Most companies concentrate on installing high-end AV equipment in their large boardrooms or larger conference rooms. This means that for decades, collaboration technology has been limited to the larger and more expensive meeting rooms.
However, according to a report by Wainhouse Research (WR) commissioned by Polycom, there is an increasing proliferation of huddle rooms in companies across the world. This increased presence of huddle rooms has been fueled by next gen workers (mainly millenials); an enhanced interest in open working spaces and telecommuting, and the increased need to support large numbers of collaborative and globally distributed work teams.
So, what exactly is a huddle room? Definitions differ from company to company and even from location to location. However, a short definition would be that a huddle room is what the name implies – small meeting rooms where people can huddle. The dictionary says that “a huddle is a small private conference or meeting”. A huddle room typically accommodates 6 or fewer people.
While there has been a spate of recent news about huddle rooms, the latter have been around for decades, but have always been either ignored or described as “that little room around the corner”. So, while huddle rooms have always been a part of the workspace, they have simply been taken for granted!
AV solutions in huddle rooms
WR estimates that the number of huddle rooms around the world stand at an approximate 30 to 50 million. Most of these huddle rooms are not connected by audiovisual (AV) solutions and have only basic furniture and a phone line. This means that as more and more meetings migrate to huddle rooms, there is a huge AV opportunity.
The vast majority of huddle rooms have little or no technology in place today. Most huddle rooms are basic meeting rooms that were built by the facilities team without any AV-specific enhancements. So, if we were to list what is NOT present in a typical huddle room, this list would include:
An AV equipment rack
An AV control system
Acoustic treatments on the walls
Motorized drapes and/or blinds
What to expect from huddle rooms
Huddle rooms, unlike the larger conference rooms, are all about compromise. Organisations should follow the concept of “good enough” for their huddle rooms. Good enough does NOT mean unacceptable or unreliable. It also does not mean that the room should be uncomfortable, unacceptably loud, or dark, or unprofessional.
Good enough means that the space and the equipment in the space should be more than adequate for the given task and requirement. The design tenets for huddle rooms revolve around the need to support large numbersof rooms and thus key concerns include low cost, ease and speed of installation and ease of use.
So, while the concept of a huddle room and the way in which huddle rooms are used will vary by organisation, location, vertical market, culture, and so on, huddle rooms are here to stay. It is not a matter of IF huddle rooms will play an important part in the collaboration and AV space, it is a matter of WHEN and to what degree. So, here’s to happy and comfortable collaboration at work!
For more information on how you can set up and connect your meeting rooms at work, contact Actis at 022-30808080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Content and images courtesy: www.polycom.com)