It’s no secret that one of the biggest trends driving the huddle room revolution is the open office floor plan. As more businesses opt for fewer stand-alone offices and more shared workspaces, the need for employee privacy is becoming evident.
Today, the conferencing trend has shifted towards the creation of multiple huddle rooms — in fact, some research predicts that huddle rooms will replace almost 70 percent of all conference rooms by 2022.
In this article we’ll discuss what huddle rooms are and how they can benefit your company.
What Are Huddle Rooms?
You’re no doubt aware of football players’ habit to huddle-up to plan their next moves and take down the competition. That's where the term "huddle room" comes from.
Huddle rooms are small meeting spaces strategically designed to accommodate teams of two to six employees and outfitted with teleconferencing and collaboration technology, including:
- Video tech
- A TV, LCD or LED monitor
- A small central table
- A regular or interactive whiteboard
- Comfortable, adjustable chairs
Huddle rooms serve multiple purposes in the modern office, such as enhancing employee privacy, reducing the need for large conference rooms, and improving customer experiences.
In an open office layout, there are usually no distinct rooms or fully enclosed spaces; instead, workstations are positioned together within one exposed floor plan without walls or any other physical barriers to separate them.
The result is a constant intermingling that, while beneficial in some respects, creates noise and distractions, both detrimental to employee productivity.
Furthermore, open offices offer no privacy; the lack of walls means employees are continually exposed to the eyes and ears of their colleagues, which in turns impacts their performance and job satisfaction.
The Solution: Huddle Rooms
Huddle rooms offer a private environment free of noise and distraction, where both individual employees and small groups can go to have a quiet conversation, whether it’s a quick project briefing, a video call with a client, or an urgent personal phone call.
Huddle rooms also cater to the needs of more introverted employees who may not feel comfortable in a larger, open setting bustling with people. Huddle room furniture is usually designed with soundproof walls, which means that any conversation will remain private, an excellent aspect client confidentiality.
By installing huddle rooms in your open office, you can leverage the collaborative environment of your open office layout while minimizing noise and distractions.
Huddle Rooms Reduce the Need for Standard Conference Rooms
How many times have your employees been pulled away from their workstations by an impromptu meeting?
The reality is that spontaneous collaboration is inherent to office life. From impromptu briefings to team syncs and client conferences, ad-hoc meetings can happen at any time, which means teams need an available space that doesn’t require prior reservation.
Most of the time, conference rooms need to be booked in advance, making on-the-fly meetings impossible and disrupting productivity in the office. Furthermore, research by Frost and Sullivan indicates that 75 percent of all meetings in large conference rooms include only three to four people, making use of the room a waste.
Implementing huddle rooms in your open office layout reduces the need for standard conference rooms. Their compact dimensions are ideally suited to accommodate impromptu meetings at all times of the day without requiring prior reservation.
Simply put, huddle rooms offer a convenient way for small working groups to collaborate as needed without interruptions.
Zenbooths come in three sizes that appeal to all kinds of meetings, from smaller, one-on-one conversations to brainstorming sessions involving up to six people.
Two Zenbooths are equipped with height-adjustable desks to provide a work surface for laptops and conventional phones.
Huddle Rooms Make Everyone Feel Included
Many companies now employ a proportion of their workers remotely, which means collaboration with their office-based colleagues isn’t always straightforward or enjoyable.
And while it may be possible to secure a standard conference room to connect with remote workers every now and again, this is by no means an ideal solution.
Furthermore, employees working out of the office might feel more remote than their office-based colleagues, which can further hamper their performance at work.
With huddle room furniture installed throughout your modern (AKA "agile) office, you can remove some of the barriers of remote working and enhance feelings of collaboration and togetherness.
Office-based workers can connect with their remote colleagues at all times of the day as often as they need for quick team syncs, project briefings and more, without disturbing nearby coworkers.
All Zenbooths feature electrical as well as USB outlets to accommodate video conferencing equipment for easy, on-the-fly video calls with remote employees.
Available in three models, they are perfectly sized to give everyone a life-sized presence and make everyone feel like a genuine part of the conversation.
Huddle Rooms Are Extremely Flexible
While open office spaces are well equipped to address most employee needs, they do not offer a great deal of flexibility — in other words, they cannot accommodate more equipment than required to carry out daily tasks.
For example, they are not outfitted to allow use of video conferencing equipment, which means employees need to secure a standard conference room to initiate video calls with remote colleagues or clients.
Huddle rooms are typically outfitted with various outlets that accommodate multiple devices and video conferencing technology, as well as a central table or space for chairs for teams of up to six people.
Huddle Rooms Are Inexpensive to Set Up
Many companies agree that having multiple standard conference rooms in the office is both difficult to achieve and expensive.
Not only do they require more real estate, but they must also be adequately equipped with teleconferencing equipment. On the other hand, if you choose to have only one conference room, you’re essentially disrupting productivity since employees have no option but to reserve it for any meeting, even five-minute, off-the-cuff ones.
Due to their compact dimensions, huddle rooms don’t take much room in your open office space, which means you can implement several of them without much hassle. This will enable teams to get together as needed to collaborate on projects in different areas of the office at the same time.
They’re also straightforward to install and can be placed wherever there is any unutilized area in the office. A plexiglass ceiling allows in plenty of light, and the ventilation fan is motion activated.
Ready to implement huddle rooms in your agile office? Zenbooth offers all the benefits of huddle rooms packed in three distinct models that will transform your open office layout into an effective and productive space.