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Walk and talk – Make your meetings active


Walking and talking are both two activities which are second nature to us. We take part in them so regularly; we often forget how great they are. 

Most of us have probably spent some time walking on their daily commute or during their workday. Similarly, we will all spend time talking in our day, whether it’s our coworkers, friends, and family.

However, sometimes we can often neglect these two essential activities, as our lives can become so busy. Especially with this pandemic, many of us may have retreated to our screens or have preffered to stay at home. 

We need to get back out and start walking and talking again, whether on our own or with others as there are several benefits to our health and productivity.

To convince you further, we’ve created a list of benefits.

Benefits of Walking and Talking

We feel that walking and talking are both fantastic activities, but they’re even better combined. They, in particular, are even more amazing in the workplace. Here are some benefits:

1. Conduct Your Meetings While Walking

Yes, we’ve said it. Why don’t you take your office meeting from the boardroom to outside? Make it a productive one and walk. This is a fantastic way to get you active, especially when you spend all day in front of a desk or a computer. There’s nothing like the feeling of fresh air, and if you’re walking on a sunny day, a good exposure of Vitamin D.

2. Break down barriers between your employees or coworkers

Workplace tensions are not ideal to experience. We can all agree we’ve probably felt the pressure between our coworkers or employers before. If you take your work meeting outside, we can assure you that everyone will become relaxed naturally in that meeting. 

Walking is a natural exercise, and it allows you to soften up as well as your mood to be increased. Therefore, you may find that when walking and talking for a meeting, workplace tensions may be diminished, and your workforce may find it comfortable to be around others.

3. Could bring more creative ideas to your workplace

Just like running, when you’re walking, you gain a sense of clarity. As a result, you may find more creative and unique thoughts springing to your mind or your coworker’s minds. 

This way, when you take your meetings outside, the whole team may come up with more creative ways to solve problems or push the business forward as you’re continually keeping engaged instead of slumping in a chair for an extended period in the board room.

The next time you and your team are stuck on a problem or have an urgent deadline coming up, trying going out walking. You never know what could be achieved simply from walking and talking. 

4. Better Posture and Less Headaches

In the times of our ancestors, the homo sapiens, they spent very little time sitting down in the day. On the other hand, we humans do whether it is at our desks, at the dinner table, or the boardroom table. 

This is not a natural position for us, and a position we spend most of our day sat in it. In other words, it’s not healthy for our spines, our joints. When you’re out walking, it gets you moving and exposed to the world.

On a further note, for that specific duration of the walk and talk meeting, unless you’re self-employed, you’re away from your screen. Whether you use a smartphone, tablet, or computer, you will be significantly reducing your screen time. This means you will have less of a fuzzy head and headache from the prolonged use of your device’s screen.

5. Can improve office morale and make employees feel more connected

Walking and talking with your coworkers is a great way to connect. Especially when you don’t have time to communicate about your personal lives in the working day. It also serves as a safe activity to release any burdens related to work or provide any feedback.

As the exercise naturally makes you feel good, people may be able to understand, and calmy take feedback or listen to each other’s opinions better. Further to this, it can allow a more profound sense of connection between teams and enable them to return to the workplace in a better mood.

If you’re a business owner and your walking with your employees, they will feel more comfortable around you. Sometimes, you may be too busy to approach you or may feel nervous about approaching you. 

Walking and talking with your employees serves as an excellent way for them to open up to you. Who knows, if you imply this, employees may look forward to going to work or even enjoy meetings more?

6. A greater sense of communication

When you’re walking and talking, you’re not staring into a screen such as a computer, tablet, or smartphone. You don’t have time to pull them out of your pocket or bag, as you have to concentrate on what is in front of you. 

Because of this, your attention won’t be diverted to your digital device. You will be able to listen to other people’s thoughts more efficiently, allowing a deeper sense of communication. 

7. A cheaper way to conduct meetings

If you’re hosting a meeting, walking and talking could be a cheaper way to conduct your meeting. Particularly, if you have to rent out a boardroom or book a slot for the meeting. Perhaps your usual sessions require the supply of food or drinks; this could also save you money as you’re walking outside. 

Finally, if you’re the type of person who conducts meetings regularly, frequent exercise may save you from spending money on gym memberships or exercise classes. 

8. Healthy exercise to do

We all know walking is good for you, but do we know how healthy it is? If you regularly walk on your workdays, it could improve your circulation, improve your sleep, boost your mood, lower risk of certain cancers, and much more.

It gets even better. If you’re a business owner and you’re frequently talking your employees out on walk and talk meetings, it can overall improve their longterm health. 

This is an excellent investment for you as an owner, as it means fewer employees could experience health problems. This could result in fewer sick days or employees needing hospital follow-ups, preventing your businesses’ workload from being compromised.

9. Increase workflow

It’s often reported that after walking and talking type meetings, employees feel more engaged and energized. When feeling like this, employees can approach work with a fresh mindset allowing them to keep focused and productive, which could sustain your workflow or increase it.

10. More chances of collaboration

Have you ever noticed the seating plans in meetings? You may find individual employees or coworkers like to sit next to specific people, or some may like to hide far away. 

In office meetings, many people stay in their comfort zone, sitting in a specific chair or spot, or next to someone familiar. When an office meeting is held by walking and talking, people are naturally pushed out of their comfort zone, and they are forced to communicate with others.

Not only does this break down barriers, but it also allows new bonds to be built. Similarly, there are no mobile phones, which means people have to engage and actively collaborate their ideas to the meeting. 

11. Become more productive

If you’re self-employed or a remote worker, you can still conduct your meetings while walking and talking. Whether you’re using Zoom, Skype, Google meet, or any other conferencing tool, you can get wireless earphones and speak while on the go.

