Formality is out of fashion in business – conference rooms are out, huddle rooms are in. See how you can transform meeting rooms into more agile work spaces for today’s workforce.

To reflect the change in meeting culture, there’s a new name in town – the huddle. Well, it’s not even that new anymore. Companies such as Amazon did away with team meetings in favour of team huddles long ago. Participants are encouraged to bring cake to share. Many huddles happen without people even sitting down.

A huddle was traditionally a ‘heads together’ team chat before the start of the working day. Now it’s a small collaboration space that allows teams to share ideas, or make decisions, without the need for a more traditional boardroom meeting space.

New ways of working

The huddle reflects the new ways of working – flexibility, collaboration and innovation. Traditional business meetings can be long-winded, even pointless. People would hold meetings for the sake of holding a meeting.

Unlike traditional boardroom-style meetings rooms that often have to be booked days, weeks or even months in advance, the huddle space allows people to meet and talk on the fly, and keeps smaller projects moving without having to tie up bigger meeting spaces.

On the fly

It’s also about the cost. Businesses are moving to small, flexible spaces because of the prohibitive cost of maintaining a huge IT infrastructure. Huddle rooms can be built into the fabric of an open-plan office with minimal upheaval or expenditure.

A huddle space typically needs to accommodate laptops and tablets, simple connection interfaces such as wall plates and table inserts, a flat panel display, and an easy-to-use speaker or conference phone. Of course, this puts new demands on conferencing technology too, and modern solutions are needed to facilitate this switch to more flexible, agile meetings.

Plug-and-play simplicity

The potential of huddle rooms may be considerable, but technophobes may still need to be convinced if these spaces can be truly collaborative environments.

The element that always puts people off is ease of use. If they’re not simple to use, they will just use an old-style meeting space. The technology needs to be really intuitive and idiot-proof, with no training needed.

Avaya’s ‘all-in-one’ IX Collaboration Unit doesn’t require a laptop connection, meaning it delivers easy start-up, reliability and consistent high quality. Part of Avaya’s Open Product devices portfolio, it supports major collaboration services and allows cloud applications to be accessed, used and shared with other meeting participants.

Increased affordability

The other element is that solutions need to be affordable. If it costs the same amount of money or more to fit out a huddle room than is being paid for a conference room, no one is going to install it.

Poly has long been at the forefront of innovative video-conferencing, and its Studio USB video bar is a cost-effective solution that combines business-class performance with plug-and-play simplicity for smaller rooms.

Easy interoperability

Teams can use these solutions easily and without any frustration. You can walk into a meeting room with a Poly or Avaya device and launch a meeting from Cisco Webex, Zoom, BlueJeans or Microsoft Teams. Everyone can communicate with everyone.

That simplicity and integration is essential, and it’s a crucial part of where huddle rooms are heading. People need to be able to access the same features, as well as reliable audio and video quality, no matter their meeting room or environment.

The future is smaller

Whatever the reason for the interest in huddle rooms, private areas in open and shared offices will be at a premium, with 46% of employees saying noise levels are the most distracting issue in the office, according to research by Jabra. When technology is used to increase productivity and co-operation to create a dynamic work environment, huddle rooms will reach their full potential.

To find your ideal huddle-room solution, contact us today.