As I talk to both business and IT leaders on our Think Forward City Tour, it is clear that most of us are grasping for insights on how to lead through the digital transformation and workplace transformation that is happening within our organizations and across our industries. How do we attract the right talent? How do we upskill our existing employees? How do we unleash creativity and productivity by equipping teams with the right digital workplace tools and creating physical spaces where they can do their best work?
When it comes to our physical workplace, many office environments fail the test for employee engagement, especially as we consider the working styles of the Millennials and Gen Z employees that will soon represent over 50% of our workforce. Barriers include floor layouts that reinforce silos, rooms that are not equipped for team collaboration, and an insufficient number of spaces where teams can rapidly come together to create, innovate, and solve problems.
Organizations are experimenting with open concept designs to encourage teamwork. However, there remains a continued need to meet privately, leading to a boom in the number of huddle rooms worldwide. Unfortunately, according to Frost & Sullivan, less than 5% of meeting rooms are equipped with the technology teams need to be productive.
To implement a successful huddle room, IT teams must consider how the rooms can connect employees to remote participants in meetings, whether via video, audio, or web conferencing. That means carefully considering not just the room system hardware, but also cloud connectivity, software, features, analytics, scaling ability, audio quality, centralized administration capabilities, and more. It is critical to ensure participants can book the room through their normal calendar system and that they can join effortlessly upon entering the room. Finally, IT should consider solutions that are easy to manage, update, and secure. For both participants and IT, simplicity usually wins over a glut of options and systems that introduce complexity and management overhead.
As digital transformation drives the need for greater agility and employees’ working styles shift, the need for huddle rooms will only increase, and organizations around the world must be prepared. It’s vital to implement with thoughtful, future-proof designs and to take advantage of partners who can bring you best practices from multiple implementations.