The huddle room revolution: Collaborative spaces for hybrid working

Tech Blog
December 14, 2021
People in a meeting room

Great things happen in small meetings; a well-planned huddle space creates an ideal place for in-office and hybrid teams to collaborate and be productive.

What is a huddle room?

It's a space for people to collaborate and work together. These rooms should embrace technology by including audiovisual technology and connectivity tools to simplify sharing content from one device to another. In this blog post, we'll be discussing the different ways businesses use these spaces and sharing our five tips on designing a huddle room for your business.

Huddle rooms – as well as less structured huddle spaces – are designed for informal, peer-to-peer communication. Huddle rooms are becoming increasingly popular for collaboration and catch-ups with coworkers. It can be very motivating for teams to know they have the infastructure to support them. A huddle space is ideally equipped with the appropriate technology to turn into a very efficient workstation for a small team when outfitted with SMART audiovisual technologies practical seating.

Let's take this discussion to our huddle space?

Huddle rooms are also helpful for impromptu meetings – much like team huddles around the water cooler or coffee machine that happen spur of the moment as well as any unplanned team project updates!

Since it can be many of these smaller moments where creative ideas are born, it makes sense to have a space that lets you take advantage of tech.

Who uses these spaces?

Many employees use Huddle rooms; some organisations use huddle rooms for remote workers to collaborate more often. Huddle spaces are convenient for quickly syncing up with others on more casual or spur-of-the-moment topics.

With the popularity of remote working on the rise, it's unsurprising many businesses are now changing the usage of their physical premises to match the needs and demands of their team's top talent.

Some of the most popular use case scenarios for huddle rooms include:

  • Project team meetings
  • Informal client meetings
  • Hybrid team meetings
  • Staff meetings or manager/employee one-on-ones
  • Creative and brainstorming sessions
  • To be a private space for travelling / remote employees
  • Cross-site meetings
  • Key Features of Huddle Rooms

Huddle rooms are becoming increasingly popular, according to industry experts. Huddle rooms have a few characteristics in common, which set them apart from traditional conference rooms.

Characteristics of huddle areas

Small and intimate - Typically, huddle spaces can accommodate groups of 2 to 5 people. Unlike just meeting in a usual workspace, a change of environment can help encourage a shift in thinking.

Informal - In a huddle space, there is no need to book or debate with coworkers about how valid your need is for taking up a formal space like a boardroom to meet with a client. The concept of the huddle room is to give space for a quick conversation with coworkers allowing you to drop in as needed yet still have access to vital collaborative technologies.

Versatile - Huddle rooms generally are available on a first-come, first-served basis to assist with any business objective. Adaptable by nature, they are at their best when equipped with various furnishings, equipment, and technology to meet these requirements.

Spontaneous - Huddle rooms provide an environment to encourage exchange of information. Therefore, ease of use is key, so easy to access, connected technology is essential.

Our 5 tips for planning your ideal huddle room

1 Connectivity - You can not overestimate the importance of connectivity. So many huddle rooms (and other meeting rooms) fail because they don't have even the same level of connectivity as a local coffee shop. When we get up from our chairs, we need the same access as our main workstation. A huddle room without power or internet is at the very least aggravating, and sometimes it's even harmful to our productivity. Instead, develop environments where productivity will flourish by enabling your team to connect to collaborative technologies without it feeling like an ordeal.

2 Creative idea capture - When entering a meeting, you may not have time to grab a pen and paper. You might also want to note ideas that everyone can see and contribute. Because of this, whiteboards frequently get added to many huddle areas, but to truly work seamlessly with hybrid and remote teams, you must go digital. The ideal whiteboard is simple to use and efficient, and when opting for SMART functions, your company can take advantage of digital pens that allow you to record and share the content of your board with a touch of a button. You may also invite others to view the board's contents in real-time through their devices.

3 Immersive technology - Your hybrid teams should feel as though they are in the room with you, which makes displays and video conferencing facilitation necessary for your huddle space The huddle room, as the name implies, is meant to house huddles. For many individuals, however, having several people crowded around someone's laptop may be a bit too close for comfort. Ans someone is bound to feel pushed out. Having a wall-mounted screen that users may connect to would make presentations and discussions much easier and more pleasant, and with cameras that zoom into the active speaker when connected using Microsoft Teams, any physical distance becomes much less of a barrier to communication.
Audio is equally essential. When productivity is a must, the available technology in the space matters, so benefits such as active beamforming microphones can make a difference by following the conversation in real-time, allowing the discussion to flow as naturally as it would if everyone were present in the same room. Devices should also be able to connect instantly to access the room's speakers, microphone, and other tools.

4 Wireless connections - If you have a flat-screen TV and an internet connection, your huddles will be better if you connect quickly and simply. When you're in the middle of a meeting trying to get quick access to Microsoft Teams to the whole group and have plug-and-play alternatives like click share available, wiring your gadget to the main display is pointless.

5 Physical setup - It's not all about the technology; for your team to adopt a huddle space, the area needs to feel inviting and natural to use. Accessibility matters, and the location should feel central as a natural meeting place. Meanwhile, the furnishings should feel appropriate, which means practical and comfortable but not so cosy the space starts to function like a second break room.

Next steps

Huddle rooms provide a space for your employees or customers to collaborate and share ideas.
They also offer the opportunity to work remotely with less interruption and foster creativity among teams by providing whiteboard surfaces and digital capture tools such as Microsoft Teams.
The design of huddle spaces should be thought through carefully to allow for flexibility, accessibility, immersive technology integration (such as video conferencing), wireless connections, and more. If you're interested in learning how to help develop an effective strategy that incorporates these principles into your own company's workflow, contact us today!
Call us on 01482 420520 to see us demo how we can help you set your business up for hybrid success.

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