CONTI Evolution in the Media

BLOG - The Rise of the "Huddle Room"

Colby Harder - Monday, October 06, 2014

Huddle Rooms are proving to be one of the most notable workplace changes in some time.  Huddle rooms, i.e. casual spaces to share and collaborate,  have risen in popularity rapidly and I believe this trend has only just started.  We are only now seeing the early adopters of this concept.  It's not coincidence that this rise has come at a time when interactive technologies like Smartboards, interactive projectors, and interactive displays are ever present, and very cost-effective. 

Just as work spaces have generally moved away from stuffy, closed offices to open floor plans and lots of natural light, we are seeing a similar trend with Huddle Rooms.  No longer are meetings the domain of the traditional boardroom, and the functional workings of a Huddle Room is very different in style and in practice. 

We recently relocated our offices and were faced with the choice about how to best allocate space in our new offices.  We never had a lot of large offices, but we certainly wanted to create a more collaborative and interactive working environment.  At the core of this successful transition has been the melding of a very open space plan, and the liberal use of very collaborative meeting spaces, or Huddle Rooms.  In fact, we've even decided that what was once our "Boardroom" was under-utilized in that format, and we've adopted an entirely open plan meeting space with a large bar-height table that is now dubbed our "War Room".  At it's core, it's a huddle room in spirit.  At any time in the day, you can see various groups or teams bellying up to the large rough wood bar table to collaborate and share ideas.  Some stand, some sit on the stools, others watch from a distance.  The result has been greater collaboration and a much more flexible workspace.

In addition to our War Room, we've adapted the Huddle Room concept to several purpose built, small meeting rooms where teams can close the door and think, or collaborate in a more private environment.  We've also adapted the Huddle Room concept to our company kitchen, where our teams can collaborate together over a cup of coffee, complete with all of the audio video support they once only saw in the boardroom. Finally, we've build a "flex room" which looks very much like a classroom, with an integrated interactive projector that often supports the collaborative workings of larger groups.

By adapting a more collaborative approach to meeting space design, we've seen a considerable increase in collaborative and creative work within our team, and the creation of a very flexible work spaces that allows members of our team to vary their working environment from formal to casual at different points in their day.  The space has been developed around the types of work our teams needs to undertake. 

It also happens to make a great demonstration site, and test bed for many of the concepts our clients want to see.