By Emily Mata
#TeamMoonsail is all about creativity and innovation. These are the driving forces behind our company — what makes us tick. It should come as no surprise, then, that we approach business meetings with the same school of thought. Collectively, we find ourselves more inspired and productive when we are free to move around, so we’ve ditched the conference room and adopted the sidewalk. We’re not alone — Mark Zuckerberg, President Obama and the folks at LinkedIn all renounce traditional sit-down meetings in favor of the ‘walk and talk.’
We’ve recently relocated our headquarters to the Riverfront Business Center, located alongside the beautiful #LoveLansing River Trail. Whenever possible, the four Michigan-based #TeamMoonsail members make an effort to take our meetings outside, as opposed to holding traditional meetings.
There are obvious benefits to walking meetings. First and foremost, it gets people moving. What desk-bound employee — or person in general — couldn’t stand to get a little more exercise? Sitting is an epidemic in America. In fact, it has been hailed as the smoking of our generation. Getting up, getting outside and getting fresh air is not only great for spurring inspiration and creative thinking, but for general well-being, as well.
In addition to the more obvious benefits of walk and talks, there are other less obvious reasons that #TeamMoonsail loves our river-side strolls. Being outside breaks down formalities typically associated with sit-down meetings. Walking alongside your co-workers, rather than sitting across from them, offers fewer distractions and fosters connection on a personal level.
For us, the biggest advantage to walking meetings is the creativity that they spark. #TeamMoonsail finds that thoughts and ideas flow much more openly and freely while walking alongside the beautiful River Trail because there is always something new to see, whereas in conference rooms, static decor can lead to stale thinking. Ideas that may have been left unsaid in the conference room flow uninhibited alongside the River Trail.
If you haven’t tried it before, try starting with a 1:1 meeting and gradually build up to a whole team meeting. If you’re in an area that’s not great for walking, try meeting for coffee at a place where you can take a stroll around the block. Make a game or routine out of it — see what works for your work culture, and share your ideas with us!