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Escapism 2019

Mastering the art of Escapism – Engage Web Team Building Day 2019

Escapism 2019

Mastering the art of Escapism – Engage Web Team Building Day 2019

We’ve already had a lot to celebrate this year at Engage Web, with the company turning 10 years old at the end of April. So in order to keep the team communicating well and feeling good, we embarked upon our latest team building day last Thursday.

As many would say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so we headed straight out to the pub to fuel ourselves for the day ahead. We arrived at the Hungry Horse on the Coliseum Shopping Park at a minute to nine waiting to be let in. Our early endeavours meant that we had the pub to ourselves!

Following a hearty breakfast, we returned to HQ for a company update. Managing Director Lianne went through our performances as a team, financials and strategies for the upcoming months before revealing what activities we would be throwing ourselves into for the rest of the day.

In previous years, we have been to a couple of escape rooms, and have developed a taste for them, finding that they show off our skills as a team. So this year, we would be heading back to Escapism Chester, to take on the remaining rooms we had not yet encountered.

Our first challenge was Missing, where we had to explore a forest to investigate why people were going missing before we too met the same fate. This was a ‘four axe’ rated room, so promised to present us with a challenge.

Hunting for clues around a cabin in the woods, we each utilised our skills to crack the codes, solve the puzzles and escape. A mixture of organisation, communication and brute force ensured that we did not go missing, and we escaped with over 11 and a half minutes remaining.

An early morning success is always a great achievement and ensured we went into the lunch break in a good mood. So off to the pub we went, again! At Engage Web, we believe in a winning formula, and last year’s visit to Escapism was a success, so we decided to retrace our steps and head to the Pied Bull for lunch. In similar fashion to last year, Darren and John decided that the best way to prepare for the second escape room was to have a pint or three. It worked for us last year, so why wouldn’t it again this year?

After we were suitably fed and watered, we headed back to Escapism to confront the final room – Espionage. This ‘four lock’ rated room was a similar level of difficulty to the room we escaped in the morning, so we went in feeling confident.

The back story to this room is that we were secret agents attempting to retrieve sensitive data before the police arrived at our location in one hour’s time. This room was much different to Missing in that it was a linear game. This meant that you couldn’t just break off and work on different things – we had to solve one clue to get to the next and so forth. We found this to be trickier as the first clue was not as easy as we thought.

Once we got going, we swiftly got into a rhythm, and the game’s numerous word-based puzzles were no match for Content Team Leader and Scrabble boffin John, who smashed the next series of puzzles almost single-handedly. However, there were still puzzles and tests for the rest of the team to help out with, and some nimbleness and contortionism was needed along the way too (which is not John’s forte!) In the end, we escaped the grasps of the police with almost 17 minutes to spare after a Mission Impossible-esque finale to the game.

What did we learn about the team?

Essentially, we didn’t learn anything new, we just reinforced the fact that we are awesome and a cohesive unit. We’ve been working together for nearly five and a half years now, so we recognise that we each have different strengths and qualities we can bring to each situation, whether that is busting out of an escape room or in our roles working on office projects.

In this situation, John’s word-related expertise, Darren’s technical mind and logical processes and Lianne’s organisational and communicative brilliance worked well together, alongside my hands-on approach and all-round abilities, all of which enabled us to crack the puzzles and escape with bags of time to spare.

Alan Littler
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