Technology is not only changing how we work but where we work. In the age of anytime, anywhere connectivity, one of the hottest trends in workspace design is the development of “huddle rooms” outfitted with unified communications (UC) technology to enable small, informal meetings and rapid collaboration.

Huddle rooms are small conference areas that typically accommodate four to six people. They are meant to provide a private, efficient environment for impromptu meetings, discussions, brainstorming and problem-solving sessions. Wainhouse Research reports that there are already some 50 million huddle rooms worldwide and that 66 percent of organizations are planning to create more of these rooms in the near term.

These rooms serve as an efficient alternative to the conventional conference room environment. Large conference rooms are typically meant for formal, structured meetings involving many people, and they usually must be scheduled with an administrator hours or days in advance. They are used infrequently and are rarely used to capacity — a study by office design experts at Herman Miller found that four out of five seats are empty in most meetings.

The strong rise in the number of remote workers is further reducing the need for large conference rooms. Mobile computing technologies allow today’s workforce to operate from multiple locations both in and outside of the office. UC platforms featuring high-quality audio, video and file-sharing capabilities enable collaboration that is more frequent, less structured and less formal than ever before.

Huddle rooms are also more cost-effective than conventional conference rooms. They make more efficient use of office real estate, and they don’t require the formal trappings. They won’t need fancy chairs and tables, special lighting, acoustic treatments or cable management systems. Most important, UC solutions provide all the required collaboration functionality without the price tag of room-based video conferencing systems.

Today’s UC solutions make it easy to connect and collaborate with colleagues, partners and customers with just a laptop, tablet or smartphone. Users can quickly establish real-time voice, video and data communications through a web browser without the need for additional applications, plugins or extensions.

IPC Technologies is helping our customers create effective huddle room spaces that utilize Mitel’s industry-leading UC solutions. When combined with MiTeam and MiCollab software, the Mitel platform brings robust collaboration and powerful productivity tools to desktops and mobile devices.

Mitel also offers flexible deployment options, with the ability to run solutions on premises or in a public, private or hybrid cloud environment. A key to Mitel’s capabilities is CloudLink, an enablement technology that connects premises-based platforms to the cloud, allowing customers to access to cloud communications and collaboration applications without abandoning their existing infrastructure. This makes it easier for organizations to shift much of the UC management burden to the cloud provider.

Changing workstyles can enable increased collaboration and productivity, provided that workers have the right tools at their disposal. Huddle rooms equipped with a Mitel unified communications platform allow teams to rapidly collaborate as needed, dispensing with the formality and expense of conventional meeting processes. Give us a call and let us demonstrate how to boost your efficiency with UC solutions that are cost-effective, easy to deploy and easy to use.