For anyone who has had the need for an ‘on-the-fly’ meeting, a ‘quick catch up’ with colleagues or the chance to share what they are working on away from the hustle of the open plan, a huddle room is often the perfect solution.
Whilst not a new arrival in the workplace, huddle rooms have been growing in popularity in the last few years, as businesses place greater emphasis on collaboration, the need to get together for a ‘quick meeting’ and workspaces now being designed with less private offices or ‘cubicles’.
Today there are an estimated 30 to 50 million huddle rooms world-wide*. Whilst definitions of what exactly constitutes a huddle room are a little hazy, the most basic answer is, any small meeting space that can only accommodate a small number of people. That sounds simple enough, but we don’t want to create any huddle room.
We want to create the ultimate huddle room. And we have a few ideas on what that looks like, so here are our top tips:
Create The Ultimate Huddle Room
The furniture you select for your huddle space will impact how the room is used and ultimately its success. Comfy chairs may look and feel nice but will they encourage quick, productive meetings? Do you need a big table or will a small workbench suffice? Should you consider a standing height table to encourage quicker standing meetings, with optional bar-height stools for comfort when required?
Furniture that is flexible and moveable is helpful as the set-up can be adjusted for the meeting in hand. We like Workzone’s range of collaboration tables, these can be both height-adjustable to accommodate sit or stand meetings and are also moveable for added flexibility.
You may also want to consider soft fabric huddle chairs and sofas that can be used in an open plan office to create a huddle space. The acoustically chosen fabrics absorb sound so there’s no need for walls and doors – just grab a booth or a sofa for a no-hassle huddle.
When heading into a huddle, you may not have time to grab a pen and paper. Perhaps more importantly, you might want to jot down ideas that everyone can see and share. Whiteboards are popular additions to many huddle spaces but we think to create the ultimate huddle room you need to go digital. For just a few hundred pounds you can furnish your huddle room with a SMART kapp digital whiteboard – it has the same simplicity and functionality of a standard whiteboard, but uses digital pens and allows you to capture and share the contents of your board at the touch of a button. As you can elect for others to see the contents of the board through their personal device in real time, you can also bring people into the meeting that aren’t physically there. Choose to have your SMART kapp wall-mounted or on a mobile trolley for additional flexibility.
Connectivity is key. So many huddle rooms (and other meeting rooms) fail where even the local coffee shop can succeed. When we move away from our desks, we need (and many now expect) the same level of connectivity as we do from our primary workspace. A huddle room without power or Internet is at best frustrating and at worst a detriment to our productivity. As a solution, try incorporating your technical integrations into your furniture. Some collaboration tables like the TopTec Synergy or Workszone Collaboration Table have integrated connectivity units which can be designed bespoke to suit the requirements of an individual business. By making our huddle rooms an extension of our personal workspace we can create environments where flexibility can flourish.
Displays and Video Conferencing
Whilst there is nothing to say having a flat screen display or monitor in your huddle room is a pre-requisite, if you want to create the ultimate huddle room, it is a necessity. By its very definition, the huddle room is designed for ‘huddles’. But having half a dozen people crammed round someone’s laptop may be a little too close for comfort for many people. Having a wall mounted screen that users can easily connect to will make presentations and discussions much simpler and more comfortable. Some huddle furniture can have flat screen displays built-in to them for a space-saving, technology efficient workspace.
If the space is to be used for video conferencing too, then Logitech’s Meet-Up conference cam, speaker and microphone is an all-in-one solution that works perfectly with any video app that you already use, such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Webex and many more.
Taking your display one step further, why not opt for an interactive display? These large touch-screens can offer various capabilities depending on the brand and model you choose. For example, an all-singing, all-dancing Microsoft Surface Hub, has integrated computer with full Microsoft suite, and can provide access to files, and the ability to annotate and draw over files using intuitive hand gestures and digital ink. Some also have video conferencing integrated so you can connect and collaborate with remote users. If you think an interactive display would be beneficial for your business, give us a call or arrange a demo.
If you have a flat screen TV and connectivity then you need to be able to connect quickly and easily to maximise your huddle time. Wasting time with fiddly wires while you connect your device to the main display is counter-productive. In these situations, we recommend using a tool like Clickshare for ‘plug and play’ collaboration sessions. The TV display is connected to the Clickshare hardware so all you need to do is plug in a Clickshare button to your computer via the USB port and you have a wireless connection to the display. It’s as simple as that. For mobile or tablet users, you can download a Clickshare button onto your device for wireless connectivity at the touch of a button.
Our final tip on how to create the ultimate huddle room is about accessibility. Where are they? How many are there? There is no point in providing huddle rooms for a ‘quick meeting’ that you have to walk up three floors to get to, on the off-chance one may be free. The great thing about huddle rooms is they don’t take much space so make space for them and have enough of them. More often than not, a huddle room is not bookable, to suit on-the-fly meetings. But you might find having a room booking system like GoBright is beneficial, allowing you to book, unbook, and view availability from your desktop or personal device – as well as from the room itself.
How TecInteractive can help create your ultimate huddle room
If you are looking to create a huddle space, then why not get in touch, so we can show you some of the great solutions available on the market. Our expertise lies in understanding the needs of your individual business and making recommendations from there, so get in touch today for a free, no obligation consultation.