As corporate real estate firms have been consolidating space to reduce operating costs and improve flexibility, a surge of millennials have entered the workforce. These employees are accustomed to accessing various types of technology across environments, including home, school, and work. As a result, millennials expect such resources from their employers and working environment, and the design community has begun to creatively accommodate the evolution of the conference room.
The prevalence of laptops, tablets, smartphones, and BYOD (bring your own device) has prompted business owners and designers to allocate less space for large formal conference rooms and more for informal "huddle" spaces intended for impromptu meetings and "hoteling" areas for employees without a permanent work space in the office.
According to a whitepaper by Wainhouse Research:
"It is anticipated that the number of small and medium conference rooms will increase at a much faster pace than large rooms"
This study also found that most small and medium conference rooms have the least amount of supporting presentation and communication technology. Small and medium huddle rooms often have at least a flat panel display or a projector, but lack true integration. As a result, such rooms feature difficulty in connecting to presentation systems, lack adequate quality video and audio capabilities, and often do not have dedicated in-room PCs or tools such as webcams.
Such factors limit the productivity that can be achieved in these spaces in terms of how people meet, work and communicate.
The technology integration in small huddle spaces is critical. Identifying the common uses for the room and creating technical specifications is the first step to effective huddle room design. The most effective huddle rooms are designed around the technology needed, rather than adding technology into the room after the fact. Designing huddle spaces in this manner and involving technology integrators early in the design process will help you avoid common pitfalls that result in added back-end expenses.
Any conversation around investment in collaboration technology should include huddle rooms as a top consideration. Even simple tools such as webcams, USB speakers, and table-based or wireless connectivity methods can vastly improve flexibility and productivity when properly integrated into a room.
The top benefits of well-designed wireless collaboration huddle rooms include:
Article written by William Kiley, IMS Executive Account Manager
Complete the form below and an IMS technology expert will contact you to talk about huddle rooms.