Huddle spaces and huddle rooms are an excellent innovation in modern open office design, adding flexible spaces for quick team meetings and brainstorming sessions away from the individual workstations (and the non-team-members nearby).
However, these highly functional spaces are often designed without taking into account visual and acoustic privacy concerns. In Huddle Spaces (small side rooms that are not fully enclosed), participants can be distracted visually and acoustically by conversations and coworkers immediately outside the huddle space. Sound also builds up in these small spaces, magnifying the noise and adding stress to those both in and outside the huddle space as well as distracting those working nearby. Even fully-enclosed spaces run into problems, as the sound builds up such small rooms, becoming a stressful distraction in itself.
In any space, there are three “tools” to improve visual and acoustic privacy, commonly known as the ABCs:
Absorb – using acoustic panels or dividers can absorb distracting sounds as well as cut down on visual distractions.
Block – installing partitions can reduce both acoustic and visual distractions.
Cover – adding a source of unstructured, low-level background sound with a modern, adaptive sound masking system can cover distracting noise and increase speech privacy.
In addition to acoustic panels, the intelligent VoiceArrest™ sound masking system can keep conversations in Huddle Spaces and Rooms private, and also help participants focus on the team meeting in the room rather than getting distracted by conversations outside the room!