Huddle rooms are the small rooms or mini conference rooms that many companies have adopted to provide small groups of people (typically 2-6) with an easy, space efficient means for holding meetings. Open floor plans and workspaces promote spontaneous collaboration but can also be disruptive. The trend toward more open offices has created a growing need for smaller meeting rooms where workers can meet in a disruption-free setting. Huddle rooms offer a productive environment where workers to come together for instant, interactive collaboration.
Powered by ongoing workplace transformation trends and rising use of software-based communications, the adoption of video conferencing in huddle rooms is witnessing exponential growth. The frequency of video conferences has increased dramatically over the past few years with the introduction of higher quality wireless networks, and camera equipped smartphones and computers. To support today’s tech savvy, mobile and always connected workers, there is a rising need for ad-hoc team collaboration that is leading to a growing number of open offices that need high-quality low-priced video conferencing.
Meetings today are becoming short, frequent, spontaneous, and less structured. Users want to walk into any room, any time and start a meeting at the click of a button. Key selection criteria for huddle-room video include simplicity, ease of use, and affordability. Huddle room collaboration is centered on audio, wireless content sharing, video conferencing, and flexible white boarding. A growing focus on improving the user experience is leading to enhancements in video calls, including background noise suppression, rich in-room analytics for better meeting diagnostics, voice interactive commands, and automated transcripts. These rooms allow users to either bring their own mobile devices and laptops or use a corporate installed dedicated computer.
Modern Meeting Trends:
A majority of the meetings are moving from large conference rooms to multi-purpose, collaboration-friendly huddle spaces. Meetings are becoming more purpose-driven and collaborative. Users come prepared beforehand to allow for deeper discussions which is leading to shorter meetings. A growing number of remote workers need to better connect to teams which is further driving the need for huddle rooms. When designing video conference enabled huddle-room rooms, the following should be considered:
More ad-hoc and frequent meetings require more meeting rooms, but not necessarily large conference rooms. The rise in huddle rooms is making meeting spaces more accessible. The ratio of people to meeting spaces used to be 75 to 1. To accommodate more meetings, a rise in the number of spaces makes it easier to hold ad-hoc meetings. It I expected that in about 5 years there will be 5 to 1 ratio of people to meeting spaces.
Easy to use:
Huddle rooms are all about simplicity, ease of use, and affordability. As meetings become shorter, more frequent, spontaneous, and less structured, users want to walk into any room any time and start a video meeting at the click of a button from any device.
As customers move to cloud-based huddle rooms, application governance and security is top of mind.
A growing number of providers that offer video conferencing as a built-in feature are pushing mainstream adoption. They bring together team messaging, file sharing, white boarding, calling, and other tools to streamline teamwork and produce results faster.
There is an increasing focus among key vendors on improving the user experience, which is leading to more robust feature sets and increased AI integration. This includes voice activation and intuitive menus as well as detailed reporting features. These are enabling one-touch conferences for significant reductions in joining time.
Scheduling displays outside the room, combined with integrated calendaring, allow users to see availability and reserve instant meetings making room squatters and under utilized rooms a thing of the past.
A key requirement for collaboration is easy wireless screen sharing. Compatible with interactive touch displays, huddle rooms need to offer a compelling setting for collaboration and brainstorming.