Walking Meetings: A Productive Approach to Business

This guide will walk you through the essential elements of using walking meetings - the productivity method to keep your team productive and engaged.

Lark Editor TeamLark Editor Team | 2023/12/16
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In today’s fast-paced work environment, professionals are constantly seeking innovative methods to enhance productivity and well-being. This quest has led to the emergence of walking meetings, a concept that challenges the traditional notion of corporate gatherings by incorporating physical activity into the discussion process. This article delves into the origin, suitability, advantages, disadvantages, implementation strategies, actionable tips, and best practices of walking meetings, providing a comprehensive guide for individuals and organizations looking to adopt this dynamic approach.

What Are Walking Meetings?

Walking meetings, also known as walk-and-talks, involve conducting discussions and collaborations while ambulating instead of being confined to a traditional meeting room setting. This concept encourages participants to engage in physical activity, typically by walking outdoors or within a designated indoor space, while addressing agenda items, brainstorming, and making decisions. The core principle behind walking meetings is to blend exercise with work commitments, fostering a holistic approach to productivity and overall well-being.

Advantages of Walking Meetings

Walking meetings present a range of advantages that contribute to enhanced physical health, mental well-being, and overall productivity in the professional landscape. Some key benefits include:

  • Physical Health: Engaging in physical movement during meetings promotes enhanced fitness and contributes to overall well-being.
  • Mental Agility: The combination of physical activity and discussion stimulates creative thinking and boosts mental acuity.
  • Enhanced Collaboration: The casual environment of walking meetings fosters open communication, contributing to a more collaborative and relaxed atmosphere.
  • Boosted Energy Levels: Walking promotes increased blood flow and oxygen circulation, leading to heightened energy levels and a refreshed mindset.

Disadvantages of Walking Meetings

While walking meetings offer numerous advantages, it is important to discern potential drawbacks that may arise from this unorthodox method of conducting business dialogues:

  • Environmental Distractions: Outdoor walking meetings may be susceptible to environmental distractions, impacting the focus and productivity of participants.
  • Logistical Challenges: Ensuring all participants remain together and audible while walking can pose logistical challenges, particularly in larger groups or noisy outdoor environments.
  • Physical Endurance: Individuals with mobility limitations or medical conditions may find it challenging to actively participate in walking meetings.

The Origin of Walking Meetings

The concept of integrating physical activity with business discussions traces its origins back to the ancient Greek tradition of peripatetic schooling, a method championed by renowned philosopher Aristotle. This philosophy involved engaging in discussions while strolling through the Lyceum in Athens, providing a foundation for the contemporary notion of walking meetings. Prominent figures throughout history, such as Steve Jobs and Sigmund Freud, were known for their preference for conducting discussions during walks, further highlighting the enduring nature of this practice.

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Who Can Benefit from Walking Meetings?

Walking meetings cater to a diverse range of individuals, professions, and industries. Whether one is an executive, an entrepreneur, a creative professional, or part of a corporate team, the concept of walking meetings can be seamlessly integrated into various work environments. Furthermore, walking meetings are not confined to specific industries or hierarchical levels; they offer a universally beneficial approach to fostering productivity and holistic well-being.

Getting Started with Walking Meetings

Transitioning to an active meeting format requires careful planning and consideration to ensure a seamless and productive adoption. Here are essential steps to guide individuals and organizations in embarking on the walking meeting journey:

Step 1: Establish Clear Objectives

Clearly define the meeting purpose and set specific goals to be achieved during the walking session. Ensure that all participants are aware of the agenda and expected outcomes.

Step 2: Select an Appropriate Location

Choose a conducive and safe environment for walking meetings, ensuring that the route or space aligns with the objectives of the discussion. Consider factors such as accessibility, noise levels, and natural surroundings.

Step 3: Communicate Guidelines to Participants

Provide participants with comprehensive information regarding the expectations and conduct during walking meetings. Address considerations such as attire, pace of walking, and adherence to professional decorum during discussions.

Step 4: Integrate Technology and Tools

Ensure that necessary technological resources, such as mobile devices or digital note-taking tools, are effectively integrated to support the flow of conversation and capture key insights during the walking meeting.

Step 5: Evaluate and Adapt

Following the initial implementation of walking meetings, gather feedback from participants and assess the effectiveness of the approach. Make necessary adjustments to optimize the experience and outcomes for future walk-and-talk sessions.

Actionable Tips for Walking Meetings

Elevating the success of walking meetings involves incorporating actionable strategies and best practices to maximize their impact. Consider the following tips when planning and executing walking meetings:

  • Route Planning: Choose routes that offer a balance between a stimulating natural environment and minimal disruptions.
  • Time Management: Be mindful of time constraints and plan walking meetings during periods conducive to optimal weather conditions, especially for outdoor sessions.
  • Inclusivity: Consider the physical capabilities and preferences of participants when selecting walking routes and pacing.
  • Agenda Focus: Maintain a clear and structured agenda throughout the walking meeting to ensure that discussions remain purposeful and productive.

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Do's and Dont's of Walking Meetings

The interactive nature of walking meetings necessitates a set of guidelines to optimize participants' experience and productivity. The following table outlines key do's and don'ts for effective execution of walking meetings:

Maintain an engaging and brisk paceChoose walking routes with heavy traffic
Encourage open communication and ideationEngage in prolonged discussions at rest stops
Respect diverse physical capabilitiesCompromise on professional conduct
Embrace the natural surroundings for inspirationDisregard the comfort and safety of participants


The incorporation of walking meetings as a dynamic approach to professional discourse signifies a paradigm shift towards holistic productivity and well-being. By leveraging the advantages of physical activity and open-air environments, individuals and organizations can cultivate an innovative and invigorating approach to collaborative discussions. As the concept of walking meetings continues to gain traction, embracing this method offers a promising avenue for fostering enhanced engagement, creativity, and overall workplace synergy.


Walking meetings can vary in duration based on the agenda and the physical capabilities of the participants. However, a typical walking meeting often ranges from 30 minutes to one hour, allowing for substantive discussions while accommodating the physical demands of walking.

Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable attire and suitable footwear that aligns with the chosen walking environment. It is essential to prioritize comfort and mobility while maintaining a professional appearance.

While walking meetings can be suitable for smaller teams or intimate discussions, they may pose logistical challenges for larger groups. Careful planning and consideration of venue and route selection are crucial when facilitating walking meetings for a larger number of participants.

Inclement weather conditions can significantly impact the feasibility of outdoor walking meetings. It is advisable to monitor weather forecasts and have alternative arrangements in place to accommodate unforeseen weather challenges, ensuring a seamless experience for all participants.

Walking meetings are versatile and can accommodate a wide array of discussion topics. However, ideation, problem-solving sessions, and discussions centered on innovation and creativity often thrive in the dynamic and open environment cultivated by walking meetings.

With this comprehensive guide, individuals and organizations can embark on the journey of integrating walking meetings into their professional realm, embracing an innovative and holistic approach to productive discourse. Embracing this dynamic methodology enriches professional engagements and effectively revitalizes traditional meeting dynamics.

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