Remote communication

What Are Huddle Rooms? And Why Your Team Needs Them

Published on November 9, 2021 • Updated on April 24, 2024 • About 8 min. read

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Traditional conference rooms were once the go-to for meetings and collaboration, but this formal work environment is a thing of the past. Huddle rooms are all the rage now — designed for small group collaborations, focusing on flexibility, innovation, and hybrid teamwork.

In this article, we'll look at the benefits of huddle rooms, both in-person and virtual. We'll discuss must-have features for each type and tips to make the most of them.


Download Livestorm's virtual meeting kit to host efficient virtual meetings using our meeting preparation checklist, agenda and minutes templates.

What’s a huddle room?

A huddle room is a smaller meeting room designed for short in-person catch-ups, instant stand-ups, ad hoc meetings, brainstorming sessions, and impromptu meetings. It’s ideal for 2 to 4 people. It also has the flexibility for hybrid meetings when equipped with audio and video capabilities. So, your remote employees can participate in last-minute, unplanned discussions.

What are the benefits of huddle rooms?

Asynchronous communication, like emails, can lack the immediacy of face-to-face conversations. Grabbing a quick chat in a huddle room helps create a unified team spirit, fosters better relationships, and inspires creative collaboration. Here's how:

  1. Boosts collaboration
  2. Gives space for more spontaneous, informal meetings
  3. Helps keep meetings short and focused

1. Boosts collaboration

The informal setup of a huddle room, like whiteboards and the ability to bring your own device (BYOD), helps creative juices flow. For remote teams, virtual huddle rooms also come well-equipped with video conferencing and audio-sharing options that enable screen-sharing and media file sharing for engaging online meetings.

2. Gives space for more spontaneous, informal meetings

Unlike the formal atmosphere of traditional conference rooms and executive boardrooms, huddle rooms are smaller, comfortable collaboration spaces. They encourage casual conversations that generate new ideas and spur team collaboration without employees feeling overwhelmed by large meetings.

3. Helps keep meetings short and focused

Huddle rooms are designed for short meetings. So, you need agendas and action items that focus only on the most critical or urgent updates. This helps keep your team members on the same page and encourages thoughtful, meaningful conversations instead of long-winded discussions leading nowhere.


Download Livestorm's virtual meeting kit to host efficient virtual meetings using our meeting preparation checklist, agenda and minutes templates.

What features does your huddle space need?

Whether you’re setting up a physical or virtual workspace, it's all about the '3 E’s' — easy to use, efficient and effective. To ensure this, your huddle spaces need the following features:

What are some in-person huddle room must-haves?

In-person huddle rooms should be equipped with the right technology to support quick catch-ups, collaboration, and presentations. Here are important features to consider:

  • Meeting space for 2 to 4 people
  • Corporate communication software like large monitor walls with conferencing systems including cameras and microphones
  • BYOD functionality for quick, wireless presentations
  • Whiteboard walls for brainstorming, workflows and sketching ideas
  • A white noise machine to block out distractions

What are some virtual huddle room must-haves?

Virtual huddle rooms need features like:

  • Automatic recording and instant replays for on-demand viewing
  • Whiteboard and screen sharing capabilities that let participants draw and share ideas in real-time
  • Secure and encrypted audio and video streaming to make sure conversations are private
  • Integration with popular productivity tools like Google Calendar and Slack

Try Livestorm's huddle rooms

Livestorm's built-in huddle rooms help you engage your team

How to use huddle rooms for better virtual meetings

Getting the most out of huddle rooms involves more than just having the right technology. You can also:

  1. Create a regular huddle space
  2. Use breakout rooms
  3. Establish huddle room etiquette
  4. Press record
  5. Stay focused on one topic at a time
  6. Use a timer
  7. Brainstorm with a digital whiteboard
  8. Use live polls to guide the discussion
  9. Use the “raise a hand” feature

We’ll cover these in detail below.

1. Create a regular huddle space

While using huddle rooms doesn't require advance notice, reserving a regular meeting area every week or two can keep teams connected, especially remote workers. You can schedule:

  • Manager office hours
  • Stand-up meetings
  • Weekly team check-ins
  • Project reviews

Sending meeting invites ahead of time ensures that participants are prepared with agenda topics, questions, and ideas. If you’re using an online meeting software like Livestorm, you can easily schedule email reminders and integrate with scheduling apps like Calendly – to sync with individual calendars.

2. Use breakout rooms

Breakouts let you split large groups into small meeting rooms to allow more focused collaboration. Often larger meetings like all-hands include groups from multiple departments and follow a strict team meeting agenda. After an all-hands, individual departments may want to use breakout rooms as quick huddle spaces for debriefings and more in-depth conversations on changes that affect them.

Pro tip: In breakout rooms hosted on Livestorm you can add up to 16 simultaneous speakers, create as many breakout rooms as you need, and assign attendees manually or automatically.

