One of the greatest assets to modern business is the group meeting. Regardless of business size, specialty or composition, the ability to bring together the ideas of a variety of members and to collaborate on projects, plans and projections is valuable to the forward movement of any corporate entity. This human touch is what keeps the good or service being provided focused on the needs of the people who are ultimately served by the company.
Traditionally, business meetings have been scheduled events, planned in advance with accommodations made beforehand. While this approach is still often utilized today, there is another type of office gathering that has been shown to save employers valuable time as well as money and resources, and is often just as effective if not more so than the typical, calendar meeting. These small, less formal meet-ups are known as “huddle meetings”.
What is a Huddle?
Simply put, this type of collaborative gathering is one that is held in a less rigid environment and on a more flexible timeline than traditional conferences. While the usual business forum requires reserved space, materials and time, huddles are typically held in a room set aside for or equipped exactly for the purpose of impromptu gatherings. According to AVI, these rooms typically hold an array of technological and mechanical tools – as well as office supplies – that facilitate productive meetings. Some of these may include:
- One or more tables in a central location, as well as benches or chairs. By creating a recognizable work space, an atmosphere of communication and collaboration can be achieved.
- Presentation space, including a space for displaying any necessary charts, graphs or other tangible aids.
- Visual display equipment, such as a television or large computer screen. Today’s screens are usually thin and flat, and can be mounted on a wall to save space in the room for other tools.
- Audio equipment, used for playing accompanying audio during presentations, reviewing relevant footage, or for live broadcasts or streams.
- Camera and microphone equipment, often a combination of both, in order to allow communication and even cooperation with persons not able to be physically present during the meetings.
In smaller businesses or those with limited resources, these designated rooms are often integrated into spaces with multiple purposes, allowing for smooth transition into a conference location when the need arises, without allowing the area to go unused for the remainder of the work week. In doing this, companies can maximize the space already available to them, and introduce an environment that is conducive to idea creation, sharing and teamwork.
Digitizing the Small Group Session
Traditional huddle meetings offer the opportunity for a limited number of persons to join and contribute to the project at once. Even with the addition of regular audiovisual technology, it can be difficult to integrate outside entities into the fold. This has given rise to the creation of specialized programs, like BlueJeans huddle video.
Like their physical counterparts, huddle video digital conference rooms are created with person-to-person interaction in mind. In addition to allowing remote attendance, group video conferencing software also frees up valuable resources that might otherwise be necessary. Everything necessary for collaboration, notation and learning are available within the digital space, so contributors can meet from nearly any location and at any time. This flexibility gives new meaning to the phrase “taking work with you”!
Unlike the business software of the previous decade, today’s programs are fully interactive, with tools integrated into simple, one-touch interfaces and available via mobile apps and computer applications that do not require specialized equipment. If an employer is in their personal office, they can check in with up to a hundred remote contacts – or as few as one outside entity – and conduct assemblies of any style without preparation and without concerns about incompatible technology. Most importantly, these types of virtual gatherings save not only on time spent out of the office or away from home, they also save the cost of travel and provision of printed or manufactured resources for attendees.
Despite a working world that is increasingly global, fewer employees have to leave their home states and countries for work than ever before. With the use of video communication, it’s no longer necessary to fly across the globe to meet with other corporate entities; productive get-together can be had from the comfort of the office chair or even a local coffee shop.
Still, perhaps one of the best uses of the medium is right inside the workplace itself. Using the techniques of the team huddle – detailed by Inc. magazine as being one of the most effective intraoffice interaction styles – video technology can be utilized to create even less invasion to the work day, all while giving employees valuable information for daily assignments, major projects and everything in between. With modern virtual conference software, there are no limits to collaboration, save for the imaginations of the teams involved.