It’s a sad truth that many of us find ourselves chained to our desks most of the workday. Especially in a small business, when the work never seems to end. It can be physically — and mentally — numbing to stay sedentary all day, not to mention unhealthy.
That’s why we loved hearing recently about the growing trend of walking meetings. We first read about the concept in a blog post by Nilofer Merchant for the Harvard Business Review. She described how she combats the negative health effects of extended sitting by hosting meetings on the move. She literally walks and talks with her colleagues, and manages to clock 20 to 30 miles every week this way.
Other media outlets, like NPR, picked up on the story. Clearly it struck a chord. And why not, with benefits like a healthier body, a clearer mind and, as Merchant points out, better collaboration?
Another reason we like the idea of walking meetings is that they give people a different way to work. We don’t have to be desk-bound. It’s similar to why people use Skype for business: you can connect, and work, even if you’re on the move.
If you’re thinking of giving walking meetings a shot, try these tips to get started:
- Plot out a few walking loops near (or around) the office that you can complete in 15, 30 or 60 minutes, or however long your meetings last. That will help you avoid aimless wandering and/or meandering too far from your home base.
- Plan indoor walking options for bad weather, perhaps around your building or even in a local mall. If you’re ambitious, include stairs in your routes.
- Give your meeting partners plenty of warning that you plan to get moving. Let them know where you’ll be going so they know what to wear and what to bring. Pick routes appropriate for their fitness levels.
- If your meeting includes a remote colleague, download the Skype app on your mobile device and take it to go.
- Keep comfortable walking shoes and a water bottle right at your desk. You’ll never back out of a walking meeting because of your cramped work shoes or lack of hydration.
- Set goals. Commit to a certain number of walking meetings (or a minimum number of miles) each week, and make sure you follow through.
Have you ever tried walking meetings? Tell us about it in the comments, below.