By its very nature, the huddle room was intended for small groups of colleagues to meet, inspire and collaborate. Borrowed from the world of sport, the aim was to increase productivity, encourage creativity and engagement while being informal and less time consuming in structure.
Due to a lower cost outlay compared to larger meeting rooms or boardrooms, they have been increasingly used in workspaces with an estimated 32.4 million huddle rooms globally in 2018. According to Atlassian, we spend 31 hours in unproductive meetings a month so when one of the positives of a huddle room is an increase in effective meetings, you can see the draw.
Although the coronavirus removes the ability to be in close proximity to each other, the need for effective collaboration with colleagues and customers remains. This is where the huddle room can shine.
Many of the key elements of a huddle room are still relevant, they may just need to be utilised differently.
Prior to the pandemic you could have a small group in the room – around four to six people – and others joining remotely. Post pandemic it is more likely that one or two people will be present in the room, depending on size, and a majority will access remotely. This highlights the importance of effective collaborative tools being installed and enabled.
Many conferencing solutions now have the ability for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to join Teams or a Zoom call by connecting to the huddle space AV wirelessly. Systems like Mersive, Airtame and some camera manufacturers all provide these features, AMX Acendo or Vaddio.
With BYOD, employees can use their mobile or laptop to connect to the space removing the need to touch communal devices – building staff confidence.
The creation of small flexible conference spaces meant staff could often use them without having to book and at short notice. However, this aspect may need to change. With safety guidelines in place, these spaces may need to be scheduled to remove the uncertainty of who and when they will use it. This will allow time for cleaning in between sessions and the encouragement of staff to adhere to social distancing requirements.
Solutions like AMX Book, Officebooking, ProDVX or Reserva allow for efficient management of workspaces and helps to maximise the usage of shared spaces, while increasing work efficiency and collaboration.
Although the room cannot be used to physically ‘huddle’ with a small group anymore, they can certainly help individuals to collaborate virtually with colleagues and customers.
To discuss huddle rooms and any technology upgrades to your existing huddle room, please speak to your account manager.