We all know collaboration is a key component to innovation in today's world of digital transformation. The clincher for businesses, however, is that they need to create an environment in their offices for employees to collaborate in - enter the huddle space.
In short, a huddle space or huddle room is an area where people can come together to plan, meet or even brainstorm. They are typically home to a video conferencing solution, TV, LCD or LED monitor, a table, interactive whiteboard and chairs. The goal of the huddle room is to create a space outside of the noise of the corporate office in which employees can get together quickly and easily. In short, they are a safe space outside of the open plan offices.
Why huddle rooms?
The argument for these spaces is clear. Open plan offices are more recently being called dampeners to productivity as they do not offer a distraction-free environment. In fact, Fortune magazine recently went on to mention that open plan offices are a main contributor in people taking more sick days. The huddle room offers an environment that is safe, devoid of distractions, fosters collaboration between teams, and enables remote workers to quickly report back to groups, managers and project leaders.
Five compelling reasons to invest in a huddle room
1. Huddle rooms are safe and intimate spaces – Open plan offices are noisy and full of distractions. Simply being at your desk gives co-workers the impression that you are available to chat. This not only affects productivity but can also have a negative impact on morale for workers who feel they simply get nothing done. The huddle room solves this by offering a quiet place for a small group to work in. It is not just a great place to have quiet conversations, but using the technology in them is a good way for employees to have interruption-free meetings.
2. Bringing remote workers closer to the company – A huddle room offers the perfect area to do morning scrum meetings with all team members, including those working remotely or off site. With an all-in-one video conferencing environment, remote workers can connect and be part of the conversation, as opposed to just being a number on a conference call. If deployed properly you will be able to ensure that you can create face-to-face experiences with these workers, bringing them closer to the team.
3. Better use of office space – Have any unused or dead spaces in your offices? Turn them into a huddle room. The huddle room is a great way to ensure you make the most of all of your office real estate. They also enable you to do away with some costly conference rooms by being able to invest in smaller technology solutions to power them.
4. Not allowed to be reserved – Typically you can’t reserve a huddle room. Why? This encourages spontaneous collaboration. But what about availability? Because of their size businesses should seek to deploy several of these in their organisation – that way bookings become a moot point and its always on a first come, first serve basis. The primary reason for this is that it encourages an environment for the quick brainstorm, a project update, or a crisis crew to deal with an issue. Standard meetings should still be booked in a boardroom – rule number one of a huddle space is that it is a safe impromptu place.
5. Flexibility and productivity – A huddle room must not feel like a corporate boardroom. They must encourage and promote an air of productivity, innovation and creativity. Remember we are employing millennials today, and they want to embrace the comfort of the “beanbag office” environment. Your huddle rooms must be a collaboration oasis – they must be filled with tech and they must be less formal. Remember it takes less money to put in smaller technology solutions, such as video conferencing, in a smaller space than it does to outfit a 20-seater boardroom. This means they are a budget friendly option too.
Where do I get one?
The beauty about the huddle room is that they are quick to deploy, can be set up really easily and don’t require a fortune to kit out with the latest technology. All you need to do is earmark a space, get the experts in to set it up for you and you are away. If your business truly wants to embrace digital transformation, encourage a remote and mobile workforce – then the huddle space is probably the best route for you.
Source: Marius Van Wyk
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