How to Choose Tables and Chairs When You Are Designing or Updating a Huddle Room
As modern and hybrid offices look to add more collaborative spaces, huddle rooms are becoming increasingly popular. Businesses are figuring out how to best design and furnish their office spaces to include more collaborative meeting rooms. Scroll down below the furniture gallery to read our Guide to Huddle Rooms to learn more about those spaces.
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Huddle Room Design & Furniture Guide
Huddle rooms have become important fixtures in modern offices as the hybrid remote workforce continues to change the dynamic of how offices are designed and used. To meet the needs of hybrid work schedules, offices are looking for flexibility in office design and with furniture to accommodate the variability of the office population on a given day. One of the main reasons employees come into the office is to collaborate with coworkers. The huddle room is the perfect space to fulfill this need.
What is a huddle room?
A huddle is a shorter and less formal meeting. It is often more spontaneous and is meant to foster collaboration and communication among team members. An office huddle room is a meeting space designed to facilitate the need for huddling with coworkers. Huddle rooms are often on the smaller end of meeting room sizes and are typically equipped with basic conference-call technology as well as a table and chairs. They are designed to accommodate a small group of people for quick and impromptu discussions, brainstorming sessions, or collaborative work.
What is the difference between a meeting room and a huddle room?
Aside from size, what makes huddle rooms different is that they are easy alternatives to large conference rooms, which often require prior reservations or bookings. If you need a last-minute space to hold an unplanned working session, or a room for smaller scheduled meetings, a huddle room is the perfect solution. Huddle rooms tend to be more informal in design, furnished with small lounge chairs or other soft seating around a small conference table or several occasional tables. They also act as pop-up offices and space for visitors and auditors.
How big should a huddle room be?
Huddle rooms generally range on size between the size of a phone booth that holds 1-2 people and the size of the smallest conference room in the office. There is no rule that determines huddle room size, but they are usually smaller than 200 square feet. According to analysts at Frost & Sullivan, a huddle room should be approximately 100 to 150 square feet with a four-to-six-person capacity. A huddle room is a space-efficient choice for accommodating various purposes.
What is the purpose of a huddle room?
With flexible, collaborative spaces in high demand, offices must get more creative with meeting rooms. While traditional conference rooms are usually reserved and used for formal meetings, a huddle room is meant to be used for more impromptu needs. Open-office layouts in particular need huddle rooms so that employees can utilize them when they need privacy.
Huddle rooms are meant to be flexible and serve multiple purposes. For example:
- One-on-one meetings that do not require a larger conference room
- Virtual meeting with coworkers or colleagues who are not in the office
- A quiet place to concentrate if there are too many distractions elsewhere
- Small team or client meetings
- Phone calls, personal or professional
- Regular stand-up meetings for a small team
- Pop-up office
- Visitors or auditors
Huddle Room Design and Layout
Huddle room design has two major components: how the huddle room is designed and furnished and how the huddle room is integrated into the design and layout of the office.
How to include huddle rooms in an office layout
Make huddle rooms part of a broader collaboration strategy. Consider if several smaller huddle rooms instead of larger conference rooms would better suit the company’s needs.
Assess the office floorplan and place huddle rooms strategically in areas where they are easily accessible but still provide some level of privacy. Consider proximity to work areas and high-traffic zones. It is often better to have huddle rooms close to where people are working and walking to make the room more convenient to use.
Understand the business’ unique needs in terms of utilizing space. A common trade-off is the number of workstations vs. the number of meeting rooms: how much space is available for each. Today, modern offices are finding that they need fewer workstations and fewer large conference rooms but more meeting rooms or huddle rooms, largely because workers wish to collaborate on days when they are in the office. A solution for modern office design may be to convert an area that previously had workstations into space for huddle rooms. Sometimes small huddle rooms can be squeezed into areas that would otherwise be dead space.
How to design a huddle room
Huddle rooms are typically inexpensive to outfit and require minimal physical space. However, they are often packed with technology and tools for collaboration. While they may be simple, carefully designed huddle rooms are key components in transforming a smart office into a highly productive environment that encourages collaboration.
Huddle Room Furniture
The most important consideration in furnishing a huddle room is how the space will be used within the office. Will this be a room where employees go to share ideas and collaborate, or will it be space to meet with clients or coworkers one-on-one? How the room will be used influences furniture decisions such as the choice of a height-adjustable table, a counter-height collaboration table with counter-height stools, or a standard-height round or square table with chairs. The huddle room is a wonderful place to emphasize a company’s branding; for example, soft seating, such as beanbag chairs or ottomans, can display company colors. There are many options for exciting and productive huddle rooms.
Huddle Room Tables
When you are selecting a huddle room table, it is important to consider the size of the room, the number of users, the expected type of collaboration, and the overall aesthetic of the space. Huddle room tables come in various shapes and styles to accommodate different preferences and functional needs. Here are some common of huddle room table types:
Round Tables: Circular tables are popular in huddle rooms because they promote a collaborative atmosphere. Round tables facilitate face-to-face communication and are suitable for small-group discussions.
Rectangular Tables: Rectangular tables can be versatile and accommodate different room shapes. They are often used in longer, narrow huddle rooms and can be arranged to optimize space.
Square Tables: Square tables are compact and work well in smaller huddle rooms. They are often chosen for their simplicity and efficiency in terms of arranging seating for a small group.
Modular Tables: Modular tables consist of individual components that can be rearranged to create different configurations. This flexibility is useful in adapting a table layout for different meeting requirements.
Adjustable-Height Tables: A table with adjustable height allow users to customize the table to their preferred level. This feature accommodates various working preferences and can be particularly useful for standing meetings.
Nested or Folding Tables: These tables can be folded or nested together, making them easy to store when they are not in use. They are practical for huddle rooms with limited space or for multipurpose areas.
High-Top Tables: High-top or bar-height tables create a casual and relaxed setting. They are suitable for quick stand-up meetings or can be an alternative to traditional seated arrangements.
D-Shape Tables: Off the wall D-shape or peninsula-shape tables may best suit small conference needs.
Huddle Room Chairs
When you are selecting huddle room chairs, consider comfort, quality, fit, and price. Huddle chairs are often used by many people, so they should be adjustable in terms of seat height and tilt tension. When you are selecting chairs for a huddle room, be sure to consider how they will fit at the table. For example, if you use a high-top table in a huddle room, you will need higher chairs that match the table height.
See our large selection of conference room chairs or contact us for help making a selection that best suits your needs.