Despite the onslaught of "mobile" technology, people are spending more time sitting at their desk than ever before. The average worker sits about 9.5 hours a day - which is 2 hours more per day than they sleep.
What keeps us tethered to our desks? Our insatiable thirst for increased productivity and efficiency. Ironically, one of the things that makes us most effective is leaving our desks.
It's well-known that Steve Jobs insisted on walking meetings, and Mark Zuckerberg favors them as well.
Here are 7 reasons you want to consider incorporating moving meetings into your culture:
- Employee Health.
Walking meetings allow employees to integrate physical activity throughout their workday, which yields improved health, lower health care costs, and a lower number of sick days.
Higher Employee Energy
Movement yields circulation; circulation yields energy. Rather than reach for the candy bowl to get a boost of energy, take a walk outside.
Nature and changes of scenery trigger new neuro-pathways in our brains which yield new ideas, and new solutions to problems.
A Flatter Organization.
Technology executive Nilofer Merchant shares in her 3-minute TED Talk that when executives and employees walk side-by-side, the hierarchical boundaries are virtually eliminated.
Walking meetings aren't just for a few people. Larger groups can benefit as well. Unlike traditional meetings in a conference room, where attendees take a seat and often don't move until the meeting is over, mobile meetings give attendees the option of moving freely from one conversation to another.
Stronger Personal Connections.
Walking meetings take the corporate feeling out of meetings. Employees can accomplish the same goals set for a traditional meeting, but they can relate on a much more personal level.
Walking meetings bring everyone together. As companies continue to employee 5 different generations of workers, and as diversity increases in the workforce, walking meetings break down both conscious and unconscious biases and barriers.
Integrating Walking Meetings Into Your Culture
Despite the benefits, some employees may not embrace the idea of walking meetings. And of course, not every meeting will be appropriate for a walking meeting.
Meetings that require brainstorming and documenting of ideas, and meetings that require video or audio connectivity with other members, clearly don't qualify. However, for those meetings that may make sense, follow these tips for maximum effectiveness:
- Inform the meeting participants in advance that the meeting will be active.
- Check the weather forecast, and plan accordingly.
- Be sure to not schedule any other meetings that require traditional business attire - for any of the attendees - unless people are prepared to bring a change of clothes.
- The best time for a walking meeting is right before lunch to address the mid-morning slump, or late afternoon to inject a burst of energy.
- Have healthy carbs on hand at the office, rather than sugary snacks.
- Stock the fridge with water for proper hydration.
- Be mindful of the seasonal needs. Keep sunscreen on hand for all employees.
Do you already incorporate walking meetings into your culture? Please share how they have impacted your organization.