Small meeting rooms or “huddle rooms” are meeting spaces designed for small groups (best between 2 and 4 people) that enable them to collaborate and work on projects in a “team huddle” environment, without using up the larger and more formal conference rooms. Huddle Rooms are great for ad-hoc meetings and impromptu collaborative sessions.
A reflection of our change in working culture, huddle spaces should encourage flexibility, fast collaboration and ad-hoc innovation, and remove the culture of “having a meeting for the sake of a meeting”. The rise in the huddle room across the workforce has been heavily influenced by the trend of remote working – more employees are working externally, pushing the need for much more remote collaboration to take place between locations.
- Between 2013 and 2014, the employed population grew by 1.9%, but the telecommuter pool grew by 5.6%
- Around 3.7 million employees currently work from home around 50% of the time or more
- Employees working from home have increased by 103% since 2005
The emergence of remote working means people are not nearby to their nearest colleagues – getting large groups of people together in one place to hold a formal meeting is less necessary than previously, and in fact whilst the physical space is reducing, ensuring the room has the right technology for efficient collaboration is vital to keep teams and people connected.
Many businesses now herald their Huddle Rooms as the most productive rooms in the building. Here are the top five benefits of deploying huddle rooms:
1. No reservations required
Many organisations choose to deploy huddle rooms without a reservation system. That way teams can have a place to meet for an impromptu working session without having to stop what they’re doing and create a scheduled meeting.
There’s no use waiting for the scheduled meeting in a weeks time, when your idea has gone – you want to talk and innovate with your colleagues in an instant. Huddle Rooms are for “in the moment thinking” – simply spot an empty space (for example, by using Evoko Liso Room Management panels such as below) and go.
2. Turn underutilized small rooms into efficient spaces
Many small meeting spaces are underutilised because they lack the technology required for efficient and productive meetings.
Whether you are actually in a huddle room, or you are connecting remotely, it’s vital you can see, share and work on the same materials. Messaging platforms and interative whiteboards alongside Video Conferencing systems (designed for the huddle room) for the face-to-face experience creates a combined virtual and physical space that enables efficient collaboration.
AV hardware emphasis is different in small rooms than the larger spaces – room priorities are different, and the deployed technology and setup must reflect that too. Screens, endpoints, cameras, wireless connectivity, BYOD capabilities (including responsiveness of technology), licencing & USB connectivity are features to focus on within the huddle room.
3. Save large conference rooms for large meetings
Frost and Sullivan research tells us that 75% of all meetings in large conference rooms include just 3-4 people, meaning the rest of these spaces are just being wasted.
In fact, one of VideoCentric’s customers has recently taken the decision to split every large meeting room in half based on meeting room usage analytics fed back from our ROI services and their in room Video Conferencing system (which could count people and activity in the room). This expanding business recognised they could effectively double the number of meeting spaces for their teams, without expanding real estate.
4. Ideal for remote team members
Huddle rooms give remote workers the ability to communication face-to-face with their office based team members whenever needed, throughout the day.
With up to 90% of employees now preferring to have the option of remote working, 50% of the UK workforce with jobs that COULD be done remotely, and around 3.7million employees now working from home over half of their working week, it’s vital that remote teams feel less remote and more connected, and this trend may even improve employee recruitment and employee retention.
5. Inexpensive to set up
Smaller meeting spaces require much less complexity and can manage with lower cost technologies – for example, a smaller room doesn’t need long distance zoom on a camera or as high quality picture as a boardroom, and often does not require features such as dual display (people and content) and multiple inputs on codecs for microphones and speakers.
Huddle Room technologies have been designed to reduce the costs for the growing number of huddle rooms, whilst taking into consideration the requirements of the type, size and use of these rooms. For example, VideoCentric’s huddle room solutions have been designed to include the features most needed for huddle room users i.e.:
- Options for screen sharing and annotation
- Connectivity from laptops and mobiles – with wireless connectivity or a simple plug & play option
- Open standards for interoperability, so employees can connect with their chosen app & any devices can connect to the solution
Technology in the room must allow any huddle room to become an effective meeting space, be cost-effective and easy to use. Our Huddle Buddy room kits and purpose-built huddle room solutions such as the Lifesize Icon 300 are designed to be deployed to compliment your wider communication plan, ensuring a simple user experience for everyone, whatever room they choose to work within.
Whether you are using huddle rooms already, have a growing influx of home and remote workers, or are transforming your business to provide more flexible workspaces for your business, the future of efficient working is providing numerous ways for people across your workforce to collaborate from wherever they choose, on whatever device works best for them.
Get in touch with us today to discuss options for your huddle rooms, or to find out more about transforming your workspaces, both in the office and at home.