6 Reasons Why Huddle Rooms Matter
Walk into almost any technology company during the last 10 years, and you will likely see the explosion of open concept office design. The well intentioned idea was that this design concept would foster collaboration, creativity, and transparency among team members. The twist is that not all employees to these organization have embraced this open concept with the open arms that were intended, which leaves one really expensive challenge for modern businesses looking for effective communication within the office. What is the answer? Huddle rooms.
What in the world is a huddle room?
In their simplest form, huddle rooms are small, private work and meeting spaces, designed to accommodate teams of four to six employees who are looking to share ideas quickly and instantaneously. While the idea of huddle rooms is simplicity and a more reasonable cost to create, they typically have all the bells and whistles of a standard conference room. You will still find the necessities of video conferencing equipment, interactive or static whiteboards, as well as other conferencing hardware. The ability for an organization to have a private space for co-workers to spontaneously meet and brainstorm without distracting their peers in the open concepts offices is the beauty of the huddle room.
6 Reasons We Love Huddle Rooms
Whenever a new idea or concept is suggested, the first reaction for most people is why they should consider the change. So what we have done to help you understand their importance is list (6) great reasons why you should consider huddle rooms, and why you will grow to love them.
1) Productivity is enhanced with privacy
Put simply, being able to work distraction-free in small groups, without impacting your surrounding team members, is significantly more productive than the old ways.
When insulated from visual and auditory distractions, employees are more productive than when distracted by background noises. According to the Journal of Environmental Psychology, “the benefits of enhanced ‘ease of interaction’ were smaller than the penalties of increased noise level and decreased privacy resulting from open-plan office configuration.” After a review of more than 40,000 office workers in 300 U.S. office buildings, the value of smaller and more isolated conference interactions became clear.
The current trend towards an open office concept was predicated on the idea that by having employees be visible to supervisors, the transparency would remove an employee’s temptation to waste company time on personal calls, surfing the internet, or other productivity-killing activities. The reality of the matter is that multiple studies have shown that what really happens is that team members often find themselves engaged in privacy seeking activities instead, which negatively impacts productivity. Hence, the value of the private huddle rooms allows team members to collaborate and share more effectively.
2) Pop-up meetings improve workflow
The beauty of huddle rooms is that they are designed for on-the-fly use. Their instant availability, without the hurdles of having to schedule a meeting room days or weeks in advance, encourages employees to take advantage of inspiration and idea sharing without setting appointments, and without distracting the communal work environment.
Without huddle rooms the process of tracking down your IT specialist to set up temporary conference equipment and reserve the rooms put up a barrier to the energy and inspiration of instant collaboration with local and satellite team members. By removing these barriers, you are allowing your team to pop in to a huddle room and let the ideas begin to flow without logistical barriers or distractions.
3) Video collaboration is more efficient
Well-equipped huddle rooms facilitate efficient communication practices, and are significantly more embraced by most modern workforces than e-mails, phone calls, and group teleconferences. The value of engagement via video conferencing in huddle rooms encourages more effective and relevant contact from team members to remote employees and customer alike.
4) Flexible use without breaking the bank
One of the great things about huddle rooms is their versatility and low cost. Rather than the single purpose (and rather impersonal) use of the larger conference rooms, huddle rooms can be used instantly for interviews, employee ‘labs’ or discussion spaces, new hire training and temporary office space, and so on. Their smaller and more intimate configuration allows for multiple uses, and extreme flexibility on when and where they are implemented.
An additional benefit is that huddle rooms are much less expensive than traditional conference rooms. Not only do they require less hardware, but they take up less space and can make use of underutilized areas such as empty offices or storage areas.
5) Simplified interaction with remote teammates
One challenge for organizations with remote workers or satellite offices is how to effectively engage them in the day to day business. With the continued increase in remote work arrangements among hired staff and outsourced talent, the importance and popularity of huddle rooms is also increasing. Huddle rooms help encourage better relationships and teamwork among employees through increased contact and face time, the result of which is that teams are more readily able to spontaneously idea share without the restrictions of distance or having to schedule larger conference rooms.
More and more job seekers and younger generation employees are demanding increased flexibility with office hours, and research supports an increase in productivity among employees who work from home. An additional benefit is increased employee retention and job satisfaction among team members. With the removal of physical barriers to collaboration, video conferencing via huddle rooms allows companies to build teams with contributing talent from around the world. The addition of these modern video based work environments allows forward thinking companies to attract the best talent available, without having to worry about their geographic location.
6) Enhanced customer interactions
Right-sizing of meeting rooms by implementation of huddle rooms helps your company earn customer trust through personalized, on-demand interaction and responsiveness. Conversely, having your sales teams in the middle of an open work space lends itself to distraction, background noise, and conveys an air of unprofessionalism to your customers. Elimination of these distractions through the deployment of huddle rooms allows your team to focus on your clients, and helps make the customer experience much more personal and refined.
Technology that encourages and promotes transparency in key client management amplifies customer confidence, and drives repeat business. Virtual interactions also allow your teams to resolve matters quickly and efficiently, without having the expense of traveling to satellite offices or hindering daily workflows. Huddle rooms also allow regular meetings such as quarterly business reviews with your current client base to be done quickly and privately, driving additional productivity, and enhancing your image with the client.