We’ve all been through team building experiences. You know what I’m talking about. Trust exercises, bowling, golf, obstacle courses, paintball and laser tag competitions, and work contests have all had their day. They all had their good points but seldom hit on the things that make a team great. A successful team is one that works as a unified, cohesive unit. Most of the things listed above still relay partially on individual effort separate from the group. In the last couple of years an experience has arisen that requires a team effort: Escape rooms.

Escape rooms engage on more than one level. They involve the intellectual as well as the physical. The way they work is that a group of people are locked in a room and must solve several puzzles in order to escape. Oh yes, you only have 60 minutes. It makes no difference where you are in the company hierarchy: manager, intern, CEO or worker, once that door closes everyone is equal. There are so many clues to be found and puzzles to be solved that everyone needs to work and build on the work of the others in the room. Frequently, two seemingly unrelated things will prove vital to solving a single puzzle.

That means you must utilize one of the prime tools of a successful team: communication. Employees can’t be afraid to speak up if they have an idea, even if they think it’s a dumb one. In escape rooms no idea is stupid. Bosses need to listen to constructive feedback about the idea they have because, again, in escape rooms no idea is stupid. If either fails to listen or speak up, the team won’t win.

Escape rooms take everyone involved out of their comfort zones into something they have never experienced. They put you into a situation where you have to think in new ways and stretch your brain. You are forced to figure out how to apply the information available, solicit suggestions and ideas from others in the room, and then try things in different ways to see what works

Only about twenty percent of teams are successful. The ones most likely to win are the ones that bring the most diverse ideas to the table. Critical thinking, collaboration, communication and out-the-box thinking are essential to a successful escape. They also are essential to a successful team in your business.    

If you go: 

You will need a reservation. Below is a list of Escape Rooms call you can call. They have rooms with a variety of difficulty levels so be sure to ask about what rooms work best for the size and abilities of your group. 

  • Escape This 
    120 E Wilson St. 
    (608) 217-8181 
  • My Escape Mission 
    2044 S Stoughton Rd 
    Madison, WI 
    (608) 286-1415 

  • Elusive Escape Rooms 
    1425 Wisconsin Dells Pkwy 
    Wisconsin Dells, WI 
    (608) 678-2388 
  • Booby Trap Escape Rooms 
    100 N Gasser Rd Suite B 
    Wisconsin Dells, WI 
    (608) 253-0933 

  • Breakout Games 
    4125 N. 124th St. 
    Brookfield, WI 
  • Save Milwaukee 
    The Device and the Tailgate: 
    207 E. Buffalo St., #312 
    McSnooty’s Gallery of Fine Art: 
    1220 E. Brady St. 
    Milwaukee, WI 
  • Escape MKE 
    3333 N. Mayfair Road., Suite 314 
    Milwaukee, WI 
  • Escape Waukesha 
    2335 Silvernail Rd. 
    Waukesha, WI