How to Set Up Huddle Rooms for Maximum Productivity

Man and woman sitting in chairs and talking

Every company is looking to get an edge wherever possible. Huddle rooms are one possible way to do this. 

These rooms offer a unique and often effective approach to brainstorming and idea generation. Plus, they usually cost less to create than traditional meeting rooms. 

This article will explain how to set up a huddle room. It will cover what huddle rooms require to be effective and also explain the different levels of huddle rooms that exist. 

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What Are Huddle Rooms?

Huddle rooms are rooms designed for informal communication between people in an organization. A company may use a huddle room as a place for coworkers to touch base with each other or brainstorm new ideas while taking a moment to relax. Meanwhile, a school may use a huddle room as a place for classmates to meet together in a comfortable setting so that they can plan or study. In any case, a huddle room is designed to be less formal and more comfortable than a traditional meeting room. 

Alongside huddle rooms exist huddle spaces. These are even less formal than huddle rooms and can be found anywhere in an office. They could exist in the space between offices or in an outdoor garden area, which also provides the benefits of working outside

What Makes a Huddle Room a Huddle Room? 

When setting up your own huddle room, it is important to know what makes it a huddle room. That way, you can create the room with this goal in mind. 

The key features of a huddle room or a huddle space are: 

  • Small size: A huddle room should be relatively small to create a sense of intimacy. In a large room, people naturally gravitate away from each other, while a small room brings people together. A smaller room also prevents the discussions in the room from being overwhelmed by a large number of people, as most huddle rooms are only built to accommodate between 2 and 5 people
  • Informality: Huddle rooms should be informal and accommodate the natural flow of people in and out of the space. A huddle room shouldn’t have a scheduling system that forces people to sign up in advance to use the room. It also shouldn’t have the sterile nature of a standard conference room. Instead, a good huddle room should simply be a comfortable space where people can meet when it works for them. 
  • Versatility: Huddle rooms need to accommodate all kinds of needs and all kinds of thought processes. Sometimes, groups work best when brainstorming ideas on a whiteboard. Other times, groups work best when connecting their laptops and sharing their screens on a projector. Even the type of seats people like to use differ, which the huddle room should take note of. 
Chairs and a table in a small comfortable space

Setting up a Huddle Room

Setting up a huddle room will vary depending on the room itself. The rooms can vary from being very basic to being extremely elaborate. 

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Basic Huddle Rooms

At their most basic, huddle rooms are minimalist and contain only a few things. However, even these basic huddle rooms still have to have a few features. 

The most basic feature is a place to sit. Most huddle rooms will have four comfortable chairs positioned around a table. This allows people to come to the table and sit with their laptops or notes in front of them. 

Other huddle rooms will change this up to make the room more comfortable. These will include two couches on either side of a coffee table or a couch flanked by two chairs that also surround a coffee table. With this setup, people can still keep their laptops and notes in front of them, but the setup is more geared toward discussion than working with these items. 

Many basic huddle rooms will also include a whiteboard. Here, some thoughts or ideas can be drawn up to share with the group as a whole. 

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Mid-Range Huddle Rooms

Most mid-range huddle rooms are structured similar to basic huddle rooms. The seating arrangements will still be similar, with a few places to sit and a table to sit around. However, mid-range rooms will incorporate additional features into the mix. 

The most common choice here is a TV or projector that allows people in the room to stream their devices to the screen. This allows for a more interactive approach to informal meetings. If someone in the group finds a video that perfectly explains an idea the group is struggling with, they don’t have to have everyone crowd around their phone to show it. Instead, they can stream the video straight to the screen. 

On top of this, whiteboards may be ditched in favor of smart boards. These allow for technology to be incorporated alongside a traditional approach. Plus, since smart boards function through projectors, they can still accomplish the work of a general screen. 

Some other features in rooms like these will include advanced audio/visual equipment. Speakers in the room could be used to stream music that the group likes and, thus, will put them in the mood for brainstorming. In addition, a microphone could allow one person in the group to present their ideas in a way that allows everyone there to hear them. 

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High-End Huddle Rooms

Once again, the basic structure of a high-end huddle room is similar to lower levels. They will often be a little larger and may accommodate a few more people, but they shouldn’t be so large as to go against the basic idea of an intimate idea room. 

Many high-end rooms will incorporate technologies directly into the room itself. The room may have tables that allow for direct control of the screen, or the screen may be touchscreen. The screen in the room may even have conferencing software built into it, so that meeting equity is more possible. 

Some high-end rooms even record the results of each brainstorming session so they can be accessed later. Ideas on a whiteboard are usually wiped away at the end of the day or when a new group comes in. However, ideas drawn on tables or computers permanently positioned in the room can be accessed whenever. Some rooms will even have recording devices so that room participants can look back on the audio or video from their session to pull out specific thoughts or ideas. 

A man writing on a smartboard

Setting Up An Effective Huddle Room

Setting up an effective huddle room requires deciding how complex the room will be. From there, it simply requires putting in a few pieces of furniture and a few pieces of tech. Before you know it, organic meetings will be taking place within the room. 

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Last Updated on June 8, 2023 by Josh Mahan

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