Why are Escape Rooms a brilliant team building activity?


Escape rooms are live-action team-based games where players discover clues, solve puzzles, and accomplish tasks in one or more rooms in order to achieve a specific goal. They are a great activity for co-workers to get to know each other out of the usual work environment.

When people engage together in a fun activity that requires cooperation from everyone in the team, interpersonal relationships are strengthened – this has a direct effect on work productivity. If you quickly want to know more about why it’s worth to invest in team building activities, make sure to check my previous post. This time I’d like to tell you what“live escape games” or “escape rooms” are, and why I find them a brilliant team building activity.

Escape rooms are live-action team-based games where players discover clues, solve puzzles, and accomplish tasks in one or more rooms in order to achieve a specific goal (usually escaping from the room in a limited amount of time).  The goal is not always easy to achieve and it’s precisely this challenge what makes it perfect for team building. Still, escape rooms are accessible to players of any age, gender and background. In fact, the most successful teams are usually made up players with a variety of experiences, skills, knowledge and abilities. As they are live-action games taking place in the physical world, they create opportunities for players to engage directly. (Nicholson, 2015)

In a time where we can all admit that human interaction is suffering heavily due to an epidemic addiction to our screens, escape games provide the perfect opportunity for face-to-face engagement. This, while being immersed in a different story and in a completely new environment.

But, what makes escape rooms so great for team building you might ask?

Here’s what players are challenged with during the game:

  • Developing problem-solving skills and creative thinking: Live escape games require lateral thinking and challenge players to use their skills and abilities to solve riddles, puzzles and mysteries of all type. Players must be alert in order to recognize patterns or things that might come in handy in a later part of the game. Complex problem-solving is one of the top core-skills that employers look for and will continue to look for, according to Business Insider.
  • Reinforcing ones attention to detail: Observation is key to finding clues, identifying the patterns and finding the objects that allow you to solve the puzzles or successfully accomplish the tasks needed.
  • Improving communication: During the game players must constantly share and receive information with each other on what they find in the room. Some puzzles require delegation and others require at least 2 people communicating well in order to be solved.
  • Breaking hierarchies: For the duration of the game, all players have the same information and are on the same level. It’s an interesting experience.
  • Boosting cooperation: Every player contributes to the success of the group. Some have numerical, verbal or spatial abilities, other’s have good memory, others show their great leadership skills or their creativity. However, only working as a team and coordinating the different tasks among all participants is it possible to succeed. Being able to coordinate with others is among the top ten skills needed in 2020 and for the 4th Industrial Revolution, according to the World Economic Forum’s report, The Future of Jobs.
  • Raising team spirit and increasing motivation: When a group of people are put together, set up for a fun challenge and together they manage to successfully overcome it, they will inevitably unite, and a team feeling will be achieved.
  • Improving time-management skills: As players are usually under the 60 minutes time constraint, good time management becomes a priority. This is one of the main learned lessons for those who don’t manage to escape before the time runs out.
  • Increasing motivation: Team members go beyond their limits and develop confidence in their abilities.

And what’s behind the door again?

The mystery of what is behind the entry door in an escape room creates incredible tension and giddiness in players. When waiting for their game, the tension in the air is high; people are nervous and quiet, as they don’t know what to expect. Once in the room, teams start slow, figuring out their surroundings, but before long a burst of excitement takes over and the team members are running from place to place, calling out discoveries, and hunched over puzzles in small groups. As they leave the game, the excitement level is high, and many rooms allow time for the players to talk to the staff about their experience before taking a photo of the team. The discussion of the shared experience continues long after leaving the facility; in the live-­action role-­playing community, this shared discussion of an activity is known as froth and is what a good escape room creator seeks to generate (Howitt, 2012).

Have you ever played an escape room? What was your experience?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!



About Author

Woman entrepreneur and studying a MSc in Online Business and Marketing. Hoping to create useful content for HR professionals and other entrepreneurs seeking to craft better teams. Passionate and curious, loves escape rooms, traveling and learning something new everyday.


  1. Gaby, this is very well written and to the point! However I am luckier than most of your readers because I have played numerous escape rooms with you, and I could totally relate to the points you make in the article. Since we have participated together as family explorations, I was particularly sensitive to the breaking of hierarchies, when children become leaders for adults, and how wonderful it feels to figure a mystery out all together. Thank you for sharing the excitement of escape rooms as well as these brilliant insights with us.

    • Gabriela Felder on

      Thank you dear Mar for your valuable comment. Yes! I love that fact about breaking hierarchies too… it’s something really interesting for families & work teams.

  2. Mafer Garcia Pellecer on

    Excelente artículo. Es impresionante todo lo que puede “salir” en un escape room en beneficio del trabajo en equipo.

    Felicidades Gabriela, tus destrezas para comunicar y transmitir el mensaje es muy bueno.


    • Gabriela Felder on

      Gracias por tu comentario Mafer! Sí, verdad? Los escape rooms son dinámicas que tienen tanto potencial por explotar… Gracias por los ánimos… hoy hago el siguiente post: Mi primer podcast! Qué nervios… hahaha

  3. Escape rooms are great, and they are perfect for team-building exercises. These escape rooms are fun, as well. The participants in these escape rooms will enjoy a good time.

  4. Escape rooms are an excellent team-building activity because they keep team members motivated and encourage them to think outside the box and be more creative; I would love to face this challenge with my team.

  5. Escape Rooms are a great team building activity, and I know how to prove that now. So I wanted this, and I am sure my colleagues will be happy when I share this news.

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