Recently, I’ve talked with several leaders about how to encourage walking meetings at work.
There is no one “right way” to take your work for a walk, but to get started in your organization, consider these guidelines:
Motivation. Research affirms walking meeting benefits: People are energized, group interactions shift (positively), problems are solved, calories are burned, and creative ideas are born. Walking is good for mind, body, spirit, and your business!
Location. Choose a quiet, safe, familiar, and distraction-free environment. Make sure your path is “walking friendly” for everyone involved.
Intention. Plan your walking meeting agenda mindfully. Focus on identifying one, specific “next step” in a project by the conclusion of your walk, or try narrowing several possibilities to the “top three.”
Participants. Start small, inviting one colleague to a walking meeting. Experiment with up to six people, walking with partners, or three abreast, to ensure everyone is heard and feels included.
Results. Capture ideas while walking, using a small notepad, smartphone or other portable device. Before the walk, assign responsibility for distributing follow-up/action plans after the meeting.
Comfort. Consider participants’ fitness level, preparation (including appropriate clothing), and potential obstacles, including skepticism or anxiety. Walking meetings bring out the best in some folks, but they are not for everyone. Ideally, they should be proposed as a positive, relaxed option to traditional meetings.