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Hybrid video conferencing for huddle rooms


Standard office layouts are constantly evolving – especially after the pandemic. With many businesses bringing workers back to the office, they are reevaluating what types of spaces they need for employees to be successful. While all of these changes are done with hybrid collaboration and communication in mind, there is one facet of the modern workplace that often goes overlooked during transitional times – huddle rooms. But what is a huddle room, and how does it differ from other types of conference rooms or board rooms?

What is a huddle room?

A huddle room – similar to a hybrid meeting room or conference room- is a small, designated area in an office or workspace designed for informal meetings of two to six people. These versatile spaces are often equipped with essential audio-visual equipment, allowing for video conferencing and seamless collaboration with remote team members. Huddle rooms are typically furnished with comfortable seating, a small table, and a whiteboard or digital display for brainstorming sessions and note-taking. Their compact size and flexible nature make them ideal for quick ad-hoc meetings, impromptu brainstorming sessions, and one-on-one discussions.

Huddle rooms foster a sense of community and collaboration within the workplace, promoting organic communication and knowledge exchange among team members. They provide a more informal and relaxed setting compared to traditional conference rooms, encouraging open dialogue and brainstorming. The use of huddle rooms has become increasingly prevalent in modern office layouts, particularly in organizations that embrace hybrid work models and emphasize flexibility and remote collaboration.

In addition to their role in facilitating face-to-face interactions and video conferencing, huddle rooms can also serve as a dedicated space for focused work or private calls. Their acoustic design and limited occupancy typically provide a quieter and more focused environment compared to open workspaces, allowing for uninterrupted work sessions or confidential discussions.

The benefits of huddle rooms

Huddle rooms offer a multitude of benefits for modern workspaces, making them an essential addition for teams seeking to enhance collaboration, productivity, and overall work experience. Here’s a breakdown of the key benefits of huddle rooms:

  • Improved communication + collaboration: Huddle rooms provide a more intimate and informal setting for spontaneous discussions, brainstorming sessions, and one-on-one meetings, fostering a sense of community and promoting open communication within teams. This unstructured environment encourages spontaneous ideas and fosters a culture of collaboration.
  • Enhanced productivity: Huddle rooms cater to smaller groups, reducing the need for large conference rooms that can often accommodate more people than necessary. This efficient use of space allows for more productive meetings, reducing the time spent searching for available rooms and minimizing distractions caused by larger group interactions.
  • Efficient video conferencing: Huddle rooms are often equipped with high-quality audio-visual technology – like the Meeting Owl – enabling seamless video conferencing with remote team members. This capability facilitates real-time collaboration and knowledge sharing across geographically dispersed teams, promoting a sense of unity and cohesiveness despite physical distance.
  • Focused work + private calls: Huddle rooms provide a designated area for focused work or private calls, allowing employees to escape the distractions of open workspaces and immerse themselves in their tasks. Their acoustic design and limited occupancy create a more serene and uninterrupted environment, boosting productivity and enhancing focus.
  • Cost-effective solution: Huddle rooms offer a cost-effective alternative to traditional conference rooms, requiring less space, furniture, and technology investment. This translates into reduced overhead costs for businesses, allowing them to allocate resources more strategically.
  • Hybrid work facilitation: Huddle rooms play a crucial role in hybrid work environments, providing a comfortable and equipped space for both in-office and remote team members to connect and collaborate effectively. Their versatility accommodates both face-to-face interactions and virtual meetings, ensuring seamless collaboration across work arrangements.
  • Embrace modern work practices: Huddle rooms align with the evolving modern workplace, which emphasizes flexibility, collaboration, and a focus on employee well-being. Their adoption demonstrates a proactive approach to creating a workspace that supports the needs of today’s workforce.

 

Huddle room technology necessities

What’s the right technology to have in your huddle rooms?

Video conferencing equipment:

  • A smart conferencing camera: A smart conferencing camera allows participants to engage in video conferencing with remote colleagues or clients. As a bonus, there are even three-in-one devices that are equipped with a camera, microphone, and speaker. 
  • Video conferencing software: Huddle rooms should be equipped with video conferencing software that is compatible with the organization’s preferred platforms and devices.
  • Projector or large display: A projector or large display is useful for sharing presentations, documents, and other visual content during meetings.
  • Speakers: High-quality speakers are essential for ensuring that everyone in the room can hear presentations, discussions, and other audio content clearly.
  • Microphones: A good microphone array or wireless microphone system is necessary to capture clear audio from all participants in the room, even if they are not speaking directly into a microphone.
  • Acoustic control: Huddle rooms should be designed with good acoustic control to minimize echo and reverberation, ensuring clear and focused communication.

 

Power + connectivity:

  • Power outlets: Huddle rooms should have ample power outlets to accommodate the charging and connection of laptops, tablets, and other devices.
  • HDMI, USB, and other connectivity ports: Huddle rooms should have the necessary ports for connecting laptops, tablets, and other devices to the video conferencing system and display.

Additional features:

  • Whiteboard or dedicated whiteboard camera: A whiteboard or dedicated whiteboard camera is useful for brainstorming sessions, note-taking, and illustrating ideas.
  • Remote control or touch screen interface: A remote control or touch screen interface makes it easy to control the audio and video equipment.

A whiteboard even your remote team can see. Meet the Whiteboard Owl >>

Huddle room best practices

When it comes to huddle rooms, there are a number of best practices that should be considered when getting things up and running.

  1. Clearly define the purpose of the huddle room: Determine the primary use cases for the huddle room, such as quick ad-hoc meetings, brainstorming sessions, or one-on-one discussions. This will help guide the selection of technology, furniture, and overall design.
  2. Choose the right location: Place the huddle room in a central location that is easily accessible to team members across different departments or areas of the office. Avoid placing it near high-traffic areas or open workspaces, as noise and distractions can hinder effective communication.
  3. Designate the huddle room for specific uses: If the huddle room is intended for private calls or focused work, clearly communicate this to employees to avoid disruptions. Consider using signs or color-coding to differentiate the room’s designated purposes.
  4. Invest in high-quality technology: Equip the huddle room with reliable and user-friendly audio-visual equipment, including clear speakers, microphones, a webcam, and a projector or large display. Ensure the technology is compatible with the organization’s preferred video conferencing platforms and devices.
  5. Include a whiteboard or dedicated whiteboard camera: A whiteboard or dedicated whiteboard camera is essential for brainstorming sessions, note-taking, and illustrating ideas. It encourages visual engagement and fosters a more collaborative environment.
  6. Choose comfortable and ergonomic seating: Provide comfortable and supportive seating for all participants. Consider using chairs with adjustable height and backrests to promote good posture and reduce fatigue during meetings.

The meaning of a huddle room goes beyond its physical description. Huddle rooms have become an essential part of modern workspaces, offering a multitude of benefits that enhance communication, collaboration, productivity, and overall employee satisfaction. Their versatile design and efficient use of space make them a cost-effective solution for organizations of all sizes. By following the best practices and setup tips, you can create huddle rooms that foster a positive and productive work environment, supporting the needs of today’s workforce and driving success for your organization.

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