Work from home is not easy, worse when if you have to organise a virtual activity for team building purposes. If you’ve ever been in charge of organising team building activities for your colleagues, you know the response can vary from puppy-like excitement to sheer indifference. That said, not all team building activities are equal. Depending on whether or not said activity is targeted to optimise behaviours that lead to an overall improvement in workplace or the work-from-home behaviour, team building activities can be either pointless or very effective.
We’re not just saying this because we’ve created the game, but the truth is, Breakout’s virtual team building falls into the latter category. As purveyors of real life escape room games, we know a thing or two about testing teamwork and cooperation in designing games that are challenging and engaging for our players. Likewise, our online team building activity adapts the same principles to a virtual format without sacrificing any fun. If you’re looking for an activity that helps foster cooperation, tests team based problem solving skills, leadership, time management, AND that can be played while everyone is working from home remotely, our virtual escape game fits the bill. Here are some workplace inefficiencies that can be addressed in our online team building:
Prior to the game activity, our game master will explain details about the game through a verbal briefing and ZOOM slides. Most people tend to gloss over this part, wanting to dive head first into the game play but do so to their detriment. The game master’s instructions are crucial to being able to play the game correctly, preventing time wastage. Failure to pay attention to the game master often leads to mistakes from misunderstanding the game rules. In order to stand a chance at completing the missions, players need to pay attention. The ability to understand and internalise and remember the rules and limitations of the game is relevant to workplace productivity. Too often, we get over enthusiastic and focus on achieving the end goal without really understanding all the nitty gritty details required to complete the task properly.
Most of us work in environments where communication and teamwork is of utmost importance for project delivery, it’s even more challenging when everyone is working from home now. In our online team building activity, players are split into smaller teams of 4-6 members in ZOOM and will have to propose answers agreed by the group. Differences in opinion are sure to arise and how the team resolves this will be a matter of their ability to explain and justify their position clearly to their teammates. All too often, one team member will submit the answer without consulting the team, and as we have observed, this doesn’t bode well for the group as the game progresses, as it leads to resentments and conflict within the team, especially if the answer is wrong! Remember – the objective is not to submit the answer as fast as you can. To win the game, the team must score the highest points with the most correct answers. As the saying goes, if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, you need a team AND the ability to communicate and make decisions amongst yourselves.
There are 5 puzzles to be solved and each puzzle is not only challenging, you are given a limited amount of time to solve it. Players must submit their answer before the time is up or they will not get any points. This aspect of the game creates a pressure cooker like environment that tests the ability of the team not only to be efficient and to communicate well but to manage their time and, more importantly, delegate tasks. We often notice team members working on the same task, which is a waste of resources. Successful teams must be able to divide the work according to strengths as well as keep watch of the time to make sure everyone is on track to deliver on their tasks. The ability to deliver under a time crunch is a crucial part of workplace productivity and this aspect of the game will put that to the test.
Nobody really likes to indulge in workplace politics. But oftentimes in an organisation, mistakes happen with no one taking responsibility, leading to finger pointing, workplace gossip or defensive attitudes. Let’s face it, none of that is optimal for workplace productivity or morale. In our virtual team building activity, the team is required to interact with a live actor through a polling system where they decide the actor’s next move, which may or may not result in helpful information for the puzzles. We have seen instances where the decisions made proved unfruitful, resulting in a blame game with no one wanting to take responsibility. Sound familiar? If toxic work culture is the bane of your existence, perhaps this game can bring some self awareness to your team to work through issues of taking collective responsibility for mistakes while keeping team morale up under difficult circumstances.
At the end of the activity, only 1 team will be declared the winner. The winning team often is the group that displays the best teamwork and communication. However, we have also seen instances when one individual in the team, usually the team leader, takes all the credit for the team’s victory. Sure, leadership is important, but leaders do not achieve without support and more often than not, the leadership role is merely a label for someone with a particular set of skills. This is not to say your teammates do not have skills that are as important as leadership to guarantee your team’s success. A good leader credits the entire team, acknowledging each and everyone’s contribution. Not crediting your colleagues for their work often demotivates subordinates who work very hard to get to the common goal and may lead to instances where people do not feel appreciated enough. Motivation during work from home is more crucial than ever.
Over 100 plus companies (5000 plus employees) have chosen Breakout for their corporate team building activity and it is in these areas that our team building activity has proven the most fruitful. Our online team building activity could very well provide insight to help you build an effective team while working from home. Teamwork is essential to any company so build cooperation and increase productivity and work efficiency with our online team building activity today. What’s more, it is a guaranteed 2 hours of fun.