What is a Huddle Room?
30 August 2018
Technology has fundamentally changed the way companies operate, affording greater freedom of movement as mobile devices in particular function as portable offices. Communication and information are key, and that means the challenge lies in ensuring you never lose out on the potential for team members to collaborate and exchange ideas whenever required.
This shift is reflected in the move away from traditional office design, where cubicles are isolated and provided a focus for ‘heads down’ productivity. Workplaces can now be open plan, zoned for quiet, reflective spaces, or practically non-existent if your teams are proficient mobile units.
However, nothing beats an occasional direct interface where colleagues meet, work through a crisp agenda, and resolve next steps.
This is why the huddle room is a critical piece of your workplace design.
So, what is a huddle room?
As open plan offices have become more fashionable, huddle rooms have provided an antidote to potentially lowered productivity and lack of focus due to the more ‘socialised’ environment.
A huddle room is a small meeting space, designed and located with consideration to provide a quick recharge for a handful of people. And by recharge, that’s a ‘course correction,’ Q&A session, video conference to solidify direction, or any number of short, focused tasks that foster an immediate pooling of minds to chart out the course of the day or a project stage.
Conventional meeting rooms can be too large for use as a small team touchpoint or require booking in advance. These spaces don’t match the modern dynamic flow of the mobile workplace, but huddle rooms are designed as temporary congregation points that cycle through user groups sequentially throughout the working day. If you arrive at the huddle room to find it in use, you can either use another location or simply wait a few minutes. Huddle rooms are short, focussed, and to the point.
How to design a Huddle Room?
If we are talking short and sweet, then we can immediately dispense with the more grandiose design gestures of the ‘boardroom’ style meeting space. This means that huddle rooms may not even require sit-down furniture, rather opting for a stand up space means that your teams can quickly congregate around a stand-up desk to discuss a problem, using laptops, tablets, or effortless synchronisation of those devices to wall-mounted screens that allow content to be accessed, digested, and iterated.
Huddle rooms need to effortlessly create instant focus, so the design should be minimised to draw the eye into the centre. Hushed tones and calming low-level spotlit interiors direct attention towards each other and the screen, so that a ‘phone booth’ effect is achieved. The key is in providing zero obstacles to fluid use, so consider investing in quality equipment to ensure the experience drives results.
Communicate - Logitech has a great line of conferencing products that make a fast visual connection with clients or remote colleagues effortless.
Listen - Plantronics is a solid name in providing exceptional audio solutions to ensure the days of shoddy feeds and ‘bad connections’ are over.
Ideate - Solving problems often means writing it up on the wall, and interactive whiteboards have come a long way. With options to directly mark up a digital wall or use your device, concepts can be quickly sketched out and evolved to produce visual impact while promoting collaboration.
Depending on your particular workplace needs, huddle room solutions could entail a single ‘booth’ for startups, to a scattered series of accessible locations throughout your office plan. Whatever your situation, huddle rooms can provide a more dynamic collaboration touchpoint for your teams that beats a single conference or meeting room in terms of faster employee use and results, and a more fluid working culture.
After all, if employees waste less time, gain more focus, and deal with problems in a more agile manner, a huddle room solution may be the key piece required to elevate your company operations while giving your people the flexibility to work at their most productive cadence.