Many surveys have proven people are spending too much time sitting at their desks. Isn’t mobile technology supposed to help us work on the move, walk more often and create a work-life balance?
Mobile technology has backfired. The average office worker sits for about 9.5 hours a day – which is 2 hours more per day than they sleep.
What keeps us tethered to our desks is an insatiable thirst for increased productivity and efficiency. Ironically, one of the things that make our brains work more effectively walking and talking.
It’s well-known that Steve Jobs insisted on walking meetings. Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey favour them as well.
Walking Meetings Produce Positive Benefits In The Workplace
From a neurochemical perspective, it’s proven that our brains are more relaxed during walks due to the release of certain chemicals. This aids the executive function helps us to focus on tasks more effectively and deal with challenges efficiently.
Walking meetings lead to better employee engagement by breaking down barriers between supervisor and coworkers. The bonding achieved through walking meetings were compared to the bonding that can be experienced when coworkers travel together on business trips.
David Haimes, a senior director of product development at Oracle puts this down to people feeling more like peers when they walk side-by-side. Sitting around a meeting table, on the other hand, requires someone to chair the meeting and establishes a hierarchy.
Walking Meetings Are More Productive
Walking meetings are also more productive if they enable participants to escape the hubbub of a busy office. Open space meeting areas and even meeting booths can throw up distractions.
If you need to take notes, use the voice assistant on your smartphone.
Getting outdoors instead of staying indoors, proved to be conducive to the creative process.
Reasons To Give Walking Meetings a Try
Let’s look at some of the benefits of switching sit-down meetings to walk and talk sessions:
Aids Health and Well-being
Walking meetings allow employees to integrate physical activity throughout their workday which results in 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 solutions to problems.
A Flatter Organization
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 and erase the generation gap. As diversity increases in the workforce, walking meetings break down both conscious and unconscious biases and barriers.
How To Do Walking Meetings Right?
People who started practising walking meetings soon realised the benefits. Researchers also found that walking fostered creative thinking.
A study of the benefits associated with walking surveyed a population of approximately 150 working adults about their walking meeting and work habits.
Results showed that those who participate in walking meetings are 5.25% more likely to report being creative at their jobs than those who do not.
Additionally, the responses suggest that walking meetings support cognitive engagement, or focus, on the job. Those who participate in walking meetings are 8.5% more likely to report high levels of engagement.
A cost-benefit analysis associated with regularly participating in walking meetings is next to nil. Keep in mind that walking meetings are not breaks from work. They are meetings that would have taken place anyway.
Announce A Walking Meeting (Accordingly)
Do not surprise colleagues or clients with walking meetings. It’s fine to suggest a walk if it seems appropriate in the moment, as long as it’s clear that you’ll be fine with a “maybe next time.”
But if you’re planning ahead to spend your time with someone in a walking meeting, it’s better to notify them in advance. This allows them to arrive dressed for comfort, perhaps having changed shoes. You might also keep water bottles on hand to offer on warm days.
A maximum of three people for a walking meeting is recommended.
Make It A Fun Walk
Enjoy the experience of combining work with a bit of exercise and fresh air. Perhaps this is the one piece of advice that doesn’t need to be given. Data show those who participate in walking meetings are more satisfied with their jobs than their colleagues who don’t.
Walking is key to good health whereas sitting has been linked with a host of health-related problems. For the health and wellbeing of everyone in your office, it makes sense to encourage walking and talking.
And don’t forget to download the Sweatcoin app. During your walking meeting, you can top up your daily step count which can be converted to a digital currency in return for huge discounts on merchandise.