Team Building With No Way Out

Last week we participated in another team building event.  These events have varied over the years from bowling, to a ropes course, to human foosball.  Recently, we decided to do something we have never done before; we did an Escape Room!  For those of you that don’t know, an Escape Room divides you into teams and you have 60 minutes to solve clues, riddles and unlock the final door to find the treasure.

What is really intriguing about these Escape Rooms is your team’s success depends on how well you work together, communicate, and operate as a cohesive team.  All of these traits are exactly what it takes to be successful in architecture, so it was a perfect fit.

We divided our group into two teams for a head to head battle at “No Way Out St. Louis.”  None of us had actually participated in one of these Escape Rooms so we had no idea what to expect.  After a brief story about the challenge, you walk into a room filled with furniture, wall décor, coats on a rack, a desk, etc. We started looking around and picking things up until someone spotted a clue.  This is where the good communication comes in; if you talk about the clues as a team you have more people trying to figure out what it pertains to, what it might unlock, or where it might go.  It may start out slow but then clues start building and quickly lead to other clues and before you know it 40 minutes has passed, anticipation is building, and you are frantically trying beat the clock and unlock the door.

In the end one of our teams was able to break out of the room with the fastest time in the No Way Out’s history (with 18 minutes and 16 seconds still on the clock).  The other team gave it their all and worked as a collaborative team, but simply ran out of time.  The winning team now has a unique bond and bragging rights until the next event, but the other team is ready for a rematch!