Escape Rooms teach great business lessons

Escape Rooms Teach Great Business Lessons for Engaging Design

By | Public Blog

Design plays a critical role whether you work in business or the arts. Interestingly enough though, escape rooms are a great example of the two fields coming to use design as a major component for success.

Hence, it might actually be a good idea to check out an escape room for ideas on how design is understood and executed. But of course, it does help to have a more specific understanding of what it means to say ‘design’ and how that definition helps one in business. Try observing the following concepts during your next escape room visit.


This is most likely the one aspect of design that every escape room visitor first takes interest in. A theme in a design greatly resonates with an audience because it represents ideas or identities they find entertaining.

For example. A Victorian mystery theme appeals to people who love the time period and also those who like the genres it inspired. A science-fiction themed escape room will certainly appeal to a lot of geeks (especially if it makes nods to familiar TV shows and tropes).

More importantly, however, the essence of a theme is that it keeps design consistent. And by being consistent, it holds the idea together. Applied to business, it can take in the form of having a consistent color scheme for your brand (which can then pass on to areas in your marketing campaign like your website and your email copy). This helps hold the idea of your brand firmly in the of your target customers.


One might think that escape rooms are meant to generally have one purpose: to entertain. However, some of the more acclaimed ones take it a step further and use the design of their challenges to accomplish something more.

A good example would be the “Privilege of Escape,” an escape room that served as a public art display in Onassis, USA. It was designed not only to provide a taste of the escape room experience but it was also built with the intent of teaching a lesson about privilege.

Purpose is also another element that solidifies design, no matter what it is you are creating for your business. It can apply to a product, service or system of management. The more specific the purpose behind each creation’s design is, the more you can accomplish goals with it.


Last but certainly not least, good design is something that does a lot of interaction. Naturally, this is clear in great escape rooms, where clever interactions with the environment is key to solving the challenges.

This is a philosophy that really helps a lot when implementing design in business. For instance, have you ever wondered why today’s consumers prefer interactive content rather than static? That is because interactive content is inherently engaging and gives them more reason to pay more attention to your brand.

This though is just one way the concept of interaction can have positive effects on a business. Gamification is another example of how interaction can be used to improve work. It can also extend to designing team building activities that boost camaraderie.

All in all, it just goes to show that the idea of engaging design isn’t just a buzz phrase in business advice. It is actually based on a lot of solid concepts and escape rooms can be a surprising place to see those concepts proven. Try dropping by one sometime and see what you can learn!

An absolute Ball at Elude Escape Rooms

By | KidsParty, KidsParty2

We’re so impressed with the friendly service and clever details that Elude Games have put into their escape rooms. I was looking for a birthday party idea and location for my 15 year old son and his group of friends that would keep them active and engaged for 2-3 hours – not an easy task! They all had an absolute ball at the Elude Escape Rooms and it was a perfect choice for a teenage party. We’ll definitely be doing this again. Highly recommended for adults as well as teens.

Thing to know

Top Business Tips from Escape Room Entrepreneurs

By | Public Blog

Escape rooms are not just interesting avenues to challenge your employees’ teamwork skills. The business side of things can also be quite insightful.

This comes from the fact that the market for this type of entertainment is still quite niche and trendy. That means there is no strong consensus on what always works. Many innovations and ideas about the escape room concept rapidly come and go.

That means there are huge risks from the perspective of an aspiring business owner. However, there are certainly plenty of escape room success stories that show that these challenges can be met head on. Here are three very powerful business lessons you can take from these unconventional game room pioneers.

Expect to be wrong.

Many escape room owners started off thinking they had all the skills they needed to make it work. In reality, however, many of them wound up overwhelmed during their early days because there was a surprising number of other disciplines they needed to set up the attraction.

 These included not only game design but also engineering, customer service, psychology and many more. The same goes for the expectations they had when it came to time, costs and measures for success.

Working to always be right about something is traditionally held to mean success in other types of business. When it turns out you’re wrong, however, every decision you made based on the wrong assumption or expectation leads to numerous problems. That’s why it’s best to have a mind for contingency and always be prepared for when things stop going according to plan.

Know your audience

One of the saddest types of failed business stories is when an establishment mistakenly assumes it shares the same vision and values as the customers it tries to attract. This was also a case for many escape room businesses. Some thought that a particular theme would attract visitors but it turned out the owners taste and that of the local populace greatly varied.

Hence, it is very important to invest in research about who exactly is going to drive your bottom line. You have this great idea or great product but how sure are you that demand will be strong for it? Are you in an area that is conducive to the type of business you want to set up?

