How to Create a Huddle Room that Works
Previously, we’ve looked at the why modern offices might want to say goodbye to open plan office spaces.
But with many offices still using open-plan layouts, there has been a sharp rise in popularity of ‘huddle rooms’. Huddle rooms offer modern organisations many advantages including cost savings and flexible options for staff to collaborate, meet, remote work or ‘hot desk’. They are usually small meeting rooms, typically for 4-6 people. In order to aid collaboration or remote working, most huddle rooms feature video conferencing and collaboration tools.
But to make sure you get the most out of your huddle rooms, what should you consider when planning and setting them up?
The best place to start with a huddle room is to provide a small table, around which people can congregate in order to work together, and comfortable seating.
Consider how your staff will use the space and whether you need standing or sitting height table? Do you want soft cushioned seating or stools to work with a standing space? While the temptation might be to plump for cheap seating, aim to make the space a comfortable and pleasant environment to work in or hold meetings in.
You should also consider how your chosen collaboration and video conferencing solution can fit in the space. Do you require a special table with an integrated connectivity unit or something more flexible?
The ultimate goal should be to make the huddle space equipped for different working scenarios and to be an inviting and comfortable environment.
Huddle rooms are great places for teams to generate ideas and collaborate. Sketching out important information during collaborative sessions is always important, and the whiteboard is still an excellent way of achieving this while making the process visual to everyone present. This also eliminates the need for everyone present to grab writing materials before they join the group.
While it’s still possible for presentations to be conducted via cards, or with groups huddling around a laptop, including a big screen in your huddle room for presentation purposes is definitely to be recommended. This is almost a standard requirement now of any meeting room for any organisation, so it’s definitely not something that should be neglected in a huddle room.
The screen size required will depend on the size of the room, but it’s important to ensure that everyone working in the space will have a good view of anything on the screen.
The final pillar in your huddle room strategy is an important one. Huddle rooms are ideal for small face-to-face meetings, but they are also a great place for video conferences.
There are many factors involved in setting up a perfect video conferencing space. Audio & acoustics, video and network connection, the main platform or service and which hardware users need to bring with them and what functionality should be ready to go in the huddle room.
That’s why it’s critical to plan every collaboration space, from small huddle rooms to large board rooms, in the context of the wider digital workspace and inline with your organisation’s collaboration strategy.
You may decide your huddle space’s video conferencing requirements only need a screen, an HDMI input and a good WiFi signal if most users run conferences from their own devices, and your office has larger rooms for meetings requiring more seats.
But on the other hand, your huddle rooms may be relied on more heavily as main meeting spaces and might require greater collaboration functionality in the room. This is why it’s important to consider how your organisation’s adopted collaboration platform and by extension, it’s compatible hardware endpoints will fit and work in a smaller huddle space.
So we’ve seen that huddle rooms are flexible, easy to set up, and cost-effective. Many organisations are now building multiple huddle rooms into their office space.
Making huddle rooms effective, appealing and used extensively by staff will ensure that you make the most out of your office space, and provide your employees better ways to collaborate and work.
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