30 Jun 2022

What are huddle rooms — And why you need them?

There are multiple factors influencing office change these days. We used to accredit the changes to millennials and their way of thinking. More recently, it’s been the pandemic throwing the office off-kilter. Now, it’s the Great Resignation pressing for change. Whatever the cause, the office is transforming with most companies changing for the better. Huddle rooms are one of these “for better” changes, making the most of office space while offering separate rooms to foster uninterrupted teamwork.

These days, offices are turning toward flexible, open offices, and with good reason. Most companies are adopting a hybrid work model, encouraging remote work some of the time and on-site work the rest of the work week. Collaboration spaces have never been more important. Hybrid work has turned face-to-face team collaboration into a valuable commodity: the exception rather than the rule.

Huddle rooms are among those great office resources that support flexibility and productivity. Let’s have a look at how...

What is a huddle room?

Here’s a fun piece of history for you. According to Gallaudet University, one of their deaf football players christened the first team huddle in 1894. Paul Hubbard, the team quarterback, didn’t want to risk the other team seeing him using Sign Language. So, he asked his teammates to form the circle formation we know as a “huddle.”

Today, the huddle is used in a variety of team activities, including baseball, football, basketball, lacrosse, and… the workplace. What began as a private way for teams to share their strategy has grown into a technology-filled, room-based experience. So, what criteria differentiate a huddle room from a traditional conference room?

Huddle rooms are typically small meeting rooms equipped with all the video conferencing tools and technology needed to connect teams with remote workers. With many employees working remotely half of the week, this technology is key for supporting departmental and interdepartmental teams alike. Still, most meeting areas have all the bells and whistles. What makes huddle rooms so important? Particularly, huddle rooms are designed to house fewer than six occupants at a time. But, what are the benefits of such a small space?

Coworkers brainstorming together

The benefits of huddle rooms

Huddle rooms aren’t a fad for no reason. In fact, they’re proving to be a great use of space for any office. Here’s why:

Space utilization

In our previous blog, you may have learned about wasted office space and how much it costs a company. Well, huddle rooms are a great solution to that problem. 70% of employees report losing up to 15 minutes per day trying to find a meeting space. What’s more, according to HOK, an engineering-architecture firm located in Missouri, 75 percent of all meetings are attended by two to four people. Therefore, the average office should have four huddle rooms to every large conference room. Typically, only half of an office’s meeting rooms are designed to house fewer than six employees. Not only do huddle rooms take care of underused space, but also provide essential collaboration spaces for those small groups.

Free the conference rooms

If your employees are struggling to track down meeting rooms, chances are you have enough meeting space, just not meeting spaces. According to a 2019 survey, large meeting rooms are occupied by only one person 35% of the time. Increasing the number of huddle rooms in an office can free up the boardroom for larger gatherings. If your office is comprised of fewer than 75% huddle rooms, consider breaking up a few of the larger meeting rooms into smaller spaces.

On-demand workspaces

Huddle rooms are a great free-for-all resource, much like hot desks. With so many huddle rooms in the office, there’s bound to be one available… most of the time. At least, that’s the idea. Many employees waste up to 60 minutes each week tracking down an available desk, meeting room, or team member. A room booking solution can be the right ticket for smoothing out the office experience and all but eliminating wasted time due to tracking down resources. Huddle rooms are a great idea, even without a booking system in place. However, imagine the potential if each room was bookable from the in-house calendar? What if employees could check a room’s availability at a glance?

Well, they can. Joan room solutions not only have wireless displays that present each room’s availability, but employees can book a room ad hoc directly from the touch screen. For those employees already running around the office struggling to find a free meeting room, the Joan mobile app can help. With this byod solution, users can filter rooms based on size, availability, and even technology. Employees can then book the room directly from their mobile devices.

What’s more, the Joan app also supports desk booking. The Joan booking system is an all-in-one resource that combines company assets under one umbrella — emphasis on “all” their assets. The latest Joan “Book Anything” initiative encourages users to think outside the box. Companies can add any assets to the Joan booking app from extra monitors to parking stalls.

The future of huddle spaces

Huddle rooms are an obvious choice for flexible offices, providing reliable spaces for small teams to gather. However, with employees becoming more and more remote, the need for in-person and remote teams to connect virtually has gone through the roof.

Where huddle rooms once accommodated meetings of two to six people, they can now accommodate hundreds of participants… virtually. The flexibility of the huddle room has become more important as companies adopt hybrid workstyles, connecting remote participants with in-office teammates. It’s never been more important to make sure employees have the meeting spaces and conferencing technology on an as-needed basis.

Employing a meeting room booking system can go a long way to connecting half a dozen to hundreds of employees.

Get in touch to learn more about how you can best utilize your unused collaboration spaces.