As Millennials start to dominate the workforce, they’re revolutionizing the way we think about workspaces by reimagining traditional work styles and introducing new, progressive concepts. Huddle rooms are one of the most popular trends established thus far. These small meeting rooms designed for ad hoc collaboration aptly reflect the values of modern-day corporate culture centered around flexibility, innovation, and teamwork. From what huddle rooms are to how you can create one in your office, we have all you need to know about how to bring your workspace into the digital age.
What is a Huddle Room?
A huddle room is a small meeting room equipped with audio and video capabilities that companies use for quick team meetings (aka team huddles). Aside from size, what makes these rooms different is that they are an easy alternative to large conference rooms that most often require prior reservations or bookings. If you need a last-minute space to hold an unplanned working session or a room for smaller scheduled meetings, a huddle room is your quick fix.
Benefits of Huddle Rooms
Does your office have small rooms that aren’t being used for anything in particular? If the answer is ‘yes’, you should consider creating a huddle room. One of the biggest benefits of huddle rooms is that they utilize space that is normally forgotten. Even if you do use the small space, you may not be reaping its fullest potential. If you aren’t utilizing all the space your workplace offers, it’s time to give your underutilized space a full revamp and create a huddle space.
Prioritizing Large Rooms
Contrary to first impressions, when you take the time and effort to create huddle rooms in the workspace, you are in fact proactively prioritizing your larger conference rooms. Not only do you provide a space perfect for small work sessions and meetings, you also utilize your bigger rooms in a more efficient manner. Say goodbye to wasted space and empty chairs!
Inclusion of All Employees
Huddle rooms facilitate collaboration and communication amongst team members, while making the experience feel more intimate. Conference rooms are great for video conferencing with large groups, but can make remote workers feel forgotten and left out. Huddle rooms solve that problem with quick and easy face-to-face connection that helps to give everyone a life-size presence.
No Reservation Needed
As previously mentioned, huddle rooms don’t need reservations prior to their use (unless your company chooses to do otherwise). Employees love this benefit because they don’t have to stop what they’re doing to schedule meetings. Impromptu gatherings is the name of the game for these trendy rooms.
You may be wondering what costs are involved with transforming your space into a huddle room. Thankfully, huddle rooms are inexpensive to create, making them accessible to both large and small businesses. The equipment that is used in huddle rooms is much less expensive than equipping a large conference room.
Tips for Creating an Ideal Huddle Room
The first step to getting your office’s huddle room started is buying furniture. Find small seating options that make it easy to be comfortable without taking up too much space and provide a table that can easily support a few laptops. Because huddle rooms are primarily going to be used by your employees, you have the option of involving them in the decision making. This is a great way to get everyone excited about the new space. Besides style, you also need to plan for how many people you’re intending to fit into each room. Typically, one huddle room will seat four to five employees.
The first thing to consider with huddle room ambiance is lighting. Natural lighting has been connected to better health and increased engagement in employees, so it’s a good idea to pick a space that has windows. If your space does not allow for much natural sunlight, try opting for softer, more natural lighting in the huddle room that lessens the exposure to blue light.
Once you have lighting set up, acoustics are another important factor. Many offices now have open floor plans which can be problematic because of distracting background noise. Luckily, you can include sound insulation to prevent noise leakage in and out of the room. To bring your huddle space to the next level, consider purchasing professional-grade microphones. They increase the audio quality of a meeting with native ambient noise reduction and full room coverage.
After you lay the foundation down, it’s time to equip your huddle room with technology. No one wants to huddle around a laptop, so you’re going to need bigger displays. When choosing, it’s important to buy a display with screen sharing capabilities as this will come in handy on a regular basis. As far as size, stay within the 42” to 50” range. Remember, this is a small space, so you don’t need the massive equipment you’re used to. Once you have your display ready, shoot for mounting it close to eye level.
Video & Phone
Video conferencing is a huge trend in today’s working world because it allows team members across the globe to communicate face-to-face without ever having to leave their seat. If you’re thinking about adding a huddle room to your office, you can’t miss out on this opportunity. Video conferencing providers have started to develop systems optimized for huddle rooms and small meeting rooms, making it easy for organizations to outfit their huddle rooms with all the benefits of video conferencing.
For instances when video calls aren’t necessary, you’ll also want to have a conference phone and speakers that offer crystal-clear audio so nobody is straining to listen or join in on the conversation. Be sure to look for technology that is easy to use and meets your reliability requirements.
Sometimes, writing it out is the best way to visualize new ideas and collaborate with others. Brainstorming sessions are popular in huddle rooms, so providing a wall for writing is crucial. Whether it be a traditional white board or a glass wall, this feature is great for employees to visually share ideas with their teammates. Be sure to stock the huddle room with dry-erase markers and sticky notes for the ultimate setup.
The popularity of huddle rooms continues to grow throughout the workforce, and for good reason. There are plenty of valuable benefits to be enjoyed when you take the time to create huddle rooms in your office space, including office space optimization and improved collaboration amongst teams. With such an easy setup, every office should invest in a huddle space for more efficient work and happier employees!