Picture this. It’s 8am on a Monday morning and your boss has just informed your team it’s time to share what’s expected for the week. After successfully sharing what work tasks will need to be completed for the week, the meeting drags out to an unnecessary 60 minutes. And you’re daydreaming – darn! As you start looking around the boardroom, wondering if anyone saw you, you notice Sarah has her eyes closed, slouched in her chair and Joe is drawing the world’s most extensive doodle. Clearly, everyone feels the same about this meeting.
Truth is, not even the most passionate employee enjoys sitting through a long meeting.
How can you make meetings more efficient, practical and worthwhile?
Recent studies have shown that stand-up meetings are usually a lot shorter and to the point, and that longer sit-down meetings don’t necessarily mean better quality discussions. Who wouldn’t want to make meetings shorter, especially if the quality of the meeting is enhanced?
Melissa Dahl from the New York Magazine wrote that meetings are 34% shorter if you’re standing up. What’s more, is that not only are stand up meetings shorter, they also boost business efficiencies, company culture and employee health.
The ‘stand up’ meeting is already a common practice among many companies and there’s a reason for this. The meeting practice is known to be a short and effective way to discuss team members’ individual tasks for the day and how the tasks contribute to an overall project. The short meeting provides a clear and quick way to communicate and discuss where the team is at to effectively meet deadlines. If you’re already implementing ‘stand-ups’, why not turn all your meetings, even the longer ones, into purposeful standing meetings. The benefits of standing during a meeting are endless.
The benefits of standing meetings
As you may already know, standing as opposed to sitting has many health benefits such increased energy, better posture, increased blood flow and metabolism.
The more you, and those in your office stand, the better.
- Keep attendees alert
- Release endorphins and increase energy levels
- Improve posture
- Usually end quicker as they are succinct and to the point
- Encourage expression of thoughts and idea sharing
- Decrease distractions such as phones or emails
- Encourage collaboration and participation
- Decrease dominating behaviour and make team members feel included
- Encourage a sense of purpose within the team
- Support creative thinking
- Burn 50% more calories than sitting
Companies on the bandwagon
Google’s head of Marketing, Lorraine Twohill, handles her 17 to 20 meetings with stand-up meetings or walking one-on-ones. Twohill is “obsessive about making meetings highly productive”, and she’s not the only one that’s recognised that sit-down meetings are not the solution to effective meetings. As companies are continually searching for ways to better their office environment and enhance employee health, many have already recognised the need to incorporate standing meetings in the workplace.
Co-CEO of Imagine Easy Solutions, Neal Taparia shared his experience in Forbes. He wrote that employees felt a shared purpose to get things done, felt more alert and were not distracted whilst standing in meetings. He further explains that when employees stand during meetings, they mostly want to sit down and therefore want to be as efficient as possible.
David Teten, from ff Venture Capital says that the stand-only work set up encourages much more active participation and idea sharing as well as increased alertness. If standing meetings make employees more alert, we can only imagine how working standing desks affect employee productivity.
Kick-start your standing meetings
Standing up during meetings can help provide the right healthy balance between standing up and sitting down during the busy workday. If you’re serious about creating a health conscious office environment, boosting business efficiency and increasing employee health, why not start small and implement more standing meetings? Kick-start your standing meetings with our Breakout Table, the standing meeting table that’s specifically designed to keep meetings short and sweet.
For the longer standing meetings, you may want to add a few Nimble Stools as an option for those who may want to alternate between standing and sitting. Encourage standing meetings in your work environment, get yours today.