- Walk and talks have health and productivity benefits.
- New tech now allows you to remotely host mobile meetings.
- But there are certain things to consider before you walk and talk.
And with more and more people stuck in online meetings than ever before, our anxiety levels are on the rise too.
One start-up thinks it’s found the answer (and I’m not talking about standing desks or stretching at your desk either) — a digital upgrade on the walk and talk. Called Spot, this app encourages people to host meetings on the move. There’s even a voice-activated assistant so you can take notes on the go and smart mute technology to block out any distracting background noise.
But are mobile meetings actually a good idea?
From Steve Jobs to Charles Darwin, some of the world’s greatest thinkers were fans, claiming walk and talks boosted their creativity. Further anecdotal evidence also suggests that you are more productive in a walking meeting, compared to a traditional sit-down meeting, and that they lead to more honest exchanges.
There’s plenty of science to back up these beliefs too — research reveals moving energises your brain and makes you a little bit smarter. New research also shows that people can become better connected when they’re walking side by side, in less than five minutes.
What’s more, walking is good for your health, helping you build stamina, burn calories and make your heart healthier.
Better focus, engagement, health and relationships with your co-workers? What’s not to love? Well, there are several factors to take into account before you start pounding the pavement.
#1 Don’t forget it’s still work
In other words, make sure you have a purpose and structure for your walk and talk. There’s still work to be done — whether you’re walking or sitting. So, you still need a standard agenda purpose and conclusion for your meeting.
#2 Know your route
Whether you only walk a couple of blocks or want to go further afield, it’s important to know your route before you set off. Also, if you opt for a digital walk-and-talk then you need to make sure you’re still aware of your surroundings and keep safe. You could use a set walking route, for example.
#3 Know your meeting
Some types of meeting lend themselves to a walk and talk. Brainstorming sessions or catch-ups with your co-workers are ideal for a mobile meeting. But you probably don’t want to be making an important presentation or talking about anything confidential when you’re wandering around.
#4 Limit size
It can be difficult to engage with a large group of people on a walk and talk (whether you opt for a physical or a digital meet-up). For larger meetings, standing could be another way to boost your productivity and get out of your chair.
#5 Let your co-workers know
You need to take the abilities and needs of your group before you opt for a walk and talk. Ask if the meeting participants are happy to have a mobile meet-up — and make sure the route is suitable for everyone.
If you’re online, then the same rules apply. For example, if you’re hosting a one-to-one and the other attendee wants to discuss something sensitive or confidential, then they may not want you walking around when they’re disclosing that information.
In summary, there are plenty of work and wellbeing reasons to step away from your desk and meet on the move. And you don’t have to choose a snazzy app either — you could (and this is revolutionary) use your smartphone to (wait for it) ring someone.
It’s a shocking idea, I know, using your phone as, well, a phone. But at a time when we’re all a bit sick of gazing at our own faces in a video window, it may be time to disconnect from our screens, pick up the phone and just talk.