We tried a virtual escape room and here’s what we learnt

Things got competitive and alliances were formed, but the Spice team successfully escaped in one piece.

Many corporate teams across Australia are now into their fifth month of working from home, and some may not have seen their colleagues in person for almost half a year.

While happy hour drinks and Zoom catch ups might have been regular in the beginning, many teams will now be in the groove of things, and without the ability to meet face to face, team-building activities may have fallen by the wayside.

With that in mind, Strike Bowling has launched Virtual A-Parties, giving corporate teams the ability to connect and engage over some friendly, yet competitive, online games.

The Spice team, who have mostly been working from home since COVID-19 began, recently took part in one of the two Virtual A-Parties on offer, testing our skills and teamwork in a virtual escape room.

In a team of four, we worked together to escape from Pirate Island, solving riddles and clues to crack the case in less than 60 minutes.

Things got competitive, there was strategising and alliances were formed, but (thankfully) we escaped and emerged stronger than ever.

Here are three things we took away from the experience:

Team building is more important than ever

With many of us working remotely, connecting virtually is more important than ever to keep teams engaged and supported throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Funlab, the team behind Strike Bowling and the Virtual A-Parties, says team building is vital for groups that can’t meet face to face right now.

“Just because you’re all safely socially distanced, doesn’t mean you can’t engage in a little friendly competition,” they said.

“After all, we are all working harder than ever while spending less quality time together as a team.”

Strike’s Virtual Parties are easy to organise and co-ordinate – all your team needs to do is join a Zoom call – which means minimal time away from work.

Our small team of four was the perfect size for the virtual escape room challenge (a maximum of eight is recommended), while a larger group would be better suited to Strike’s Online Office Championship, which can accommodate 24 or more participants. Here’s a preview of what’s on offer:

Individual strengths will be revealed

While things, naturally, got a little competitive in our escape room, it was interesting to see how we responded to the challenge and where each of our strengths lie.

Whether it was attention to detail, good communication skills or the ability to hype up the team, we each brought valuable strengths that helped us complete the challenge.

And now we know, if we are ever really stuck inside a pirate ship in the middle of ocean, together we’ll be able to make our way to safely shore.

Team building is adapting with the times

Since launching Virtual Parties in June, the Funlab team have been pleased to see so many teams embrace the experience.

“It’s been uplifting to see the smiles on people’s faces as they break through the Zoom fatigue and it never ceases to amaze us how competitive people are when going up against their colleagues!” they said.

“Our hosts have also received outstanding feedback. They really keep the energy going in each session and make sure even the shyest of people are included throughout.”

With the COVID-19 situation changing daily, it’s impossible to know when face-to-face team building will return for good.

In the meantime, why not get your team together on a Friday afternoon for a virtual challenge to boost team morale and keep everyone engaged.

“With remote work here to stay and office socials a seemingly far away concept, our virtual parties are a great way to fill that void and reward your team, plus, who doesn’t need a bit more fun in their lives right now,” said the Funlab team.

We can’t help but agree.

Find out more about Strike Bowling’s Online Office Championship or Virtual Escape Rooms here.

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