Huddle rooms are exploding in popularity, and for good reason. Workers everywhere have cried foul over the horrors of the open office. Now, studies have backed up the desperate cries of open-office workers forced to listen to their neighbor’s most recent Game of Thrones theories while smelling their Pad Thai leftovers. Better collaboration and productivity aren’t exactly happening as expected.

Enter huddle rooms—the inexpensive, cost-effective spaces for spontaneous conversations to happen privately. But you know what?  I’m guessing that most companies aren’t doing it right! Too often, small groups jump into a huddle room only to literally huddle around a laptop when having a video conference. Talk about intimate—it’s one thing to “rub elbows”with the rich and famous, but frankly, I’d rather keep my distance from some of my co-workers (sorry, Brian 😊). 

If you think about it, this scene is played out over and over in huddle rooms across the globe. We move from wide-open spaces, into a little room and then cram ourselves onto one side of the table to use video and then tell ourselves we are being more productive. I think we can do better.   

And if you think that’s uncomfortable, consider the experience of folks on the far end. As you’re trying to present your best, professional self and give the pitch of your life, your customers, partners, colleagues, executives see a mish-mash of faces and shoulders squeezed together to fit into the frame of your pathetic laptop camera. I’ve seen it many times in video conferences with vendors who have slick presentations and well-researched pitches but are unfortunately limited to the confines of the laptop screen. Poor audio makes their voices tinny, while poor video distorts their face or cuts off the top of their head.

Creating an Oasis for Collaboration

So what’s the answer? How do we make this right?  Like just about any good fixer-upper project, you need the right tool for the job.  Consider one of our newest solutions, Polycom Studio.  Polycom Studio brings professional-quality video conferencing with quick and easy setup. Just plug it into your USB port, and Polycom Studio connects to your favorite platform, whether it’s Zoom, BlueJeans, Cisco WebEx, Microsoft Teams or Skype or any other desktop video software. Easy setup, check.

It gets better. You can spread out in the huddle room, give your coworkers back their personal space, and this video bar captures the entire room in ultra-wide 120-degree field of view (meaning the far end can see your entire face!). And not only does the camera span the whole room, but automatic speaker tracking focuses on whoever is speaking at the moment. No more fumbling with a remote to get the right person in frame as the conversation flows. Looking good on camera, check

Polycom Studio

The 12-foot microphone pickup transmits HD voice audio, allowing you to present your most impressive self in HD glory (okay, so maybe not all of us are truly “HD people”, but for the sake of this blog, go with me people).And if you can still hear your coworkers chattering about Game of Thrones outside the huddle room, worry not, because the far end can’t. Acoustic Fence technology makes sure only meeting participants’ voices are carried through to the other end. Sounding smooth, check.

Not to mention, at $949 you can outfit all your huddle spaces for less the price of the laptop you are connecting to. Affordable video, check.

Introducing Polycom Studio, the cure to the dysfunctional huddle room. Now plug in, stretch out, be seen and be heard like your true bad-a#$ self.

Conference room