As we have lived into our somewhat new normal where everyone has had to make lifestyle shifts back and forth and back and forth again, with ever changing headlines- one shining light that has come through is the power of walking- specifically– walking meetings! With the magic of Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Microsoft Outlook and especially the features of their respective apps itself and the like, we can now, more than ever- be able to meet our obligations without sacrificing our literal and figurative backs.
Check out my first Youtube video (but cut me some slack – I am an amateur!)
Taking a zoom meeting and helping optimize your day and healthy work life balance just takes a few extra precautions for which I am excited to share with you today and in my video. You will be amazed at just how simple some of steps are to take and astonished by how great you feel post-zoom in every sense. Who knows- what kind of positive energy you might influence your coworkers as well with!
Benefits of maximizing walking time
CEOs and world leaders alike have long adopted the IRL walking meeting. Steve Jobs was an early adopter of the walking meeting within Apple and also desired to carry meetings walking with people outside of Apple, such as Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook (who later also adopted the strategy). Barack Obama is said to have carried out walking meetings, as well and all of these leaders are in the right mindset of carrying such because of the numerous benefits increased attention, cognitive function, creativity, and mood. Your walks previously might have been with a colleague or boss to go and grab, and coffee or walking and/or discussing while headed to another area of your workplace but it is the same premise. This study shows that walking helps promote positive affect even when expecting the opposite- so in a work stratosphere (or any stratosphere, really) to be able to discuss, problem solve, have expansionary-yet practical dynamic thinking and action- this is key. You, nor the other party, wants to feel claustrophobic in these situations as it tends to tighten up the body and mind and causes a mini flight/fight/or freeze response. Light walking helps activate our parasympathetic nervous system which helps our bodies to calm down naturally and if you think about it, Zoom or like the like might be the perfect balance because you want to keep yourself going but in no way huffing or puffing (as you are still in a meeting)! By giving a head’s up in the right situation (which I get into in my Do’s and Dont’s and video), you might be surprised you are helping to also create a healthier workforce, as others might see that they want to follow suit, as well. Similar to a buddy system within going to the gym or taking a class together, people are motivated by one another and it can keep healthy habits like this one going.
DAO Hacks for Walking Meetings
Before your movement of choice, you prepare and for a specific meeting, you also prepare. The same goes here, camera on or camera off- all of the logistics have some prep work. Do you have water on hand for both? Is your hair potentially inhibiting your bluetooth or the comfort of your walk? Is your phone battery and connection on proper par? Are you at a certain of comfort to be able to speak clearly when necessary? And giving the heads up for the meeting- whether in person or virtually. The precautions are similar to that you would take in person. For example, if discussing a topic sensitive in nature with a colleague, you would not hurryingly take the stairs, rush through, and scramble through doors, and say the very sensitive nature of what you are saying so quickly. Instead, you would sit down, face to face, speaking slowly, and making direct eye contact; on Zoom and like, you would sit behind your desk, composed together, camera on, free of outside, and undivided attention mutually handed to each other. In an all hands meeting, you might get more opportunities to have your camera turned off and you will already most likely be pre-muted- that might be THE perfect Zoom meeting walk! Please watch the video and you will discover some great takeaways!
- Scan your calendar for large group calls or regular scrums and plan for walking during those
- Have a good bluetooth connection for hands-free conversation
- Give a heads up you will be walking for 1/1 calls
- Test the background noise beforehand
- Stay engaged- download and join through the apps
- Walk during calls more appropriate for face to face, like meeting a client/colleague for the first time
- Plan on walking if you have to kick off the call or share your screen
- Have camera on while you are walking
- Get out of breath – stay conversational
Why CEOS at Google and Facebook Love Walking Meetings
Walking Facilitates Positive Effects (National Library of Medicine)