilities you actually want).You're quietly chuffed, but somehow your co-workers seem none too pleased with this rapid turn of events. Oh no, what should you do now?It's a workplace tale older than the disjointed last season of Mad Men. The playing field in the department was even, cozy and overall very friendly -- until so-an…

Employees Blame Technology For Slowing Them Down At Work

Do you feel like you're always working, but never getting very much done? If so, you're not alone. Too much technology, and too much red tape, keep slowing us down at work. But technology, and more of it, is supposed to make our lives easier! Too much technology, however, does not compute for employees. A new SAP/Knowledge@Wharton survey of almost 700 corporate employees finds a full 60% of respondents blame technology "for inhibiting their ability to meet strategic goals." Gee, anyone who has ever used the self-checkout line at the grocery store can tell you that. However, 40% surveyed said that looking for ways to simplify the technology has been "a low priority" for their company. Too much paperwork is an on-going problem for the workplace, too. A new ServiceNow survey of nearly 1,000 managers finds that 90% are doing too much administrative work, no matter the size of the company. This paperwork includes filling out forms, writing status updates, …

Is Your Co-worker Always Late For Work?

You've started the workday, but where is your co-worker? Oh, she's running late again, just like yesterday. And the day before. And the day before that. Let's get an early start on solving her tardiness problem, shall we? Working with someone who is consistently late is one of the most annoying aspects of office life, and also one of the most common, unfortunately. It's a universal theme of the workplace that everyone will get to work on time (give or take a few minutes...) except for the employee who is egregiously late nearly every day. And the excuses can get pretty amazing. Employees became more punctual as the Great Recession lingered, at least according to surveys. Everyone, that is, except for your able-bodied but habitually-tardy co-worker. It's bad enough dealing with tardiness when you're a manager, but it can be even more frustrating when you're a rank-and-file peer without any magical "shape up or ship out" managerial powers. So you…