Virtual meeting participants from a  remote team being added to a breakout room on Livestorm

3. Establish huddle room etiquette

Virtual meetings can easily become chaotic and unproductive when participants talk over each other or fail to stay on topic. Establishing virtual meeting best practices can help your team stay focused and on the same page. Here are a few tips:

  • Have a designated meeting leader
  • Keep conversations organized by using agendas, timelines, and task lists
  • Establish a communication channel to share meeting notes, tasks, and updates
  • Encourage active listening
  • Generate a positive atmosphere with jokes, witty comments, and lighthearted discussions

Your team should leave the virtual huddle room feeling energized, inspired, and motivated. You can also take advantage of Livestorm's Transcript app – to record every word spoken in real-time and generate automatic meeting summaries.

A remote team using Livestorm’s transcription app to generate meeting summaries

4. Press record

Many video conferencing solutions come with the capability to record and store your meetings. That way, you can reflect on key moments and share important conversations with colleagues who couldn't make it. Keeping a recording of your virtual meetings also helps hold everyone accountable and improves internal transparency.

Livestorm, for example, can be set to automatically record every live event, including any shared screens, whiteboards, or polls in the meeting. With the instant replay feature, you can check the recording within minutes of streaming. You can also download the recordings onto your computer and share them with colleagues via email or internal messaging systems.

5. Stay focused on one topic at a time

Although virtual huddle spaces may seem more casual than regular meetings, they can still be productive. You can ensure this by:

  • Setting clear agenda objectives
  • Sticking to the schedule
  • Ensuring everyone has an opportunity to weigh in
  • Creating a game plan for the next steps

If other topics arise during the conversation, you can jot them down in a shared document so they can be covered in the remaining time or the next meeting. This helps everyone to stay focused on the original objectives and get through the agenda without diversion.

6. Use a timer

You may need to move quickly from one item to the next or keep your discussions brief during a last-minute, unplanned huddle. To ensure everyone stays on track, you can set a timer for each agenda block and allow each participant to contribute.

For example, a stand-up meeting ideally lasts no longer than 15 minutes. You can give each attendee a few minutes to cover their updates quickly. Similarly, for an all-hands meeting that lasts up to an hour, you can allocate each department a time block to share their updates.

7. Brainstorm with a digital whiteboard

Visualizing illustrations, sketches, and ideas can make it easier for participants to express their thoughts. With a digital whiteboard in your virtual huddle room, you can quickly capture notes, brainstorm on the go, and stay organized.

Livestorm integrates with the popular digital whiteboard, Miro. Remote participants can collaborate in real-time when you embed Miro directly into your live meeting. It allows you to upload images, annotate in real-time, implement design thinking with digital sticky notes, and save the updated version.

A Miro Whiteboard in a Livestorm virtual meeting

8. Use live polls to guide the discussion

Get your team involved to beat meeting fatigue with interactive polls and quizzes. For example, you can use polls to get project status updates or check team morale in your daily stand-ups.

And if you're hosting virtual meetings with Livestorm, it's easy to do this with our built-in features. You can use Q&As and question upvoting or choose between multiple-choice polls and open-ended questions in live chats to direct the conversation and gather more insights.

A meeting host using Livestorm’s upvoting tool to prioritize participants’ questions in real-time

9. Use the “raise a hand” feature

Giving everyone a chance to talk can be challenging, especially when you're running last-minute unplanned huddles. To ensure everyone has a say in the conversation, video conferencing tools like Livestorm offer a “raise a hand” feature to identify who wants to contribute.

When participants press the “raise a hand” button, the host will be notified and can decide who to bring into the conversation. This allows you to keep everyone engaged and eliminates the need for them to request attention verbally.

Create the perfect huddle room for your virtual team with Livestorm

A huddle room creates an environment that stimulates creative thinking and is designed to promote collaboration. Here's a recap of how you can get more out of your virtual huddles:

  • Brainstorm with digital whiteboards
  • Use breakout rooms to create huddles spaces within larger meetings
  • Use live polls to guide the conversation
  • Ask attendees to “raise a hand” rather than talk over each other
  • Use a timer to keep conversations brief and on-topic

And if you're using Livestorm, you can use it to create a virtual huddle space with browser-based access so your team can hop in and out easily. Plus, You get a list of popular tools, including Miro whiteboard, Calendly, Slack, and HubSpot, that integrate with Livestorm to make your meetings more productive. Happy Huddling!

Frequently asked questions about huddle rooms

What are huddle spaces used for?

Huddle spaces are used for holding private and small group meetings, usually between 2 to 4 people. These can also be used to hold hybrid team meetings where some people are physically in the huddle room while others join remotely.

What’s the difference between a meeting room and a conference room?

The difference between a meeting room and a conference room is the size. Meeting rooms are usually smaller and can be used to host more informal meetings. A conference room should have space to host a larger audience and audio and visual technology like a microphone and a screen to share a slide deck.

How do you set up a huddle?

To set up a huddle, you’ll need to invite attendees through email or the corporate chat. If you’re hosting an in-person huddle, you can either reserve a room in advance or look for one more spontaneously before the meeting begins.

If you’re hosting a virtual huddle, you can send the meeting link to the assistants via corporate chat or email. Be sure to use a browser-based platform like Livestorm that participants can access easily without downloading an app or making an account.