What Is A Standup Meeting?
You may have already heard that “sitting is the new smoking” and begun using active office furniture in Houston at work. But could that concept spill over to boardrooms and collaborative spaces? YES! The standup meeting is cropping up in businesses and schools- any environment seeking better ergonomic productivity. At ROSI we schedule standup meetings twice per week to review tasks, accomplishments and open action items. This meeting style keeps us all on point while giving us the opportunity to stretch our legs.
Benefits of the Standup Meeting
Why should you introduce this type of meeting at your office? Perhaps the biggest benefit of a standing meeting is that they are naturally shorter, around 15-30 minutes. Simply going from sitting to standing increases productivity and engagement, so you’ll be able to accomplish more in less time. Most employees loathe long meetings, so this definitely won’t be a hard sell.
Secondly, a standup meeting tends to feel more informal than sitting around a large table in a conference room. This creates a more relaxed ergonomic vibe which lends itself well to project updates, brainstorming sessions, and overall creativity. The feeling of collaboration during the meeting permeates the rest of the day, as coworkers feel more connected.
It’s also much easier to host a standup meeting on short notice, as you don’t need to reserve a room or prepare notes or detailed agendas. Most employees can squeeze in 15 minutes without having to shift their schedule around like they would for large blocks of time. This makes coordinating meetings involving large groups of people much less difficult. Simply gather around a whiteboard or glassboard in the morning or just after lunch, and let the ideas flow!
How To Start
While standing part of the time at work may not be new to some employees, standing while in a meeting environment may need some encouragement and preparation. Firstly, make sure you let people know ahead of time that you’re trying something new and that the meeting will be standing. It might be helpful to talk about the benefits of standing and invite feedback afterward.
If needed, send out a short agenda (sticking with the 15-30 minute limit) via email beforehand. This will eliminate the need to make copies and distribute during the meeting. And, it will get the wheels turning on subjects involving brainstorming.
Before the meeting time, remove chairs and set up a whiteboard/easel to take notes or jot down ideas. If you don’t need to take notes, you can meet in really any collaborative lounge space!
In some cases people can’t or do not want to stand – and that’s ok! The key is that everyone feels more relaxed and comfortable. A Parson’s table adds in some ergonomic opportunities to accommodate. You can ask people to take a chair if they want to, or even try a sit AND stand meeting. Set a timer for 10 minutes and alternate sitting and standing. Here’s a primer for what NOT to do that may be helpful.
Many people find that these short and sweet meetings can be a great asset to their team if conducted daily or weekly. Use standing meetings for short updates to get everyone up to speed on a project, or host a quick gathering to ask for ideas on how to tackle a challenge. You don’t have much to lose by trying a standup meeting, so implement one this week and see if it increases teamwork and collaboration!