Dos and don’ts of holding meetings outdoors

Heading out of the office for a meeting can offer a fresh perspective. But there are a few guidelines to follow if you’re holding your meeting outdoors…

Finding a new location for office meetings can help breathe life into your monthly get together. And heading outside the office is a great idea. But be wary when you do…

Business People Talking Outdoors

Do…monitor noise levels
Most meetings are conducted at normal volume levels – but occasionally things can get heated and voices become raised. You might also have to speak over traffic noises. Just remember, you’re representing your company so keep noise to an acceptable level.

Don’t… talk about confidential material
If you have to have a meeting about that big project that you’ve signed a confidentiality agreement on, then maybe your local park isn’t the best place to do so. The chance of anyone involved overhearing might be slim, but we’ve all heard horror stories where the client just happened to be in that park at that time – so keep quiet.

Do… take advantage of the outside world
If you’re heading outside, go somewhere nice like a park, riverside or take a walk through town. Don’t just stand in a doorway outside your office with the smokers.

Don’t… block paths
There might be a group of you huddling together to chat over the latest figures, so you’re going to take up a lot of room. But try not to block paths or gates. Not only will it annoy the public, but it’ll also mean your meeting will constantly be interrupted by people with prams looking to get past.

Do… keep it brief
Being outside is great, but only in short bursts. Especially with the changing British weather, people can soon start to get cold. And you’ll be missing the comfort of office chairs and no one wants to be sat on damp grass or a cold concrete wall for too long.

Business People Talking At a Table Outside

Don’t… take too much stuff
These meetings are ideal for firing ideas at each other or discussing projects in a broader sense. But they’re not great for passing large amounts of information to each other. You don’t want people trying to balance a pad on their knee while taking notes.

Do… check the weather
It’s Britain remember. If you’ve planned a meeting in a park that’s 10 minutes away and it starts to rain, that’s a 10 minute walk in which your team will be getting wet and uncomfortable. And they won’t be as productive in that state when they finally get back to the shelter of the office.

Don’t… force people to do it
Outdoor or public meetings aren’t for everyone. Some people don’t have the time to find the perfect meeting spot, have accessibility problems or simply are uncomfortable speaking in public spaces. So don’t force those who’d rather be indoors to leave the office.

 

Posted by Sara Cano

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