The Benefits of Walking Meetings

The Benefits of Walking Meetings

A growing trend in the workplace, which is set to continue as we make our way into 2016, is the “Walking Meetings” or “walk and talk.”  A walking meeting is exactly what it sounds like. A meeting set outside where you walk and talk rather than the conventional sit down meetings in board rooms or coffee shops. Some of the business world’s most brightest innovators swear by it, such as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerburg. But how does a walking meeting differ from the board room, is it still professional and what  benefits derive from it? KennedyPearce takes a closer look at walking meetings:

Creativity Boosts

The first benefit is that you are moving! Recent research finds that the act of walking leads to increases in creative thinking. As you walk you fire up neurons in your brain, clear your mind and pave the way for creative thinking. A study carried out by Stanford found that a person’s creative output increased by up to 60% when walking compared to when a person is sitting down! A walk could be just what you and your colleagues need to get the ideas flowing.

Easy Exercise

According to the British Psychological Society the average office worker spends an astonishing 5.41 hours per day chained to their desk! So if nothing else at least a walking meeting will get you up out of your chair, your eyes a rest from the computer and some fresh air. A little bit of exercise will certainly do you and your staff some good. Just 30 minutes a day can potentially reduce the risk of developing debilitating conditions.

Fewer People

An advantage and disadvantage this one. Obviously because of the nature of walking meetings, less people will be able to attend. But this is also a positive. When you’re holding a walking meeting you will have to be more selective about who you invite. Groups up to four are manageable – and you could stretch to six if you’re going to walk to an outside location where you will be sitting down. With only the most relevant people present, you won’t be wasting unnecessary people’s time, you’ll be able to get down to the crux of the business subject matter, and hopefully your meeting will be faster and more productive.

Better atmosphere 

You’ll be out in the fresh air and hopefully leading way to a fresh perspective. You’ll be walking side by side, so less risk of awkward eye contact or feeling like all eyes are on you when you are talking. Therefore employees may find it is easier to voice opinions or tackle sensitive issues.

To be sure, not all meetings are suitable for walking meetings (and not everyone is physically able to participate in walking meetings). Sometimes you need materials like a whiteboard close at hand or to be face to face with someone for a negotiation. The best candidates for walking meetings are ones where colleagues are conferring on decisions or exploring possible solutions. So why not give it a go and try out walking meetings in 2016?

Do you feel the benefits of walking meetings? Tweet us your responses @kennedypearce



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