Escape rooms are taking team building to a new level. Nearly 400 of these attractions have opened in the United States since 2012, and the corporate world has embraced the concept as a useful tool for company fun—and to find out who does and does not work well with others.
It’s a bit like a giant game of interactive Clue: You’re locked in a room with three to 10 other participants, and it’s your mission to figure out a series of clues to access keys that unlock the door and allow you to escape. Time is of the essence, with typically a one-hour time limit to solve the puzzle. A TV monitor constantly reminds you of every precious second that goes by, and provides occasional hints.
House of Hints in San Diego features escape rooms with detective, CSI and black ops themes. “Entertainment is becoming interactive,” says Jill Lux-Smith, co-owner and hint specialist at House of Hints. Lux-Smith says an escape room makes a great team-building exercise since it requires those locked in the room together to use teamwork and communication to achieve a common objective.
House of Hints also offers competitive experiences in two identical rooms, allowing teams to go up against each other in the race against the clock for office bragging rights. As the House of Hints brochure states, “You enter as a group and escape as a team.” houseofhints.com