The workplace is ever changing. There was a time not long ago when many organizations began opting for smaller, connected rooms where groups of three or four people could gather to collaborate and work as a team. For small groups, they are preferred over large conference rooms for videoconferencing and meetings. The “huddle room,” as it is called, was all the rage for a while, but then suddenly the trend seemed to die down.
Have you heard of huddle rooms before? Does your company have one? It is essentially a small meeting room where teams can gather to collaborate and conference in small groups. The rooms typically include a video screen with microphone, and a phone system for conferencing. Huddle rooms are like boardrooms, only much smaller. They usually include a central table or desk, along with four or fewer seats, where 3-4 people can successfully watch videos, handle audio calls, and communicate/share information.
The Role of Technology in Huddle Rooms
The main challenge with huddle rooms is that they are highly tech dependent and they are small. Though applications can be quite specific, almost any huddle room includes these four things:
A quality video camera. From desktop telepresence to apps like Skype, huddle rooms need high quality video solutions for high-definition video conferencing. Integrating a quality camera in a huddle room is essential.
Intelligible audio. The value of good audio can differentiate a really useful huddle room from the rest. The space and acoustics of the room should be taken into account and a quality microphone and speakers should be included so that collaborating parties can be easily understood.
Connectivity. Design the furniture of your huddle room in such a way that the room has plenty of power sources and access to a quality Wi-Fi signal or reliable network for complete connectivity.
HD display. Having a quality camera is not enough. A high definition display is also key for any good huddle room. It should be easy to read, and fit well into the space of the room. In addition, there should be inputs for PC’s, laptops, smartphones, and tablets to connect and share content easily on the display.
Huddle rooms provide great spaces for impromptu meetings, video conferencing, presentations for small groups, and brainstorming sessions, which is why they have grown in popularity. In fact, many organizations are transitioning from high-end meeting rooms to cost-effective huddle rooms – a trend that could establish huddle rooms as key players in the future of collaboration.
Why are Huddle Rooms so Popular?
They offer flexibility in a remote working environment. One reason why huddle rooms are likely to stay in vogue is that they offer flexibility. Enterprises these days have multiple huddle rooms instead of one big conference room. It eliminates the need to schedule a room days/weeks ahead. Since these rooms are equipped with advanced communications technology, impromptu audio/video conferences with associates and employees working in remote locations can happen quickly and easily.
They cut the cost of collaboration. Huddle rooms provide opportunities for enhanced collaboration, but what makes them a popular choice for enterprises, large and small, is the fact that they are less expensive than large conference rooms. According to the Visitec blog, communication tools for a huddle room could cost less than $5,000.
They meet the tech demands of the millennial workforce. The fact that huddle rooms are equipped with high quality communication technology like the video camera makes this trend one that will continue to grow, especially in a world where tech-loving millennials are quickly making up a large percentage of the workforce. Video conferencing is an essential feature of huddle rooms, making them desirable for meeting today’s collaboration needs, which rely heavily on video. According to a recent survey by Wainhouse Research, 55% of conferencing managers are facing demands for video deployments from the next-gen workforce.
Businesses of all sizes are continually looking for ways to lower their budget without compromising the quality and infrastructure of their collaboration. The tech huddle room has every opportunity to become an integral part of the future of technology and collaboration.
Do you like the idea of the huddle room taking the place of large conference rooms? We’d love to hear your thoughts.