In the past few years, the open office floor plan has become the norm, with companies shifting away from cubicle-heavy spaces. Open offices, categorized by few walls, natural sunlight, and rows of desks, have their benefits. The wall-less setup creates an atmosphere of collaboration not possible when people are hiding behind walls, breaking down boundaries and encouraging productive exchanges. They promote more open conversations, and the lack of walls means that they are more cost-effective and flexible.
But unfortunately, open office floor plans are not the ideal scenario for all types of work. They often lack privacy, making it tough to hold serious conversations. And for those who need to meet with customers or partners, it can be difficult to find the space needed for those discussions. Plus, the constant noise and distraction can make it tough to concentrate on the task at hand.
Thankfully, you can easily get the best of both worlds by incorporating huddle rooms into your office. By adding huddle rooms in various locations throughout the building, employees experience the benefits of the open office floor plan, while also having the option for privacy when needed.
What are Huddle Rooms?
Huddles rooms are small, private workspaces designed to accommodate small groups of employees. Typically large enough for 4-6 people to meet comfortably, they are usually equipped with much of the technology found in a standard conferencing room, but often at a fraction of the price.
Most huddle rooms include a display, a speaker and microphone, a camera, and a computer in order to provide video conferencing capabilities within the room. These spaces are designed specifically to provide a place for people to meet and are ideal for small team meetings, conversations with clients or partners, and even interviews of potential employees.
Benefits of Huddle Rooms
As companies shift to the open concept plan, the need for huddle rooms continues to rise. Here are five reasons why you should consider incorporating them into current spaces. After all, any small space can be turned into a huddle room with a few pieces of equipment and some chairs!
- Huddle rooms provide privacy. As noted above, the open floor plan is great for many things; privacy is not one of them. Huddle rooms provide a space for people to meet for intimate conversations, whether they simply need a quiet room to brainstorm, or whether it is time for a tough discussion about performance. Either way, small areas like these allow for colleagues to quickly meet with one another, and incorporating video conferencing into them will allow for these same conversations with remote colleagues or clients.
- Huddle rooms connect remote employees. Remote employees enjoy talking to a room full of people much more than they enjoy speaking to each person individually. Huddle rooms are a great place to hold small team meetings, since they can allow everyone to feel like they are in the same place, even from the other side of the world. To make this a seamless interaction, outfit your room with a large-screen TV and a camera that will allow everyone in the room to be seen.
- Huddle rooms are easy to install. Depending on the size of your office, it can be difficult to find the space needed for large boardrooms. However, huddle rooms are small and they don’t require a lot… simply install some equipment and allow your employees to start using them. And because they don’t need a lot of equipment, they are often cheaper than their traditional counterparts. Entire rooms can be outfitted with the Dolby Conference Phone and BlueJeans Rooms for thousands less than traditional systems. Plus, because they are smaller than traditional conference rooms, there can be more of them, meaning more teams can meet at the same time.
- Huddle rooms are easy to use. Since huddle rooms are designed for impromptu use, they often do not require a reservation and can be used on-the-fly as meetings arise. This means that employees can get things done when an issue arises, whether than waiting a week or two to book a time on the corporate boardroom calendar. Using BlueJeans, employees can easily book a meeting in a huddle room through their personal calendar, or simply walk in and start a meeting with the push of a button.
- Huddle rooms serve multiple purposes. Huddle rooms are great because they provide a way for teams to connect, whether in-person or over video. But they also serve multiple other purposes. These rooms can be used for whiteboarding (either in-person or over video with Kaptivo), sharing presentations to small groups of people, or even for working in private when someone needs quiet to concentrate. And since huddle rooms are flexible and can often be used without a reservation, they’re also great spaces for when an employee needs to make an urgent personal phone call, without the entire office hearing why their child is being suspended from school.
Huddle rooms come in many shapes and sizes, but they’re all great places for team collaboration. By creating spaces that people want to meet in, you can ensure that teams become more productive and get more done—all while using the space that was once a closet.