Organizational Wellness

Creative Escape Room Ideas Facilitate Team Bonding

May 11, 2023
Last Updated Feb 22, 2024

Escape rooms are like putting your team in the middle of an adventure movie.

Your team works together to solve the puzzles and find clues that'll lead them to the ultimate prize – which, in this case, is usually getting out of a ‘locked’ room! Just like any good adventure movie, your team should rely on their wits and each other to overcome any obstacle and find their way out of the room.

Let's dive into how escape rooms can be great for team building and explore some fun escape room ideas you can do with your team.

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What is an Escape Room?

Escape rooms are interactive games where team members are "locked" in a room and must solve puzzles, find clues, complete tasks, and piece together the story to get out.

There are lots of different escape room types. Many are in-person experiences, but you can also do virtual escape room puzzles. Your choice will depend on your team's location and availability.

For example, if your team works in the office, you could arrange an escape room activity by setting up a dedicated room or going to a formal escape room offsite. On the other hand, if your team is working remotely, you could do a virtual escape room using video meeting channels such as Zoom. 

Why Are Escape Rooms Great for Team Building?

Escape rooms are strong team-building activities because they encourage problem-solving, critical-thinking, and promote creativity. The very nature of the activity is towork as a team and build fun memories together, which can help increase employee morale.

Creating a sense of community in the workplace is important, with90% of employers agreeing it contributes to the success of a company. Through team-building activities, you can foster a sense of belonging among employees. This can improve work friendships that increase employee experience, according to astudy by Gallup.

How to Make a DIY Escape Room

Escape rooms are pretty popular right now, so it's likely you'll find a couple in your local area. But you could also create your own escape room experience for your employees. This gives you the opportunity to personalize your escape room — you could,  for example, include puzzles related to the company or tailored to team members' interests. Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Choose a theme: Adding themes to an escape room creates a story for your team to follow. It also helps teams place themselves on a mission and work toward a fictional objective.
  2. Create puzzles and clues: The next step is to create a strong puzzle that unlocks the next clue. These series of puzzles will become the challenges your team will face to unlock the escape room. These can include logic puzzles, word scrambles, or even physical tasks.
  3. Design a space for your escape room: Choose a location where the escape room will take place. Some good considerations are: a room in the office, a coworker’s backyard, a garage, or if remote, through Zoom and whiteboards.
  4. Gather props and materials: Choose some props that fill the theme of the escape room and can be used to complete the puzzles. If the escape room is virtual, consider giving your team some budget to buy costumes or props for their mission.
  5. Start the timer: Let the games begin!

Ten DIY Escape Room Theme Ideas For Team-Building:

Choosing an escape room theme idea is a great way to get your team to follow along with a mission. It helps employees disconnect from the work setting and encourages the team to be creative and solve problems together.

Here are some themed escape room ideas you can choose to start your escape room with your team:

  1. Find the lost treasure: Have your team search for a lost map, decipher codes and solve puzzles to find the hidden treasure.
  2. Solve a crime: Become detectives and uncover clues to solve a mysterious case.
  3. Race against time: Solve puzzles and find clues with a ticking clock that counts down to zero.
  4. Save the planet: Your team must complete a series of tasks to save the planet from destruction.
  5. Search for a missing artifact: Your team must work together to uncover clues and find a lost ancient artifact.
  6. Escape an enchanted forest: Meet magical creatures and search for the clues that lead to freedom.
  7. Steal a diamond from a museum: Crack security systems and find clues to steal an invaluable diamond from a museum.
  8. Rescue a hostage: Your team must work together to find clues and save a kidnapped hostage.
  9. Stop a mad scientist: Uncover clues and complete tasks to stop a mad scientist from taking over the world.
  10. Escape an alien ship: Race against time to find the missing pieces of your escape pod and get off the alien ship alive.

DIY Puzzle Ideas to Add To Your Team Escape Room

After choosing your theme, it’s time to get creative with puzzles and challenges. Adding puzzles and clues to your escape room is the best way to engage with your team and give them a challenge. Here are some creative ideas you can use when creating an escape room for your team:

  • Word scrambles: Unscramble words with clues to get a key phrase.
  • Riddles: Use riddles to find hidden objects in the room.
  • Logic puzzles: Solve puzzles that require logical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • Crosswordpuzzle: Unravel a crossword puzzle that reveals key information.
  • Physicaltasks: Teams have to complete physical challenges such as tying knots or assembling an item.
  • Mathproblems: Solve math equations to find the answer to a lock code.
  • Pictureorjigsawpuzzles: Teams must put together fragmented images that unlock clues.
  • Matchinggames: Find matching pairs of items with clues.
  • Sequencingtasks: Arrange items in a particular order using a previous clue.
  • Codebreaking: Decipher secret messages to get passwords for doors or locked boxes.
  • Morsecode: Use a decoder to find the right password for the next clue.
  • Memorytasks: Teams must remember and recall items to find the location of a clue.
  • Mazepuzzles: Solve mazes with clues to unlock the next challenge.
  • Invisibleink: to reveal the combination that unlocks a digit code for a padlock.

Team Building Is Just One Part Of Workplace Wellness

Team-building activities provide an opportunity for employees to take a break from their regular work duties, allowing them to relax and have fun with their colleagues. This can help reduce stress levels and improve overall work-life wellbeing.

The goal, of course, is for employees to have a sustainable sense of wellness in the workplace every day. This means policies should be in place that support the physical and mental wellbeing of employees while they’re going about their typical routine, too.

You can do this by including benefits in your corporate program that support employee wellness. For example, access to gyms, corporate volunteering, employee fitness challenges, or access to mental wellness programs can all bolster your workforce wellbeing.

Gympass provides employees with access to a global network of fitness and wellness experiences so they can stay active, healthy, and happy. Talk to a Gympass wellbeing specialist today to learn how we can help!

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Gympass Editorial Team

The Gympass Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.


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