Meetings on the Move
I recently ran the Disney marathon -- It was magical. Also, long. After the race, I proceeded to consume my weight in fried food and chocolate for about a week until I finally evened out and started eating like a normal person again. Of course, I’ve written about endurance athletics before (I used small pieces of Clif Bar instead of energy gels), but I’ve been looking into staying on the move at work now that I’m not moving quite as much when I get home.
Sitting at the bench all day can end up taking its toll on your body. The pressures of work plus the tedious nature of sitting still all day in addition to caffeine from energy drinks or multiple cups of coffee can be harmful over time. In a story from NPR, the walking workplace meeting has been moving offices forward all over the country.
“The beautiful thing about standing meetings is that they are shorter,” Said Keith Murnighan, a professor at the Kellogg School of Management, in the article about walking meetings. “And you get it done more efficiently. That’s a small structural change that influences people in a really positive way.”
Meetings on the move can contribute to the two to two-and-a-half hours of “moderate exercise” each of us is supposed to get on a weekly basis. Another story noted the benefits of moving as you work, citing a study at the Mayo Clinic in which 18 employees from a financial firm used elevated desks with a treadmill where the chair used to be, so they could walk as they worked. Walking meetings were also introduced with a “mini-breakaway game,” and revenues were reported at their highest during the six month study with no loss in productivity.
“One thing I’ve noticed is how equalizing it is to be side by side, as if facing a problem together,” said, Nilofer Merchant, author of 11 Rules for Creating Value in the Social Era and Silicon Valley resident, in the article about walking meetings. “Hierarchy and work stuff largely goes out the door when you’re wearing sneakers and sweating together. And, of course, creativity has gone up for me and my colleagues from being exposed to nature.”
It all comes down to individual well-being. The work environment can foster some bad habits, and it’s important to develop routines for a healthy lifestyle in that environment. Walking meetings aren’t best for everyone, however. According to Murnighan, meetings where the goal is to find and work out a solution to a problem work best on the move, while “quantitative fields and those in charge of sensitive information might have trouble making the transition.” What can your facility do to encourage laboratorians to be healthy?