Escape Rooms

Team Building for Corporate Workspaces to Reduce Stress

Stress in the workplace keeps rising.

Yep, you read that right.

Even after so many years of de-formalizing the workplace and hiring design gurus to create workspaces that are brighter and less severe.

A survey conducted by the Korn Ferry Institute in November 2018 revealed that 2/3rds of respondents said that stress at the workplace is higher than it was 5 years ago. A poll conducted by CareerCast saw almost 4 in 5 respondents select a ‘stress score’ of 7 or higher when asked about their job.

And stress at work has real consequences.

For one, stress kills creativity. Literally, if Dr. Wendy Suzuki, NYU Neuroscientist, professor, and author of Healthy Brain Happy Life, is to be believed. Forbes reported, and according to Dr. Suzuki, stress slowly destroys an area of the brain called the hippocampus which has recently been linked with creativity.

Img source: justaddrhythmnow.com

Two, stress can lead to all kinds of unfortunate consequences – a generally unhappy life, broken marriages and relationships, health problems…and in at least one case even death (the 2013 death of Moritz Erhardt, an intern at Merril Lynch was partly due to stress at work).

Now that you know workplace stress is rising which may have serious consequences, what can you do about it?

Many workplaces try out the ‘open workplace’ concept, which refers to a workplace without too many cubicles or private offices. Some supplement that with bright colors, origami, innovative meeting rooms (such as a disused VW bus) and so on.

Now, this might seem to be the perfect solution…except there’s strong evidence it isn’t.

There are a number of experts who opine that an open workplace may actually be making the workplace toxic. Secondly, all an open workplace, bright colors and all the rest of that does is promote genteel conversation and harmony, at best. While that may be great for barbecue parties, it’s not what’s suitable for a business. As it turns out, just like stress can kill creativity, too much harmony can also kill creativity. I didn’t make that up. That’s what the Harvard Business Review said.

The best way to combat toxic stress while maintaining creativity would be by throwing people into situations where there is wholesome, non-toxic stress to innovate and conflict is natural but teamwork is essential.

Team building exercises at escape rooms fit the bill rather neatly. In case you don’t know, an escape room is a game that involves the players getting locked in a room and they have to find their way out by playing games which require innovative thinking and a range of skills.

Img source: unravelescapegame.com

First of all, since the escape games are a simulation of a dramatic situation (stave off an epidemic, defuse a time bomb and so on), they clearly offer an enjoyable experience and generate what may be called eustress, a form of stress that’s beneficial for people. This can easily promote creativity to resolve the dramatic situation and accomplish the escape mission…as opposed to workplace stress that destroys creativity. Secondly, many escape rooms design their games carefully to hone qualities like respect for the rules, mutual respect among players and critical insight into issues.

These are qualities that are greatly beneficial for workplaces.

And, once again, it’s not just me who thinks this way. According to foxinabox.us, a whole host of businesses choose to hire escape rooms to organize team building programs and office day outs.

So, what do you think? Do escape rooms provide the solution to workplace stress? Can they kill toxic stress while imbibing qualities that keep workers productive?
Be sure to let us know!

From Video games to Escape Rooms

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Video games and escape rooms both appeal to the player’s sense of urgency and mystery that only a series of locked doors and puzzling clues can provide. Be it virtual or physical, the series of challenges faced in these types of games sets escape-centric entertainment apart from other games and team activities.

The Room is a classic example of a beautifully created game in which players face hallways and rooms full of various challenges, each of which must be solved before continuing on through the game. Video games allow developers to really dive deep into the content of the puzzles for their games. The rules of physics no longer apply: massive objects can be hidden inside of tiny ones and locks can literally appear out of nowhere. This provides escape themed video games with a level of creativity that can lead to interesting and exciting gameplay.

Screenshot from The Room

Escape rooms can also act as a complement to video games. Resident evil created a physical escape room upon the launch of their game wherein players were trapped in one of the classic game scenes but in real life. This “out of the game” setup created a unique and thrilling experience for players who already knew the game and helped promote the game to individuals who had not yet played.

Other escape rooms work to involve video games directly into the room itself. Reason is an escape room in San Francisco that uses sci-fi themes and futuristic technologies as a way to expose the players to an immersive gaming environment. Both of their games require the completion of various VR challenges to escape the room.

Whether you are a hardcore gamer or a casual player more of the casual mobile variety, these are a few exciting games that’s sure to get you hooked and excited about the genre. Remember, stay calm and don’t perish before the time is up!