To help improve collaboration between colleagues, many offices are turning to open work spaces. However, these spaces aren’t great for everyone. Some employees crave their own space for meetings or creative thinking, or simply to escape the distractions of an open floor plan. In fact, studies have shown that open office plans decrease productivity and employee well-being while increasing the number of sick days. For a company that wants to succeed in the long run, they need to ensure that their employees are able to collaborate with minimal distractions.
Say hello to huddle rooms.
A huddle room is a small meeting space that typically holds between 4-6 people and is designed for better collaboration for ad hoc or planned meetings. You can compare it to the way football players huddle-up to plan their next move. (Just don’t try to squeeze in an entire football team!)
When designing your huddle room spaces, here’s what you should consider adding:
A small table
Whether your employees prefer sitting or standing, your huddle room should have a small central table that allows for both. You’ll need somewhere to put your laptops when you walk into the room.
Connectivity is key. Some tables have integrated connectivity units which can make the huddle room an extension of your personal workspace. In this way, you can create environments where flexibility flourishes.
Ever been stuck in a meeting that goes longer than expected? Then you know firsthand how important a comfortable chair is. Keep employees’ focus on the content of the meeting — not on shifting around to find the right position. If you expect guests to use your huddle rooms, consider skipping the cheap, uncomfortable chairs in lieu of quality to leave a positive, professional impression. Bonus points for wheels on the bottom to allow for even more flexible, on-the-fly collaboration.
Don’t overlook the ability to write out ideas and concepts in the huddle room. If you’re in a hurry to get into a meeting, you may not have the time to grab a pen and paper. It’s a good thing to be able to visualise your priorities, for everyone to see.
When you’re finished, you can just take a picture of it, so that you don’t have to write it all down again. Even better? Consider an interactive whiteboard. It has the same simplicity, but uses digital pens and allows you to capture and share the content with just a button.
Once your furnishings are set, consider which videoconferencing technologies you’ll need. With the right tools, you can get answers in an instant, eliminating the need for time-consuming planning and allowing for good old-fashioned face-to-face communication. Hardware, such as a speaker, microphone, and camera is needed to participate in video meetings and calls.
You will also need a software for a great collaboration experience. Remember that you need to be able to join meetings hosted on different services. While some companies today offer room kits that combine software and hardware, they can be limiting, meaning you can only use it to join meetings on one service. But what if you’re invited to a meeting on a different service? Your room immediately becomes obsolete.
Future-proof your room with a service that gives you the flexibility to join ANY meeting from your huddle room — even those hosted on different services.
A large screen (TV, LCD or LED monitor)
Gone are the days of gathering around a laptop to view a presentation or join a videoconference with a virtual team. We know it’s called a huddle room because it is for huddles, but come on.
Having a display to share screens is critical for this room. It doesn’t have to be expensive, and it doesn’t have to fill the whole wall, just as long as everyone can see and feel included. Remember that the screen has to be easy to connect so that you don’t waste several minutes on set up, rather than maximising your huddle time.
Huddle rooms give office workers a flexible space to collaborate and get their work done. With affordable solutions that are easy to set up and deploy, companies can get started quickly and grow as they need. Set up your room today and let the huddles begin.