10 tips for effective, energizing work meetings

Meetings are the hub of a business – where ideas are discussed and key decisions are taken that determine results and success. We spend approximately 30% of our time at work sitting in meetings, and if you’re a manager the proportion rises to around 50–80%.

But research suggests that we should be sitting less – “sitting is the new smoking” is a phrase that indicates that not moving around enough is bad for your health. So, how can we make our important meetings promote health and be more efficient into the bargain?

Here are 10 tips you can take with you to your meetings:

  1. Get standing desks for your conference rooms and stand up for the entire meeting or parts of it
  2. Stretch your legs, take a technical break or pause...do these things regularly and stretch at the same time
  3. Walk! In the room where you’re sitting or why not even outdoors? Walking meetings are fully feasible and encourage creativity. The medical university Karolinska Institutet has produced a walking meetings guide with tips on suitable walking routes for meetings in Solna.
  4. Meeting on the 10th floor? Take the stairs!
  5. Skip the traditional cakes and pastries – have some fruit instead. Bad input gives bad output.
  6. Book your meeting at a cafe, in a park or hotel lobby, and cycle or walk there. If you need tips on places to go, download the Palaver app.  
  7. Organise a cycle pool at work that makes it easier to cycle to meetings.
  8. Switch off the noise – i.e. mobile phones, tablets and computers – and focus solely on the agenda.
  9. Don’t rush from one meeting to another. Take at least 5 minutes in between to breathe and stretch a little.
  10. Drink water – it helps to keep your brain alert. Make sure that there are water jugs and glasses in the meeting room. 

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