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The global market is rapidly evolving, and if organizations hope to compete – or better yet thrive – they need to rethink their physical environments. Gone are the work weeks where workers file into the office each day for a 9-5 shift filled with productivity killing meetings in expansive conference rooms.
Instead, businesses are embracing the concept of huddle rooms – small yet well equipped spaces designed to maximize manhours. Let’s take a closer look at the various factors encouraging businesses to make the shift.
Simply put, the Digital Transformation is a multifaceted evolution in how organizations operate. The most well-known component centers on the use of ever-evolving digital technologies to solve problems. This includes leveraging cloud computing, integrating user-owned hardware, and empowering the workforce to make timely decisions through access to data insights. To support this shift, organizations are encouraging teams to operate in a manner that maximizes collaboration opportunities. And, this is where huddle rooms thrive.
The anywhere, any time, any device mantra fueling most Millennial work habits means organizations no longer have the same space requirements. Flexible schedules are the new norm. People still get their work done, but they do so at times and within locations that foster their productivity levels. As such, it’s quite common for today’s professional to spend a large portion of their day outside the traditional office environment. When they do go into the office, their needs are significantly different.
Today’s professional is driven by convenience – after all, convenience is the backbone of the digital “experience” economy. When properly designed, team members should be able to make use of a huddle room for impromptu meetings or collaboration sessions. The key here is to make sure that the technology deploy aligns with user needs, including alignment with personal devices (tablets, smartphones, laptops, etc.).
Because the best huddle rooms are located in convenient spaces throughout a campus or office environment, there is no reason for employees to waste time searching for open rooms or scheduling meetings. Because of their desire for a true work-life balance, millennials also have an urgency to get work done – meaning they appreciate arrangements that facilitate productivity. Again, this is where huddle rooms thrive.
When organizations have huddle rooms, it encourages small often multi-disciplined teams to have pow-wows to solve potential issues and ensure that everyone is on the same page. Well-built huddle rooms have everything a team needs to collaborate. This includes the entire array of AV technology (interactive displays, video walls, video conferencing tools, projectors, monitors, etc.) as well as furnishings that are easily reconfigured to accommodate whatever the team needs to efficiently complete a breakout or collaboration-focused session.
Video conferencing tools are a staple to any well-built huddle room. The primary reason in today’s work environment is the ability to bring remote workers into the equation. For instance, assume members of the marketing, finance and engineering team are all in the huddle room discussing the roll out of a new product iteration. While the huddle room empowers collaboration, the ability to bring a representative from legal who is working from home, means there is no need to table a discussion until everyone is present.
Although huddle rooms often surface as highly productive and utilized spaces, they are rarely complicated. As we discuss in this previous post, there are a few best practices to follow when designing and building a highly functional huddle space. Fortunately, most organizations already have spaces in place that teams can easily convert to serve as a huddle room. Sometimes, this conversion is great opportunity to turn an underutilized space into a highly productive environment.
In today’s open office environment, huddle rooms provide a much-needed space for privacy. This is crucial when 2-5 people need to discuss a sensitive project or need to be able to collaborate without interruption or interference common in open offices.
The equipment utilized within huddle rooms needs to make sense for the application. And, in most instances, this does not amount to a significant investment. Comfortable yet flexible furnishings, a smart board, a quality display and speaker as well as video conferencing tools are the most components. Some environments may also benefit from a projector or a mini-video wall.
Victoria Cosgrave, Field Marketing Manager, Enterprise at Electrosonic, has wide-ranging experience of technology within professional services, financial services, infrastructure, transport, pharmaceuticals and government. Her knowledge and experience enables her to write about the technological landscape and the issues facing clients with great insight.