As Millennials and Gen Z dominate the workforce, they are revolutionising how we think of the workspace. They reimagined traditional designs and introduced new concepts. As a result, it is an open-concept office to boost collaboration between colleagues.
Unfortunately, open office spaces aren't always great. Fortune states that the open-office area reduces productivity and employee well-being and increases the number of sick days. Some employees crave their own space for brainstorming. Harvard Business Review said that a collaborative work environment improves efficiency and productivity. And the key point is that companies must ensure employees can collaborate with minimal distractions.
Introducing a new collaborative room format, Huddle Room. A collaboration space concept with minimal distractions and no self-limiting. Let's look at the details below.
What is a huddle room?
In American football, there is a session where the players get together called a “huddle”. When they "huddle up", it means strategising, celebrating victory or motivating. These quick side-pitch meetings are essential; the same goes for the workplace. In the office, employees need to meet and chat briefly.
Huddle rooms are smaller meeting rooms and can be formal or informal. Its main function is to meet easily, exchange ideas and collaborate. Plus, when a team wants a quick meeting, they don't need to book a room. Huddle capacity is usually between 4-6 people depending on the number of teams. Huddle is a product of changing demographics and cost savings to utilise space efficiently.
Some employees avoid meeting at co-workers' desks in an open office space. They felt that the chat desk was a distraction. The Harvard Business Review also concluded that face-to-face time is reduced by about 70% in an open office.
On Agile, Huddle is projected as a 15-minute stand-up meeting. Usually, these meetings contain progress updates and daily to-do lists.
The benefits of a huddle room
A huddle room provides many benefits due to its functionality. Today, people meet informally to brainstorm and strategise. The concept of meeting rooms with large digital screens and long tables is outdated. These are the reasons why the office needs a huddle room:
1. Maintain privacy
Employees care about privacy and tend not to disturb other employees. A huddle room allows employees to have space away from the open office. In addition, the room provides a video conference facility to catch up with remote workers.
The huddle room has good audio-visual technology. Modern meeting rooms are too space-consuming and unsuitable for video-calling remote employees. Moreover, employees can use it without reservation. Huddle is informal and suited for quick meetings, so it fits well with Gen Z and millennial work styles.
3. Give teams an opportunity to share
Huddle rooms let teams get to know each other with live discussion moments. All participants can be involved and express opinions. Also, team members may lack confidence, so in huddle meetings, make sure they speak up or share ideas.
Cost is important to consider when building an office because of the capital and facilities. And having more than one integrated conference room doesn't make sense for some companies. However, having only one conference room disrupts collaboration. You can simplify large capital by installing a huddle room.
5. Changing demographics
According to TeamStage, 75% of the workforce will be millennials in 2025. This generation is digitally native and tech-savvy, so they don't need to adapt to using the latest technology in the workplace. Millennials need technology and a collaborative environment to work together in teams. The Huddle room is perfect for this culture.
How to design your huddle room spaces
There are no specific guidelines for creating an effective huddle room. It would be perfect if it fit the team's needs. But if you are confused about what items should be in, here are some suggestions:
1. Put a chalkboard or whiteboard
Ideas and concepts often come up in the huddle room. You may not have time to grab pens and books while rushing to a meeting. For that, provide a whiteboard in the huddle room. A whiteboard will make it easier to visualise ideas, and when they're done, everyone can take pictures. It looks simple, but it becomes a key point for collaboration.
2. Arrange a small table
Unlike a large conference room, a huddle room requires a small table. The table serves to place laptops, cell phones or other collaboration tools. The table is the key to connectivity in the huddle room.
3. Place some comfy chairs
A huddle meeting is usually done briefly and standing. But some things sometimes require a longer discussion and distract the participants' focus. This is the importance of a comfortable chair. The team can sit comfortably and stay focused on the forum. Chairs with wheels are a plus point because they allow on-the-fly collaborations.
4. Set video conferencing tools
A huddle room requires speakers, microphones and cameras to reach remote co-workers. In addition to hardware, rooms also need software to collaborate. Remember that the room can't go out of style.
5. Add a screen-sharing facility
In addition to video conferencing technology, huddle rooms also require a screen-sharing facility. Its functions are for presentations and virtual meetings. It doesn't have to fill the entire wall as long as all participants can be seen.
What do teams usually do in a huddle room?
Huddle rooms work for quick and informal collaboration. What are the contents of the huddle room meeting? Here are some examples you can adopt:
- Yesterday's accomplishments: a simple summary of yesterday's accomplishments and positive feedback to multiple teams.
- Today's priority: teams convey what's a focus today. It's not one or two tasks but a daily to-do list.
- Company updates: when changes occur overnight, the leader should share them with team members.
The need for huddle rooms will continue to grow as more flexibility is needed in meetings. Teams do not need reservations and precede each other for meetings. A huddle room is a solution for all of today's meeting needs. Teams can jump into a huddle room whenever they need to discuss things regarding projects and work. Hence, having a huddle room in an office will give many benefits to teams.
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