When you think meetings, you typically imagine dragging a couple extra chairs into the boss’s office, or a stuffy conference room without windows that you’ll be trapped inside for the next couple of hours.
But that doesn’t always have to be the case—now that it’s summertime, there are plenty of great benefits that come with switching up your meeting routine. Whether you opt to hang out in the courtyard just outside your office, or enjoy patio seating at the nearest restaurant, you’ll be amazed at the wonders that an outside meeting does for your team.
Simply moving outside the office can spur an influx of new ideas. Author and business innovator Nilofer Merchant told TED Talks that you can go so far as turning your meeting into a “walking meeting” in order to experience thinking in a different way, and get in some exercise while you’re at it. Changing the scenery, whether you decide to head outside or not, can affect the way your employees do work in general. If you have a particularly creative agenda set for a meeting, like brainstorming your next big marketing campaign, take the team outside and see what getting a breath of fresh air can do to literally and figuratively affect your employees’ ideas.
Just as people act differently depending on what they’re wearing (a term referred to as “enclothed cognition”), they also act differently depending on their physical environment. Usually, we tend to act a little looser outside than we do at the office. Taking the opportunity to chat on a casual level and open up the conversation beyond work can help people feel more comfortable.
Just ask Harvard—being outside is healthy for you. Along with the rise in your Vitamin D levels, your endorphins and overall focus also spike when you spend some time outdoors. If you’re feeling like you need to regroup and recharge your batteries, chances are some of your employees might be feeling that way too. Bring everyone outside for a quick meeting and reap the health, psychological, and emotional benefits. You’ll enter those office doors again feeling like a new person, ready to take on the rest of the day!
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @mycorporation.