The uptick in mobile and remote work over the past several years has changed the footprint of today’s workplace. With fewer employees working 9 – 5 in the traditional office setting, the need for rows upon rows of cubicles has fallen by the wayside and the open office floor plan has become the new norm. No longer reserved exclusively for tech-startups, open office spaces present a new workplace dynamic. With fewer physical walls in the office, boundaries are naturally broken down and conversations between teams can become more natural, free-flowing and collaborative.
However, despite their collaborative benefits, open office floor plans do come with some downsides. For starters, they don’t provide a great deal of privacy, which can make it difficult to hold conversations that require a certain degree of discretion. And with the persistent source of noise and distractions that can come with an open office floor plan, meetings with customers or focusing on tasks that require a deeper level of concentration can be a challenge.
But with huddle spaces incorporated into the office design, teams can reap the benefits of open floor plans with an option for privacy when needed.
What is a Huddle Space?
By definition, a huddle space is a small and private meeting area. Much like a traditional conference room, huddle spaces are generally outfitted with audio and video conferencing equipment, a display system and a digital or traditional whiteboard. Huddle spaces are most often used for informal, on-the-fly meetings with a small team of office-based and remote participants. Depending on the size and needs of the organization, an office may have several huddle spaces in addition to a larger, traditional conference room.
3 Factors to Consider when Developing a Huddle Space Strategy
- Make video a priority: Video collaboration comes with a multitude of benefits. It helps establish a face-to-face connection and build rapport among geographically dispersed teams, helps make meetings more productive and engaging, and cuts down on travel costs. Although video use continues to gain traction across the enterprise, only 2 percent of the estimated 30 million huddle spaces globally are video-enabled. This is a missed opportunity for organizations to enhance collaboration. And according to Wainhouse Research, four out of five c-level executives feel their organization should use video more extensively. So when planning a huddle space strategy, garnering executive sponsorship can go a long way toward making video an important addition to collaboration.
- Keep it consistent: Make the meeting experience consistent across huddle spaces. By using the same video conferencing provider, meeting software and hardware across meeting rooms, organizations can simplify the adoption process, drive utilization and find productivity gains.
- Measure adoption: Optimize your technology investment by establishing adoption metrics from the outset. These might include how often each room is used, how many attendees participated in the meeting, which applications were used, and so on. Armed with these stats, companies can more easily determine the ROI of their huddle spaces and make more measured investments in future technologies.
Why West for Huddle Spaces?
Meetings are crucial to business productivity. And meeting room technology needs to work flawlessly, every time. At West, our goal is to make collaboration easy. When it comes to huddle space technology, West can provide the software, hardware, support and end user training and adoption services needed to ensure a high quality user experience while reducing strain on IT teams. With a platform-agnostic approach to software and hardware West can provide a single-vendor solution that connects all devices and apps.
Available through OMNIA Partners, Private Sector, West UC can offer members a way to stay connected through varying platforms including audio, web and video conferencing.