I met a guy a few months ago who first introduced me to this idea. I can’t remember his name, but this idea stuck with me as one worth trying out.
He talked about an experiment he had been trying out called “walking meetings.” Whenever someone wanted to schedule a meeting with him, he told them he’d be happy to meet with them, as long as it was a walking meeting. He’d meet that person somewhere in the office, then they’d embark on a pre-selected route that took roughly the amount of time that the meeting was scheduled for.
It’s a funny way to do business, but it has two very compelling advantages:
1. Added stimulation
Instead of sitting in a small, stuffy room thinking about how you’ve spent the whole day sitting down, you’re outside benefiting from all the extra stimulus and fresh perspective of an ever-changing environment. It’s invigorating.
2. Meetings never run over
This is my favorite reason. When you’re in the office, there’s little pressure for a meeting to not run longer than intended. Everyone is comfortably seated and usually OK running 10-15 minutes late because what you’re talking about is always oh-so-important.
No longer! Now, you’re walking a predetermined course for a predetermined amount of time, and you and your guest both know it. Even better, the landmarks of your walk serve as mental cue cards, telling you roughly how many more minutes you have before the trip ends. “Oh, was that the Starbucks? I’d better wrap things up.”
It’s not a great fit for every kind of meeting, especially meetings that require visuals. But if you ever find yourself scheduled for a “quick overview” or “short catch-up” meeting, consider making it a walking meeting.
If you find success or failure with it, I’d love to hear about it.
Work at HubSpot and want to try this? Here’s a nice 30-minute route that takes you past Kendall Square, Voltage Café and the Charles River (1.4mi, approx. 28min).