Why you should hold standing meetings
We are all becoming more aware of the negative effect that sitting for long periods of time can have on our health and with long hours spent at our desks during the working day many people are worried about how to change this part of our lifestyle. There are plenty of initiatives you can introduce into your workplace to help combat these effects, such as encouraging staff to take the stairs, organising group fitness activities or walks, and setting up cycle-to-work schemes. Standing desks are gaining popularity so that staff can switch between sitting and standing as they work. The latest addition to this health-conscious movement is the standing meeting table. So what are the benefits of a stand-up meeting?
1. Keeps meetings short and on-point
On average meetings last 34% longer when participants are sitting down than when they are standing up (Dahl, 2014 ¹). Imagine how much you more you could get done in the day by saving this time! The discomfort of standing for extended periods is intended to keep the meetings focused and relatively short. The most successful standing meetings last around 15-20 minutes.
2. Encourages collaboration and creativity
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 (Lehman, 2014 ²).
3. Puts less stress on the body
Sitting for long periods of time in the same place 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 are pregnant or have disabilities 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 height-adjustable meeting tables can provide an ideal solution, allowing you to choose when it is appropriate to stand-up and when to sit.
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!
¹ Dahl, M. (2014) "Work Smarter: Meetings Are 34 Percent Shorter If You’re Standing Up" The Cut [online] available from: https://www.thecut.com/2014/05/work-smarter-for-shorter-meetings-stand-up.html [accessed February 2018]
² Lehman, S. (2014) "Standing meetings may improve group productivity" Reuters [online] available from: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-psychology-group-meetings-productivit-idUSKBN0EV29V20140620 [accessed February 2018]
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