Knowledge about your target market or audience before starting the business can really go a long way towards its success. You may not be attracting crowds of customers on the first day but consistently putting your business in front of those often in need of it will always keep them coming back.

Brace for crash courses

Lastly, sometimes even having a team of diversely skilled employees isn’t enough. That can certainly be the case for those who wanted to start up an escape room establishment. For instance, you could plan to have a colonial-themed escape room but how much of the time period do you actually know to really make the experience authentic?

Needless to say this prompted many teams to undertake a crash course to really make sure they know what they were trying to do. The moral of the story is simply realizing that you never stop learning in order to succeed.

Just as you are open to being wrong, you should also be open to learning things that are not 100% in your purview. Bracing to take a crash course in unfamiliar subjects can be more productive for your business.

The world of escape room entertainment is one full of mysteries but none of the least are the real-life challenges that come with running the attractions. Take a note from the sector’s up-and-coming game entrepreneurs when tackling the many unknowns in business.

An Exciting Birthday Party Experience!

By | KidsParty1
My daughter had her 12th birthday party at Elude. Easy to find and get to, great host and lovely facilities. As the parents, we relaxed in the outdoor area, having a coffee and a chat. The host, Darren, was great and helpful and managed the noisy party of giggling girls with ease.
After completing ‘Perpetual Motion’ (the game) the girls enjoyed birthday cake and treats in the well set out outdoor area.
The girls couldn’t stop talking about the experience and I certainly think it is one they will remember for quite some time yet.
I would definitely recommend Elude for birthday parties or for families. We will be back!
Team Building in the workplace

How to Propose and Plan Your New Team Building Idea

By | Public Blog

All right, suppose you have run a couple team building activities for your employees and the results have been more-or-less satisfying. Everyone had fun but at the same time, you built up good camaraderie and everyone had a better idea on how to work together.

Despite that, you also think that there is always room for improvement and you want your next team building to have an even bigger impact. The main challenge now is getting other people in the organisation to buy-in on an event that is new, unfamiliar and maybe even a little unorthodox. What do you do?

The good news is that even an unconventional team building idea can still be as effectively pitched like your regular ones. Just remember the following steps:

Step 1: Spell out the problem.

Always remember that a team building activity is essentially meant to solve a particular problem that is currently affecting the team’s performance. If you have been doing a needs assessment in past team building activities, then this step should already be a habit.

On the other hand, there is no point spelling out the problem if the solution seems like something you have tried before. That means you should consider going a bit further. For example, you might actually consider a team building activity using fast-paced escape rooms to help bring the issue to light and how to help them better handle themselves.

Step 2: Lay out the options and their costs.

Now, even if you are trying an unconventional form of team building, it helps to lay out different ways to pull it off. Otherwise, you might waste too much time presenting only single options that all keep getting shot down.

Remember that decision makers will more likely prefer that you present all possibilities rather than present them one at a time. It makes the choice easier to make when they can compare each option side by side and weight their costs. Furthermore, it can be helpful when you don’t exactly know your organisation’s budget for employee team building because each option represents your best educated guess.

Step 3: Point out the value of the activity.

This step is when you finally explain out why your revolutionary new team building idea will have a better value compared to the previous ones. Naturally, this is where extensive research will be even more important.

Make sure you have all the facts to justify your proposal, from the established needs of the team to the varying ways a different cost can create better value for the organisation’s investment.

For instance, in the escape room example, you might want to present these rooms as a more affordable venue for activities compared to your current team building programs. Alternatively, they can be a site to exercise skills that the usual corporate activities don’t fully engage.

Step 4: Formally spell out the goals and metrics for success.

Never forget that all top decision makers require the most accurate metrics to really buy-in to any idea. That means your proposal should have the right ones to prove that an unconventional activity can, in fact, address the problem you have spelled out. That makes it easier to define and justify the goal of the activity.

If you are proposing that a team building activity use party puzzle games, then those games must be designed to exercise the skills you think are still lacking. If you are proposing a more physically intense activity, then you should have a bit of info on your employee’s current health and why that exercise might be more beneficial.

Truth be told, it is actually not all that unusual for any business to use an unlikely activity for team building. In fact, the more successful ones are always willing to give it a try provided there is enough research, preparation and buy-in. As long as you keep that in mind, there is no need to worry about how out-of-the-box your next team building proposal may sound!

For more information visit my other blogs

Team Building with Elude Escape Rooms

Can the “Work is Work” Mindset Hinder Problem Solving?

By | Public Blog

The idea of using entertainment at work to boost productivity isn’t entirely new. Plenty of companies have already started, whether it’s via recreational spaces in the office, hosting team building activities in escape rooms or just relaxing restrictions on online browsing.

