A quick guide to outfitting your huddle rooms for enhanced collaboration
If countless hours of viewing tiny house reality TV shows has taught us anything, it’s that great things happen in small spaces – a lesson that easily translates to the workplace huddle space. Ironically, there’s something magical about small spaces that inspires us to think big, which is why huddle spaces are fast-becoming the preferred meeting place of the modern workforce. Quick and convenient, the huddle room is ideal for gathering the team for impromptu brainstorms, status updates, interviews, chats, and more. Of course, not all huddle spaces are created equal, which is why we’ve created a huddle-room how-to that will empower you to create a space where everyone in your workplace will love gathering.
Define the Space.
The typical huddle room should accommodate up to five people comfortably. According to Magnus Commercial Real Estate, a huddle room should be a minimum of 100 to 250 square feet. If your office already has enclosed spaces of this size available, you’re one step ahead of the game. However, if you work in an open plan atmosphere, you will need to create this space. The fastest way to create a huddle space is to purchase an acoustic work pod from an office furniture dealer, or hire a carpenter to build one of the many fabulous creative work pods featured on Pinterest. A few of the pods for purchase we recommend are Entente by Lyndon Design and Cocoon by Boss Design. If purchasing a pod is not in the budget, you can still create a functional enclosed atmosphere simply by using partition whiteboards.
Table The Discussion.
Once your space is defined you will want to outfit it with comfortable seating and a table large enough to allow people to write, draw, and set down their devices. Because huddle spaces are about being flexible, multi-functional furniture, such as stools, adjustable height tables, and chairs with built-in foldaway trays are always a wise buy. Something else to consider when furnishing your huddle space is to allow it to be a unique area where color and creativity reign. For example, instead of using traditional corporate chairs, consider installing theater-style seating in a bright color. A bold pop of color on the walls is also a quick and easy way to give your huddle space a sense of fun and energy that will draw people in and inspire them to be more productive.
To ensure your huddle room is fully functional for everyone’s purposes you will want to outfit it with high-quality tech that enables team members in remote places to join the huddle. A few of the items on your huddle tech checklist should be: a Highfive all-in-one video conferencing device, a TV or monitor for sharing slides and seeing remote attendees, and a wireless charging station that enables everyone’s devices to stay juiced.
A multi-functional unit, a Highfive device is a sleek space-saver that features HD video and audio and a wide angle lens that allows team collaborators to have dynamic face-to-face interactions with everyone in the meeting. Anyone can use a Highfive device right out of the box and its wireless screen sharing capabilities allow everyone in the meeting to easily share slides and screens. Speaking of screens, we recommend using a 40 to 50-inch TV or monitor in your huddle space because it’s big enough to suit everyone’s needs without overwhelming the small scale of the area.
If your huddle space is in a public area or is open to the rest of the office, you will want to invest in a variety of acoustic elements to ensure private conversations stay private and those working nearby are not disturbed by the noise level of an enthusiastic team collaboration session. While some pod makers include sound-proofing materials in the walls of the pod, it may not be enough to keep sound levels in check. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to help absorb sound in a huddle space, including:
- Adding acoustic panels to walls, partitions, and the backs of whiteboards
- Hanging a variety of pictures in the space
- Strategically adding faux or real plants
- Choosing soft upholstered furnishings instead of hard surfaces that bounce sound
- Using a curtain or mobile screen to create a door
- Installing ceiling baffles over the area
A good quality whiteboard is an essential feature of every great huddle space. In fact, studies have shown that (in comparison to typing) the physical act of writing improves our ability to learn, solve problems and recall information. Plus, whiteboards enable teams to keep everyone engaged visually as ideas get fleshed out graphically. There are many options to choose from when searching for the right whiteboard for your huddle space, from beautiful modern glass boards in bright colors, to traditional whiteboards from office supply stores, to whiteboard paint, like Idea, that enables you to transform any surface in your huddle space into a whiteboard. Lastly, be sure you purchase an array of colorful whiteboard markers for team members to use, as research has shown that writing in colors, can enhance creativity and organization skills.
Huddle Up With Highfive.
Highfive’s high-quality, all-in-one, video conferencing devices enable people to connect with ease, share slides, collaborate, communicate, and more. Priced at a fraction of the cost of traditional systems, you can easily afford to put a Highfive in every huddle room and meeting space in your office. Go ahead, give yourself a Highfive.