Virtual Escape Rooms for Remote Teams

2022.02.24.

The relentless march of the Covid-19 virus has caused a seismic shift in all aspects of life, including the way we now look at work. With the introduction of social distancing, many employees have been forced to work from home. Of course, this also has a huge number of benefits, especially in commuting time saved, as well as the quality of life. Many workers are now reluctant to return to the old status quo, to the point that we are seeing a huge number preferring to resign and try something new, as opposed to going back to the office. 

But for those of us who continue the struggle, especially if we are part of a work team, then we can now make use of the many and various internet tools that allow us to remain in touch with each other via our computer screens. By using conferencing apps, like Zoom, our colleagues are easily contactable and we can communicate face to face. Though these virtual connections are essential to business, they also matter as far as mental well-being goes. For many employees this is the first time in their lives that they may feel completely cut off from others. This can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression. Unfortunately, these are subjects that few people want to discuss, especially men. And that's why it’s important that businesses who have workers working remotely, concentrate on providing some events that all the team members can rally around on a regular basis. 

These are not necessarily “team building events.” But rather opportunities for all the members of a group to get together over a shared and enjoyable activity in order to “touch base” with each other, and ensure that everyone feels connected and not left out. One of our favorite activities is playing virtual escape room games. These can be played as a group over a streaming internet connection. They are immersive and will certainly bring all the team players together for an enjoyable hour. We’ve listed some factors that may well affect the gameplay so that you’ll be able to make a more informed choice when it comes to selecting an escape room games supplier.

Team Size

As you’ll be playing a virtual game, then from a technical perspective there could be anywhere from 3 to 3,000 players taking part simultaneously. Try and find a game that offers games for the exact size of your team.

Game Time

We suggest that you organise a team game at least a couple of times each month. Anda choose a day that will fit in with most of your employees work schedule, as opposed to interrupting their working day. To that end, we love to play on a Friday afternoon, as it’s a great way of winding down the week and getting everyone ready for the weekend. The fact that they don’t have to return directly to work after the game is also another win. That’s because, as everyone is already connected via Zoom, they can interact after the game is over. Once again, this is all about the social aspects of keeping everyone involved with each other. 

Difficulty Level of The Game

This is probably the most important aspect of your game choice. If the game is too difficult it will suck all the fun out of the activity. Conversely, if it’s too easy, then the participants will feel robbed of the satisfaction, as it’s completion will be without any real effort. We suggest that you make the time to actually phone the game's provider and discuss in detail all aspects of each game and their respective levels. Yes, we know that many companies will put the difficulty level on their website. But without a point of reference, this is almost meaningless.  

How The Game is Played

Before the pandemic, all games were played in an actual bricks and mortar location. But now many of these same companies have whole-heartedly embraced the virtual gaming formula. In most cases, the format is the same for each gaming business. Within the actual room, there's a “Games Master” who more or less runs the whole proceedings. The players can see what he sees, and via both camera and microphone, can direct him to finding clues and puzzles. Though it sounds rather clunky, in reality it works very well. 

Do’s And Don’t of Escape Room Gameplay

It’s important that everyone lets others speak, otherwise there’s just a huge audio mess, as everyone excitedly speaks over each other, leaving the poor game’s master lost as to which directions to follow. You’ll need to communicate clearly and succinctly, one task at a time, as the game’s master can only do what you suggest to him. Be clear about what you are looking for and what you want him to do for you. For example, don’t have the game’s master go search the same spot for the umpteenth time. To that end, it’s important that the team actually works as a team, focusing on the tasks at hand, but all moving forwards towards the inevitable goal. Make group decisions and only then communicate them to the game’s master. 

Finally, though we tend to focus on the team building aspects of virtual escape room games we think it’s equally important, if not more so, to see these types of activities as occasions to ensure that everyone is doing well. Keep in mind that for many people, it’s a strange and slightly disconcerting feeling,being alone and working from home. Mental health is a real thing and we should ever underestimate its importance. 

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