Despite this, there are still those who have understandable reasons for going against this trend. The adage of “Work is work, play is play” remains to be a very important reminder for other companies. It calls employees to be focused on solving the problems encountered in their jobs and maintain a solid work-life balance. There should be a healthy limit to how much you can play around at work.

However, this same adage has a fair handful of limitations on its own. If work-life balance and productivity is really the goal, one must be ready to acknowledge the shortcomings of the “Work is work” mindset.

Limit 1: The types of problems that can be solved.

The “Work is work” mentality can be easily compared to a person with high IQ. People who are remarkably intelligent are said to have high working memory that enables to them hold large amounts of information in their minds at a time. Logically, this would mean these people are excellent problem solvers.

In reality though, high working memory is not necessarily the skeleton key to all problems at work. It’s been found that a high working memory can actually be quite rigid, narrow and too preoccupied with its data for its own good.

When seen that way, it can actually be very counterproductive to problems that require creative, out-of-the-box thinking. So if you are facing a problem in your tasks, it is very important if the task is asking you to solve a problem requires a lot of working memory or if you need to think more creatively.

Limit 2: The impact of job stress on problem solving.

There is no denying that workplace stress has had negative effects on productivity. Incidentally, that is exactly what can come about from the mindset that is squarely set on just doing work and nothing else.

It just logically follows that mere stress is enough of a self-created obstacle to problem solving. Just as too much frivolity can cause employees to lose focus, too much agonising over a problem only disengages one’s mind.

It is important to have some means to sense how high your current stress levels are when working. And when you do, it is clear that you also have to switch off ‘work mode’ for at least a few minutes before trying again.

Limit 3: The skills you can learn.

Oftentimes thinking “Work is work” centers on the same set of tasks to be done within the same amount of time and at a certain level of production. It is no coincidence that it often leads to people having a very dull view of their job and are only ever satisfied with earning what they can.

These days though, it is clear that life at work is meant to be far more important and engaging than that. These days the ideal workplace is one where employees are motivated and challenged while developing a sense of community. In contrast, an unhealthy work-only mindset creates barriers and demotivates people from trying anything beyond routine procedure.

Again, stating “Work is work” can be useful if there is a need to keep employee behaviour grounded and focused after being too scattered. Yet at the same time, it is important to know the limits of this rationale and consider making work just a little bit more entertaining.

For more information visit Elude Escape Rooms 

or call us on 8005 0077

Work Life Balance

Does Gamification Mess Up Work-Life Balance?

By | Public Blog

In a nutshell, gamification is understood as somehow combining the fun and engaging elements of games with tasks at work to help employees achieve more productivity. Whether it’s using escape rooms for team building activities, or task management tools with game design elements, it is a combination that seems clear to the common eye.

However, some people might view this same combination with trepidation because it represents the end of work-life balance. “Work is work, play is play” as the argument goes. Putting them together seems like a recipe for burnout.

Is it really, though?

There are a few ways that this argument can be taken in the opposite direction. Coincidentally, here are two of them can be seen in examples taken straight from the culture of the video game industry.


In many online games, ‘dailies’ is the term to describe daily quests or missions that reward players (be it in the form of items, experience points, in-game currency etc). Done wrong, dailies are a chore and can turn many players off. But done right, this type of system gives players a strong incentive to keep logging back in.

Professional Gaming

Professional gaming and livestreaming have gone from being niche professions to a major part of the industry with players having annual salaries that reach up as high $400,000. For these players, one can say that their ‘life’ aspect has seamlessly merged with their ‘work’ aspect.

If play can have elements of work, why not the other way around?

In both the two examples, there are elements of ‘work’ that have integrated themselves into games and often drive players to keep playing. More than that, their proper execution results in more player enjoyment, engagement and return.

Why then can’t the same be said for the process that just does the exact same thing but from a different direction to engage employees?

The work-life balance argument seems to base itself entirely on the problem of burnout. Furthermore, it can explain why many people that are not fond of ‘combining work and play’ also happen to quickly raise up the problem of addiction in both work and games.

When that is the case, it becomes clear that the problem isn’t actually gamification but the human tendency towards addictions of all sorts. That is the real issue that employers should tackle when it comes to implementing any gamification initiative in their workplace.

Here are some suggestions that can help:

1. Understand the role of energy.

Make a habit of trying to understand people’s energy levels throughout the day. This requires a good mastery of understanding subtle emotional signals and observation skills, but that only makes it a good exercise of leadership ability.

