Why you should hold standing meetings

Do you and your colleagues hold a lot of meetings each week? Then you have a lot to gain from having some of them standing up. By standing up, you can become more time efficient and get better results from your meetings, not to mention it’s a great way to get more movement into your workday. So, what are the benefits of stand-up meetings and why they should become part of your working day?

What is a standing meeting?

If you have not heard of the phrase "standing meeting" before, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. Standing meetings require everyone to stand up instead of sitting in chairs, as people normally do when holding a meeting.

Sitting in a chair can cause you to lose focus and even fall asleep. Standing meetings are becoming more and more popular in the workplace, and they're not just a fad: they actually help you get things done faster. Typically a height adjustable desk or table is used and tall seats are provided for longer meetings where people may want to take a break from standing.
Two people standing at a sit-stand conference table

1. Keeps meetings shorter and on-point

If you want to gain time, standing meetings are a given choice. On average meetings last 34% longer when participants are sitting down than when they are standing up. Imagine how much you more you could get done in the day by saving this time! As it is a bit inconvenient to stand up for longer periods, standing meetings become more focused and therefore relatively short. Standing meetings are most effective if they last around 15-20 minutes. Should the meeting last longer, it is best to vary between sitting and standing.

2. Encourages collaboration and creativity

Collaborating in a group is easier if everybody is standing up. Research has shown that people who stand up while working together are more engaged and less territorial than when seated. There is also a noticeable increase in the sharing of information and ideas with others. The brain works more efficiently when we are on our feet and since we are more alert, there is every reason to hold your next meeting standing up.
A woman standing and a man sitting at a sit-stand meeting table

3. Puts less stress on the body

Sitting still for a long time may cause strain on the body. Standing meeting tables can help provide relief to the back, neck and shoulders of meeting participants. When people are comfortable, they are able to concentrate better, thus increasing productivity.

However, it’s not practical to hold standing meetings all the time. For longer meetings, you may want to start the meeting standing, perhaps to introduce people or go over the agenda, and then sit down for the remainder of the time so that participants don’t get tired. Furthermore, staff who have disabilities or are pregnant may not be able to stand for long periods if at all. It is important never to exclude any members of your staff from meetings, which is why sit-stand meeting tables can provide an ideal solution, allowing you to choose when it is appropriate to stand-up and when to sit.

Everything you need for a standing meeting

So what is needed for a standing meeting to work practically? A sit-stand conference table will allow for both sitting and standing meetings, letting you choose which is more suitable or even switch positions two during the meeting. One option is then to combine your table with slightly higher chairs or stools so that the participants can opt for a half-seated semi-upright sitting position sometimes. Standing mats will help ensure everyone is comfortable while standing. Don’t forget to keep a whiteboard close at hand for all those great new ideas standing might inspire!

If you want to go further still, try a walking meeting. A walking meeting is exactly what it sounds like: a meeting that takes place during a walk instead of in the conference room. Walking meetings usually work best with a maximum of three people. Remember to let everyone know in advance that you are planning to hold a walking meeting so they can come prepared and enjoy the experience of bringing work together with a bit of exercise!

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