Experts in the business space are constantly searching for ways to improve collaboration and communication in the workforce, if that means improved productivity. As a result, new solutions for meetings have begun to evolve, thanks to the use of new technology and office design. Businesses are currently exploring something called the “huddle space” or the “huddle room“. These unique areas have been proven to be effective at helping remote employees collaborate over work projects, and may even improve employee recruitment and retention.
The only problem is that many companies simply don’t understand what huddle rooms really are. On the surface, we assume they’re a place where people in a team get together to communicate, but what is it that makes the huddle room so special?
The Emerging Trend of Remote Working
Perhaps one of the key reasons why huddle rooms have begun to gain traction in the workforce, comes down to the fact that employees are spending more time working remotely, pushing a need for external collaboration. Let’s take a look at the facts about remote working, telecommuting and flexible working:
- Between 2013 and 2014, the employed population grew by 1.9%, but the telecommuter pool grew by 5.6%
- Around 3.7 million employees currently work from home around 50% of the time or more
- Employees working from home have increased by 103% since 2005
- Up to 90% of employees would prefer to have the option for remote working
- Most Fortune 1000 employees spend less than 50% of their time at the office
- 50% of the workforce currently have jobs that could be done remotely
The Need for Small Meeting Spaces
The change in the remote working environment has driven the need for smaller meeting spaces that allow remote employees and local employees to come together and collaborate more efficiently. These new rooms share a range of crucial themes, including the presence of 6 or less users in any room, ad hoc scheduling, simple technology, and the ability to hold meetings for 45-60 minutes. Today’s workforce often have multiple huddle rooms for every corporate location.
Often, huddle rooms are appealing because of their laid-back and creative nature. Most of these spaces are lounge-like in design, and the technology that’s available is both creative and user-friendly, including:
- Laptops and tablets
- Simple connection interfaces like wall plates and table inserts
- Flat panel display
- Easy-to-use speaker or conference phones
As more of the workforce opts for the work/life balance afforded by remote working, it makes sense that we’ll continue to see increased opportunities in the world of huddle rooms and creative meeting spaces.