If you've ever worked for a large enough company that aims to build team dynamics and cohesion, you may have done a corporate team building event. Whether it's bowling, ropes courses, party games or anything in between, getting coworkers to bond and truly test their team work is a high priority. At our escape rooms, we've seen piles of small and large businesses test themselves against the clock and our puzzles. While trying to be as unbiased as possible, nothing paints as vivid of a picture of your group dynamic as being locked in a room and forced to work together to solve truly challenging puzzles and story lines.
This week we were tasked with building a condensed version of an escape room for the Windsor Corporate Challenge that focused immense teamwork in to an 8 minute period. Now, not everyone made it through. Does that mean they had a weaker team dynamic than the other teams? Not at all. One of my personal favorite groups was called Ground Effects (Stealing the name from a picture and what's on their shirts. Might be incorrect.) who barely made it out BUT encouraged each other every second of the way. A victory was a victory and a failed attempt was just fine. It wasn't even about getting through with an amazing time (which was what the whole event was geared towards), it was about being a team through the whole process. Discovering if that's what your company has got or just working towards getting to that point is what we strive for when seeing groups through and even when designing the rooms themselves. I believe that was apparent to The Job Shoppe who tried our Asylum room and almost immediately invited us to host the game for the event.
While I did have a favorite group, the entire event was amazing and I can't thank The Job Shoppe enough for having us out. While there were groups that didn't complete the challenge in time, literally every group showed great signs of camaraderie and understanding of how each other operated. We intentionally left the strategy of the event open-ended so that the groups themselves would have to very quickly assign the puzzles to the individual members' strengths. Though I can only speak for half of the teams as we had two identical rooms running, there wasn't a single group that fell victim to our trap that punishes teams for not communicating and working together. I'll admit that I didn't expect it. Maybe I was being cynical but let me say, that notion was quickly dispelled when group after group after group overcame it within the first minute.
If you're not part of a big corporate team or if you are and are thinking about coming through with friends and family, you really do get the same effect. We've seen amazing group dynamics shine and falter in all 3 rooms. While the experience is primarily for fun, it's been fascinating to get such a deep look in to how groups of co-workers, friends and families operate when pushed in to time-sensitive and stressful scenarios.
To close out, it might be helpful to note that me and my staff route for every group that comes through and it's always heartbreaking to have to pull a team out especially if it's right near the end. We're stressing right along with you all hoping that we weren't too hard on you.