Employees need energy to perform anything regardless if it’s for work or play. The more aware you are about how employees use their energy, the more equipped you are to use gamification to improve their use of it.

2. Encourage good sleeping habits.

When people discuss work-life balance, sleep is surprisingly overlooked. You are neither playing or working when you sleep. It is its own category and is important to both when it comes to having the energy to do anything.

Therefore, encourage employees to sleep well and ensure they’ll have enough energy to perform any activity.

3. Give good consideration to someone’s health and mindset.

Another way to look at it is that some people only have one type of gamification in mind and it doesn’t mesh well with their work style, ways of thinking or even physical health.

Put these into consideration when implementing a gamification concept to improve the workplace. By being sensitive to the different mental and physical needs of employees, you can actually come up with something that better suits them.

In conclusion, one is deliberately misinterpreting gamification if one assumes it combines work and life without care for some sort of balance. Balance can be an entirely separate issue because a workaholic does not need gamification to be addicted to work.

For more information visit my blog or our Team Building – Corporate information

Or call Elude Escape Rooms on 8005 0077

Entertaining Team Building

The Value of Entertainment Inside Work

By | Public Blog

Many of the previous posts covered the idea that escape rooms are both entertaining while also being great activities that exercise the necessary teamwork and problem-solving skills of professionals. However, even the entertainment aspect can generate its own value for any business organisation.

This has to do with the long and testy shift on the subject of fun times at the office in today’s working world. Inevitably, it touches on the concept of work-life balance and how it is now endlessly challenged from all different angles.

That is why the idea of providing more entertainment initiatives within the workplace context has become a more significant issue than ever. It explains why companies have started using games in their team building activities. The trend of gamifying the workplace is also no coincidence. It shows that many of today’s business leaders are challenged to rethink the conventional wisdom of putting Work and Play into different silos of an employee’s life.

Utilizing escape rooms as your company’s go-to team building events is one way you can explore the possibility of Work and Play blending together as one. Up until recent years, this has often been considered undesirable (and it still is for some corporate cultures). 

However, that does not negate the many cases where emphasising the Work-Life barrier has only done more harm than good. Aside from the usual cases of people prioritizing the former at the expense of the latter, you have the problem of disengaged employees and emotionless, extremely impersonal relations between team members.

When you decide to utilise entertainment within the context of your workplace, you have the option to prevent these problems and remind everyone that you are all still people. Thus, one can discern its value in some of the following ways:

  1. It can reduce pressure on the employees.

One aspect of a problematic workplace culture is over-emphasis on pressure. Everyone is forced to look for a high-stake objective that demands to be taken with grave seriousness. Counterbalancing this with an entertaining, more relaxing side of the company can dissuade this harmful mentality and tell everyone that it’s okay to take a break from it all.

  1. It exercises work skills without making them think of work.

When you are using games and escape rooms to cultivate problem-solving skills, the best way to do it is to actually not emphasise the similarities. Allow people to have fun and wait until the very end of the activity to explain how the skills they use at play can be used at work.

The thing about having fun is literally having fun, where the mind isn’t preoccupied with thoughts of their workload, tasks due or projects still on-going. The entertainment factor of a game enables people to exercise the same skills but without the added stress of thinking it as ‘work.’

  1. It allows moments of reflection on why they work.

Lastly, giving considerable time and space for leisure within the office empowers employees with room to reflect on the main purpose behind coming to work every day. This can be very helpful when you are working to prevent feelings of disengagement among employees (or at least understand why they would feel disengaged.

While it is good to always look for activities and programs that improve an employee’s skills, one must avoid the mistake of assuming that making those activities entertaining is just icing on the cake in terms of value. In truth, entertainment has equal value in the workplace and it has become a valid necessity in today’s working world.

Team Building

Puzzles as Metaphors for Buy-Ins

By | Public Blog

In escape rooms, puzzles are the building blocks of their design, plus they are also the elements that obviously make them exciting and mind-challenging. However, there is also more to how these puzzles interact and these may even be a great way to simulate one of the most common yet most difficult challenges in the workplace: Getting buy-ins.

In the workplace setting, buy-ins are not just any regular task. They represent something bigger. It can be the purchase of better equipment to make everyone’s jobs easier. It can be implementing policy that is meant to reduce costs and improve performance.

All these things require the buy-in, where you need generally have the entire organization in agreement so that your proposal can push forward. In fact, even CEOs can’t always implement anything they want without the express buy-in of at least several other leaders in upper management. (And they, in turn, have to try and get their own people to get on board with the idea.)

That is how crucial buy-ins are in any workplace environment.

