Nobody wants to walk into the office on their first day to find a sea of cubicles under fluorescent lights. Thankfully, in recent years, many businesses have taken a hard look at how they can optimize the office space to improve collaboration, increase productivity and attract top talent. And for good reasons, the hottest trend in the market today is the open office which provides a warm, friendly and collaborative environment, but it has come at a cost.

Building an open office floor plan requires you to remove barriers, like cubicles and meeting rooms, to create a more natural environment, but this trend comes at a time when collaboration with distributed teams is on the rise and employees need a space to collaborate with their team.

The Need for Huddle Spaces

I recently watched the “Bringing Video Conferencing to the Huddle Space” webinar where Robin Gareiss, President at Nemertes Research, delved into the growing need for huddle spaces in the office.

With the rise of the open office, employees are demanding more access to meeting spaces. In fact, employee demand is the #1 factor driving increased meeting space deployments. Since the once abundant meeting room is now scarce, collaborating with distributed teams has become increasingly difficult. Even if a group of employees finds a meeting room, knowing if there’s already a meeting scheduled in the room or for how long the it’s available for is often unknown. These factors are barriers to the collaboration efforts these organizations are trying to facilitate with the open office plan.

Enter the Huddle Space

The huddle space is an ideal solution that addresses these challenges. They’re compact and designed for collaboration efforts with 5 or fewer people in a space. They include a high-quality conferencing device that allows people to easily connect with distributed teams. And they are often incorporated right into the open floor plan design — perfect for removing psychical barriers while still providing the collaboration space that teams need.

With a huddle space, employees can simply get together, head to the open table and easily connect to their meeting.

Why Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Huddle Spaces is Key

Understanding the use of meeting rooms and huddle spaces is a key requirement for all organizations. Nemertes found that 16% of organizations over-provision huddle spaces and 19% under provisioned. That means these organizations are either wasting money or they aren’t adequately supporting their employees — both come at a cost to the business. AI features like face detection, people count, and advanced analytics can give these organizations the data they need to provision the right number of meeting spaces to adequately meet demand. In addition, having a video conferencing system that can give employees insights into the room or space itself is valuable. These devices should be able to tell employees if the room is booked or how long it’s available and even allow them to book the room or space on the spot.

Next Steps

If you’re looking to improve employee collaboration and productivity, you need the right tools in the place to achieve it. Huddles spaces with high quality video conferencing devices is the best way to meet the needs of employees while maintaining an open and collaborative work environment. To learn more about how to provision huddle spaces and the total cost of ownership, you can read the “Bringing Video Conferencing to the Huddle Space” Nemertes report and learn more about how you can get start with Huddle Space Solutions from Cisco.


Derek Stevens

Product Marketing Manager

Cisco Webex