I’m about to make a bold statement, so prepare yourself. A good huddle room is an absolute must-have for businesses in 2018.
We already know that day-long desk sitting is sending our bodies and brains into a less-than-healthy slumber, and that email doesn’t foster collaboration. Big, formal meeting rooms aren’t quite ~right~ for a good brainstorming session, and going out to a café can be too distracting.
Cue: huddle spaces. Acting as a hub for collaboration, these “Goldilocks” rooms are just what your team needs to get in the zone, work together and make decisions. Not too formal, not too distracting.
What are huddle rooms?
Huddle rooms (or even huddle pods) are those versatile, smaller meeting spaces meant to invite a range of activities in a semi-relaxed environment. The layout is usually a formula - an interactive whiteboard, comfortable seating, A/V capabilities, and colourful artwork.
But powerful. These small spaces have the prowess to transform NZ workplaces. They allow for focus and privacy and become an effective collaboration space designed to foster productive conversations, away from the noise and distraction of the office.
There is even an argument to suggest that open office spaces are hurting creativity. The environment sometimes dictates the dialogue. You can’t always voice your every idea which disturbs the concentration of others, nor can the conversation truly be free-flow when others are listening in.
But huddle rooms can help solve this. They offer the perfect place for impromptu meetings and are a flexible alternative to those large meeting rooms that need to be booked in advance and are daunting to be in.
Every office I’ve ever worked in had what I lovingly refer to as the “bad news room”. It’s the room that no one wants to have a meeting in because it looks like a room that you’d go to give someone bad news.
If you ask to speak to someone and call them into a room like that, or even a formal boardroom, the meeting starts off slightly uncomfortable. An uninviting space immediately stunts the creative process. Rather than opening up, people might feel daunted, leaving their good ideas at the door.
When you get your team into a welcoming, smaller space, it’s remarkable what you’ll find. The person who’s normally too shy to speak up may find their voice and contribute thoughts that blow the team away. And in a space that encourages collaboration, people can push each other further. They can challenge, play devil’s advocate, invigorate, motivate and embolden their teammates.
This is where the beauty lies. As people get comfortable hearing their own voice and finding they’re being heard by others, you’ll notice a change. There’s more connection and camaraderie. They may or may not be challenging the status quo, but these ideas aren’t being bottled up. These little gems of released thought are laying the groundwork for what the business is meant to be. A destination for innovation and growth, which has been built from the inside out.
Five ways huddle rooms add to your business:
- Smaller rooms, bigger ideas - You have the knowledge of others at your fingertips when you get them in a quiet room. These intimate settings allow for team members to feel comfortable sharing their ideas because they are tucked away from the wider team.
- Save your coin. Instead of using a quarter of your floor space for meeting rooms that are often empty, invest in smaller rooms that provide all the essentials. Being equipped for a range of activities like presentations and impromptu meetings is a start, but the fact that they are more welcoming means that they aren’t a waste of valuable reality.
- Video conference capabilities that include everyone. The cost of video conferencing technology is minimal, and having the tools for greater collaboration (regardless of physical proximity) is a must-have. It encourages participation from remote team members who will be thankful that their work and home life are becoming harmonious and therefore contribute.
- Happy happy campers. Did you know that over 40% of young workers say that they are more likely to be happy working for a company that invests in smart technology? But using smart tech starts with the team wanting to use it. The right, welcoming space solves this.
- Softening your work culture. Does everything need to be so formal? Studies suggest that more relaxed work cultures are actually better for productivity. Nothing says “chill out and get some work done” quite like a room decked out with bean bag chairs and a touch screen whiteboard.