In years gone by, companies typically had one large formal conference room used for video conferencing. This was ideal for larger meetings scheduled weeks in advance.
However, the modern work environment has changed significantly with collaboration often being more spontaneous among smaller groups of workers. And this is the main reason why huddle spaces are becoming more widespread. They provide vital space for the casual meeting or informal get-together that naturally occurs in the course of people working closely together and doing business day in day out.
Why Huddle Spaces are On the Rise
Often those innocuous conversations that are halfway between a hallway and a large conference room are the kind of exchange that can usefully happen in a Huddle room. We are talking about more than just sharing a funny meme, or even a work-related flowchart on your iPhone. Typically it might be a quick casual conversation about a work issue that would benefit from a little privacy but equally does not need to be planned and booked in advance. Furthermore, it has less complex logistic and technical requirements than a monthly meeting of division heads, for example.
The need is obvious. The opportunity for focused and joint collaboration in a small, informal way is what huddle rooms cater to. In The Rise of the Huddle Space, Cisco surveyed over 1,000 participants from mid-to-enterprise-level businesses and found that 93% agreed that open office environments required more huddle spaces.
However, the use of Huddle spaces is not without its’ problems as the Cisco survey demonstrated – it found that almost 8 out of 10 huddle space users were frustrated when using the allotted huddle rooms.
This frustration appeared in 2 key ways – ease of use, and technology fails like poor audio or video quality.
Common Issue 1: Ease of Use
In relation to huddle space needs, it’s important that you consider quality, reliability and scalability.
In this type of workspace, you need to consider using equipment that can be used any time by anyone, and with any approved BYO Device.
One way to manage ease of use is to use huddle space “kits” with the same set of hardware and software that can be tailored to the space and situation as needed. The basics might include a display, a quality microphone, webcam, and easy integration with employee laptops or other devices.
You might be thinking why can’t I just use a laptop? Well it is feasible in some circumstances and creating a Huddle space on a budget is laudable, but in reality it’s likely to lead to user complaints. Furthermore, the results from Cisco also demonstrate that Huddle spaces require the right technologies to be really successful.
Ease of use means choosing the equipment best suited to that specific space. Take into account the room size and the average number of participants that are likely to be working at one time in the huddle space. This info will help you optimize the kit for your needs and deliver on ease of use in for these small spaces – so that’s it’s as hassle free as possible.
Common Issue 2: Design and Equipment Fails
To get to that frustration-free zone, equipment and design must be functional and installed in a practical way, where employees need it.
Unfortunately, the recent Cisco survey showed a 78% dissatisfaction rate with huddle space technology within the past 6 months. The survey also showed that only 11% of pros in charge of huddle space technology had access to 360-degree information on huddle space utilization.
By choosing the right technology at the outset for your huddle space, you can navigate these challenges effectively.
In relation to open-plan facilities, you should still think about making efficient and helpful huddle spaces a priority. Think about the needs of your workplace and the employees – are there any obvious workplace habits or trends? Do people tend to congregate in 1 area and/or in small and medium size rooms?
Understanding the organisations’ individual needs helps us to design the best possible solution for the space, the way it will be used, and your budget. We’ll make sure the equipment is right for the space; that’s a core area of expertise for a business like Meritec. Another important factor that is taken into consideration is the camera – it should set up to optimize the field of vision so the all parties on both ends can see each other.
In addition to this, Audio (which is often an overlooked challenge) is something that must be taken into consideration and often these are small spaces with many busy staff chatting outside in an open plan office. So the audio needs special attention.
Huddle Space Success
Overall the rise of the huddle space means it’s worth considering the right options for your workplace. While it’s a requirement that varies from workplace to workplace in terms of the appropriate spec. the many benefits should be kept in mind – more productivity in the team, positive collaboration, quick meetings. Huddle spaces ultimately provide for more end effectiveness in the workplace. Using the right technologies, you can tap into all these advantages for your own work environment. And we can help you do that.
If you would like further help and guidance, then please do not hesitate to contact us.