As business continues to become more fast-paced, trends in workplace design are trying to keep up. The concept of collaboration seems to be the driving force behind modern office layouts, but establishing the best way to achieve this without sacrificing other necessary aspects of productivity is a work in progress. So what’s the latest solution that’s having a positive effect? Huddle Rooms.
Huddle rooms have taken our traditional conference areas and created a more mobile and natural meeting space that adjusts to the needs of on-the-move employees. One of the biggest detriments traditional meetings cause to production is that they tend to run longer than necessary. Formal meetings often become prolonged due to pre-calculated start/end times and the fact that discussions tend to get off topic in larger groups. The huddle room attempts to avoid all this, not only by promoting small, more effective meeting styles, but by fitting into the actual pace of an eventful workday.
Turning to huddle rooms as the new meeting spot for employees serves a variety of company styles. Even if your office design is already open and collaborative, these rooms allocate a remote space for a few employees to gather in a somewhat private, but informal manner. Not every meeting needs to or should be heard throughout the office, nor should surrounding commotion detract from the group’s focus. Likewise, if your main workspace has employees more private or segregated, these rooms yield the opportunity for collaboration that your space doesn’t.
So how do these new rooms accomplish the efficiency and flexibility necessary in our fast-paced world?
One of the most important aspects of the huddle room is the technology receptiveness, which means a number of things. Huddle rooms should consist of equipment that allows for audio- and video-conferencing. With an increasing number of employees working from remote locations or while traveling, these devices make it quick and easy to communicate with customers, coworkers and partners no matter where they are located. Ideally, rooms will have a large screen monitor, telephones and electrical hook-ups for easy access. This technology should accommodate employees who will be using their own devices to present or take notes in the room. For this to work, your huddle room will need the right cables and adapters, as well as tables and furniture that feature electrical grommets or outlets that make these connections easy. If you have a number of huddle rooms throughout the office, this technology should all be standardized, so employees are familiar with the set up and don’t waste time trying to figure it out on multiple occasions. The purpose of these rooms is host quick and dynamic meetings, so the room’s design itself shouldn’t slow you down or cause problems.
The actual office furniture is also meaningful to the effectiveness of the room. Chairs should be comfortable without sabotaging good posture or making the user feel too relaxed, causing people to linger. Think about more fun, simple seating options that will look modern, but have the right ergonomics for comfort. Your table, like previously mentioned, should have the necessary electrical accommodations for seamless connection between devices and monitors. It should also make it easy for everyone to have clear visuals of the material being presented and access to the audio source. Many tables now assist these needs through their shape and style. For example, the Vision collection by JSI or ConnecTABLES by Global can both easily be taken apart and repositioned when necessary to prevent people from blocking the visuals of others.
Lastly, consider the color of your huddle room. Choose neutral colors for your meeting table, as bright white or heavy darks can wash out or reflect light on the faces of those seen through the monitor. The wall colors follow a similar rule, but you can still get creative with lively colors that won’t cause issues. Lastly, chairs are where you can have the most fun, with bright and vibrant colors that give the huddle room the look you want without detracting from the attention of those inside of it.
For a flexible meeting space that promotes innovation and collaboration for employees no matter where they are, huddle rooms are a great solution for any office design. When choosing the furniture that’s right for your huddle room, check out our selection of chairs, tables and accessories to help you get started!