However, that is also precisely why they can be puzzling, stressful exercises for the mind. Whether you are a team leader just trying to get an activity’s budget approved or a factory manager who is seriously considering a major, facility upgrade, you don’t have all the answers you need to know that everyone is on board with your idea.

And in larger organizations, that headache can quadruple because you will be digging up info on other persons of interest outside of your own department.

Then again, doesn’t this sound strangely familiar?

That is essentially what teams do when taking on an escape room challenge. The whole group starts with very few clues on solving the mystery of the room. But by putting everyone’s heads together, the answers come bit by bit until the final solution is found. It is an excellent metaphor for simulating the challenge of getting buy-ins!

Here are some particular skills that your team-sized sleuthing can exercise in escape room challenges.

1. Information Gathering

The moment an escape room challenge starts, everyone is instinctively trying to find more than just the first clue. Naturally, an uncoordinated search is less effective than a coordinated one.

Likewise, it is the same when the team needs to get information on who to ask for a buy-in. It is not always the leader’s sole responsibility but everyone’s (especially when it is an initiative everyone in the group wants to see through).

2. Out-of-the-Box Thinking

The clues in an escape room puzzle are always expected to be in rather unlikely places. That what makes it fun and it also encourages thinking outside conventional wisdom.

That can be helpful when you think a decision-maker you want for a buy-in may not be easily convinced. Thinking outside the box becomes instinctive and you can clever ways to give the person their own stake in approving your team’s proposal.

3. Finding Connections

Lastly, these innovative room puzzles encourage great attention to detail and a sharp eye for patterns and connections that others in the team might have missed.

Likewise, there will always be problems when it comes to getting buy-ins for your proposals but they don’t all seem to add up despite all the information you have gathered. A closer look often reveals the answer but only if your team makes it a habit!

Training your team to overcome obstacles to buy-ins is very much like training them to become expert game puzzle solvers. Why not consider the metaphor and use it as another way to prepare employees to help get the buy-ins they need?

Like some more information about the use of Escape Rooms for Team Building call Elude Escape rooms on 8005 0077 or visit our website


Turning Make Believe Traps Into Tests of Leadership

By | Public Blog

For the most part. It is actually not that hard to see how casual games, like escape room challenges can be used to test teams of working professionals. Also teach them how to better coordinate (no matter what their job may be).

On the other hand, would it be also safe to say that these challenges can further test the effectiveness of leaders in the workplace?

The short answer is: Yes.

Like every other type of team building activity.  Escape rooms are not just meant to improve team synergy. They obviously improve that synergy by challenging the skills of those in leadership positions. An few games consisting of some make-believe traps can have a positive, long-term results in raising the competence of an organization’s leadership.

The key lies in understanding the deeper core skills often required in leadership. Knowing that conventional training and coaching isn’t the only way these skills are tapped. Here are just a few examples.

Problem Solving

Most professionals have this idea that a leader’s only major job is to delegate. However, proper task delegation is actually a middle step. Before that can even happen, effective leaders must be among the first to identify and define a problem.

Now, while challenges like escape room require everyone to have problem solving skills, a leader’s particular role in the solution is to be the first to start piecing information together and then delegating tasks to fill in the gaps. Seizing initiative is often seen as a good sign of leadership but rarely do people notice that is actually the initiative to start solving problems.

Time Management

Escape rooms are well-known for their suspenseful time limits so it makes sense that great leaders are very aware of how time is being spent. However, many people underestimate just how impactful such challenges can be.

In real-life work settings, most leaders underestimate the allowance they have with distant deadlines and often enable an ineffective process to persist beyond what is healthy until the deadline finally nears.

A fast-paced, time-limited challenge can really make team leaders more aware of how long their team is taking to solve a problem and make faster decisions about how it can improve.

Role Management

Whether it is at work or play, both are activities that find success when people fulfill their roles and learn how to synergize them. However, it is also obvious that it is the leader’s main task to manage these roles and achieve that synergy.

This not only includes identifying each person’s individual skills and how they best fulfill that role, but also making sure their efforts combine into the best solution to a problem. Escape room activities can really hone a leader’s ability to understand a situation and have the right people in the right place, at the right time.

Interpersonal Skills

Lastly, even when a leader has assigned people to the right task, they must also have good interpersonal skills to identify conflicts between personalities. Another thing that team building activities and real-life work have in common is that they demonstrate the human side of everybody.

That makes people skills a natural requirement, whether it is in the exciting context of disarming make believe traps or mediating tensions between conflicting co-workers.

Overall, even business leaders can gain some benefit from participating in light, play-oriented team building activities. The parallels between the challenges of work and those from make-believe traps can teach them a thing or two as well!

Call Elude