 If your meeting requires video, hold your mobile while you’re walking. This way, you don’t need to stay at home or the office to wait for these meetings to happen.

How to Implement Walk and Talk Meetings into 

If you’re an employee wanting to persuade your boss to hold walk and talk meetings, you may want to be strategic about how you get them to do it. Similarly, if you’re an employer who wants to get staff to become actively involved in these types of meetings, you’ll want to do the following:

1. Encourage small number walk and talk meetings 

You may want to think about the meeting size you’re hosting. Walk and talk meetings generally work the best when you have a small group, so your voice and everyone else can share their opinion and get heard. 

Walking in a large group bigger than four people is just a no go. It’s hard for people to be heard and keep up, as you’re walking in a public place and have to consider making room for members of the public as you walk.

2. Co-ordinate your route to last the same time as your meeting time

Now, this is an essential point. If you’re hosting a meeting, you need to plan in advance how long you think the meeting will occur and plan your route accordingly. This means you must know how long your route will take to walk and get back to the office. 

If you don’t research your route first, it could lead to more time spent away from work, and less could be achieved within the working day. For example, if you know your meeting will only last 30 minutes, plan a route that takes 30 minutes to complete.

3. Email your meeting brief and other documents in advance

A secret to a great meeting is preparing well, and that also applies to outdoor meetings. Think about the amount of time spent during a regular meeting and people’s attention being diverted to the handout.

If you email the handouts and meeting brief to the meeting attendees in advance, they will be more prepared for discussion, and it will also save you time on the walk briefing them. We also suggest when you do this, to inform the meeting attendees in advance that you’re going to be moving the meeting to outdoors.

4. Check the weather forecast

You must check the weather forecast a week leading up to your meeting and on the day of your meeting. Then you can pre-warn your coworkers to wear clothing accordingly based on the weather to walk in. Similarly, if the weather is bad, we recommend having a plan B in place.

5. Pick the time of your walk and talk meetings wisely

We now know walking and talking meetings can bring about more energy to the workplace. Because of this, you want to be strategic about when you choose to hold your meetings. A good idea is to host them during the late morning as people get a bit restless before lunch or host them late afternoon when people are feeling sleepy.

6. Stock the office supplies well

If you’re regularly hosting walk and talk meetings, you want to make sure your employees are fueled well for the exercise. Similarly, if you’re a worker and your boss is hosting them, you’ll want to make sure you have the right amount of snacks to keep you energized. 

We suggest having carb type food instead of sugary snacks. Carbohydrates serve as a great slow release of energy and will help provide you with energy for the walk. Alongside this, keep water to hand as you and your coworkers will need to stay hydrated primarily if your walk is occurring on a sunny day.

7. Carefully pick your routes

Walk and talk meetings are a great way to get out of the office. After all, working in the office becomes mundane as it’s the same routine. If you’re conducting your meetings outside, you don’t want to always walk in the same direction. Otherwise, if you do, it may turn into a boring routine, just like the stationary meetings. 

On a further note, you will want to think about the location you’re walking in. If you are planning to speak about a confidential matter, you may wish to walk in a place where not many people are around.

8. Record notes of the meeting

All meetings need to be followed up afterward and have minutes provided about them. But how do you ensure accurate meeting minutes from a walk and talk meeting? 

Well, it’s not as hard as you think. First of all, you can do it the hard way; immediately, when you return from the meeting, you can note all the points from your memory. 

Similarly, you can brainstorm between your staff or coworkers and then note down what was discussed. However, the best option is to record the walk and talk meeting on your mobile microphone if you’re a tech-savvy person. That way, later, you can listen to it and transcribe it for the meeting minutes. 

9. Make it more than just a walk

If you’re the person hosting the meeting and know the people participating are not the meeting types, you will have to do your best to lure them in. One way of doing this is by educating them while conducting the meeting. 

For example, you could include exciting landmarks or monuments on your walk, stopping by on the way to appreciate the scenery. If there are food vendors, stop by, and get ice cream. Not everyone is an exercise, or outdoors lover; therefore provide them with an incentive to participate in your meetings.

General Benefits of Walking and Talking

We encourage everyone to get out there and start walking and talking. You don’t have to restrict yourself to the job to be able to do this. These two activities combined can really help us in so many ways. 

In fact, it’s so helpful that countries around the world have started offering walking and talking therapies in the medical sector. This is why it’s good for you:

Great for your mental well being

When you’re walking, your pituitary gland releases a hormone called endorphins. These hormones are a fantastic way to interact with receptors in your bain, serving as a natural pain killer. 

As a result, it can make you feel happier, or you’ll find your mood increase. Similarly, you could find your stress or anxiety levels decrease and have a better sleep.

Now combine the endorphin release with talking. Imagine you’re going out walking with a friend or a relative, and you’re talking at the same time. While doing exercise, the talking aspect serves as an excellent point for you to feel more connected and bonded to that person. 

As a result, this can reduce your feeling of loneliness and isolation. Therefore walking and talking can help increase your mood and decrease feelings of loneliness.

Gives you a sense of relief

When you’re walking naturally, you can discuss things coming off your mind and offload to your walking buddy. As when you talk, it leads to a sense of catharsis that gives a sense of relief. 

It’s often the case you figure out your problems while talking, and you feel better. As when you say them out loud, they come to your mind.

Overall, walking and talking are two activities that go hand and hand. Whether we’re in the workplace or our normal daily life, we need to do this more. After all, it’s great for physical and mental health combined.

Have you walked and talked this week? If not, go out and challenge yourself to one. 

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