Some users find large videoconferencing rooms a bit intimidating. These rooms may feature sophisticated displays and powerful cameras but may not be simple of use. Frequently, if users only need to have a one-on-one session rather than a larger meeting, they’ll opt to make a phone call from their desk instead.

This stage fright is just one reason we’re seeing a shift away from large, expensive conference rooms toward smaller, more intimate spaces where employees and executives can collaborate more comfortably. These smaller rooms, commonly called “huddle spaces,” currently account for only around 8 percent of video meetings, but that number is expected to increase to nearly 70 percent by 2022.

Here are three reasons organizations are opting for huddle spaces.

Support for Remote Workers

One organization I work with is taking office space from former onsite workers and converting it into huddle spaces. This is a win-win situation. Not only are the remaining onsite employees able to make more productive use of the space, but remote workers now have a better way to collaborate with their colleagues back at the office. Remote work has increased dramatically as advances in technology have made the model more practical, with more than half of employees now working from home at least once a week, according to some estimates. This trend is likely to continue as organizations increase their investments in — and users become more accustomed to — video collaboration solutions.

Providing a Better Experience Than Laptops

“Wait,” you might be thinking. “You may not need a conference room for a small video collaboration session, but why don’t onsite employees just use the microphones and cameras on their computers, along with their preferred meeting platform?”

First of all, some companies do not issue laptops to their employees, and instead rely on other devices or virtual desktop infrastructure. In addition, a laptop isn’t necessarily the best solution for enabling a small group video meeting.

In a pinch, a laptop and some headphones can work for a one-on-one video meeting. But when there are two or three people on one end of a video call, a laptop camera typically can’t pick everybody up, and the sound quality suffers dramatically. By contrast, some cameras designed for huddle spaces capture a 120-degree horizontal field of view compared to the narrower view of a laptop camera. Also, the larger, high-resolution displays of huddle spaces allow participants to better capture nonverbal cues, and professional-quality microphones and speakers help to minimize misunderstandings and improve the overall experience.

Delivering a Better ROI

For the cost of a typical conference room, organizations can potentially build out as many as three huddle spaces. For many organizations, those three spaces are going to yield a much higher ROI than a single larger conference room. Think about how often you and 20 of your colleagues from the same office all need to be on the same call. In many companies, this situation rarely arises. Now, think of how many times you’ve been in a two-person or three-person video meeting just this week.

Smaller huddle spaces are likely to get used much more often than larger conference rooms. Because organizations can afford to build out several of them, teams can continue to collaborate productively — even if one of the rooms is booked.

Want to learn more about solutions and services that improve collaboration at your organization? Visit CDW.com/collaboration.

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