Walk and Talk – Meetings on the move.

Fed up with back-to-back meetings? Want more time to action the meeting points rather than discuss them? Take Action. Make your next meeting a “Walking Meeting”.

This is not a new practice. Below are just a few well-known companies where walking meetings are commonplace:

· Apple: Steve Jobs, the late founder of Apple, was famous for taking meetings on foot, especially when meeting people for the first time. 
· Facebook: Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook, is also known to enjoy walking meetings, particularly when interested in hiring someone. 
· Uber’s HQ in San Francisco has a 2ft wide walking track on its 4th floor where it is said, CEO Travis Kalanick walks 40 miles a week.
· Google’s ‘landscraper’ London HQ in King’s Cross, has on the roof a 200 m long ‘trim trail.’

Don’t sit at your desk all day.

Benefits of ‘walking meetings’ include:

  1. Reducing stress, back and neck pain
  2. Improving physical health
  3. Limiting sick days at work

When planning a walking meeting, be sure to let attendees know in advance. They might choose not to wear their new killer high heels. Think how to take notes; when planning a presentation, or looking at computer slides, it would be more practical for a sit-down meeting. However there are many times when the advantages of a walking meeting outweigh those of a sit-down meeting.

Louise Padmore is a co-founder of Work Well Being, which integrates wellbeing programmes and events in workplaces. She says: “Sitting at our desks for long periods of time results in stagnation, in body and mind,” and that “Taking time to move provides a fresh perspective.” Padmore advocates a 30-minute walk, as helping “anxiety, depression, and negative mood”. 

“When we take time to truly notice the environment around us, feeling the ground beneath our feet and hearing the sounds of the birds – or perhaps more likely the traffic – it takes us away from being with our own thoughts in our head and instead to a place of feeling more connected and present,” she says.

“By taking the meeting outdoors it shakes things up, injects fresh life to the group dynamic and brings everyone onto a level playing field where rules around who sits where and how a meeting should be conducted are disregarded,” says Padmore.

Crucially and of benefit to all parties (managers and attendees alike), Padmore says that, “Doing so gets you to the crux of the challenge or question you are debating faster.”

So what are you waiting for? Take Action today. Make your next meeting a shorter and more productive one. Make it a “Walking Meeting”.