It’s well known that bad meetings waste organizational spend – up to an estimated $37 Billion each year– and drive down employee morale causing innovation and productivity to slow down significantly. Done right, however, meetings can be extremely helpful in advancing an organization’s mission, innovating on a new product and ultimately boosting employee morale.
Mersive understands the value of good meetings, which is why we constantly strive to innovate and improve our own meeting culture. To do this, Mersive encourages employees to experiment with meeting styles on a regular basis. Anything from low-tech meetings (small devices only – no laptops) to walking meetings to the all-time-favorite happy hour meetings are on the table.
I recently instituted a standing-only in my monthly editorial board meetings and found by making this small change from sitting to standing my meetings are far more productive and efficient. And best of all, I’ve received nothing but positive feedback from participants.
Are you interested in exploring standing-only meetings for your company? We break down the benefits and a few easy steps to get started.
The Benefits of a Standing-Only Meeting
Shortened Meeting Durations. One of the main benefits of standing meetings is that they’re generally much shorter than traditional sit-down meetings. According to UC Riverside, standing meetings are, on overage, 33% shorter than sitting meetings and tend to end on time or even early.
And shorter meetings are better meetings. Research shows that meeting engagement begins to drop off quickly once a meeting reaches the 30-minute mark with nearly 40% of attendees not paying attention by 45 minutes into the meeting.
Increased Productivity and Engagement. As noted in Forbes, standing meetings drastically reduce common distractions such as Slack notifications and email. It’s pretty difficult to hide behind a computer screen and zone out when there’s no computer in front of you. Standing meetings encourage participants to look at each other in the eye and engage with the topic at hand. This idea was supported in a study published by Social Psychological and Personality Science, which concluded that test subjects who were asked to stand during meetings had more “physiological arousal,” or general excitement than their sitting counterparts.
Benefits Employee Health. It is common knowledge by now that sitting for long periods of time is not beneficial to your long-term health. By participating in a standing meeting, your employees have the opportunity to get up from their desk and get their blood moving, resulting in a healthier and more productive team.
How to Start Standing Meetings in Your Workplace
Switching from traditional sit-down meetings to standing meetings may take some effort, especially if your workforce isn’t accustomed to other sitting alternatives such as standing desks. We recommend you start by introducing standing meetings for short durations at first. Be sure everyone that is invited is aware it will be a standing meeting. It may be helpful to remind those in attendance the benefits of standing meetings, both from a productivity perspective and a health perspective.
I’ve found that 30-minutes is the maximum amount of time you can reasonably request colleagues to stand for a meeting. Anything longer and participants begin to tire and get distracted.
How to Drive Content Sharing While Standing
Since standing doesn’t lend itself well to using a laptop to share content individually, I’ve created a process to collect content 24 hours prior to the meeting. I make sure to have all the documents that need to be shared organized and easily accessible before I step into the meeting space. Then I simply connect to Solstice—Mersive’s wireless collaboration platform— and begin sharing content on the meeting room’s display. Solstice makes it so I can have all my content up on a display and ready to share within seconds of entering a room—much more efficient than the typical 8 minutes it takes to connect to most meeting room technology. Once the content is shared on the display, I can easily move it around as needed depending on the topic at hand—allowing participants to engage with each other without having to stare at their laptops.
Mersive Technologies is an award-winning wireless collaboration software company that facilitates productive and engaging meetings, conferences, and classes by providing intuitive wireless content sharing solutions that enable any number of participants to share content from virtually any device to any meeting room display. We’ll make you love meetings again. Trusted by more than 4,000 corporations and higher education institutions including 30 of the top Fortune 100 companies, Mersive is based in Denver, Colorado with offices and customers around the world. To learn more, check out The Mersive Advantage.