Are cycling work meetings the new thing?

Took a lunch ride today with my work colleague. Turns out my drink holder nicely doubles up as a schniddy wrap holder. Swish.

Now that important piece of news is out of the way, here’s a lengthy side note. Our ride back to the office turned into a bit of a ‘cycling meeting’, a variation on the idea of a walking meeting, which was awesome.

What’s a walking meeting you say?

It is as simple as it sounds: when you need to figure out how to walk the talk, simply walk and talk. Best performed with 2-3 people.

Research shows (Google it already!) that moving your body, and moving into stimulating environments (think outside the office) does superb things for your brain. You will become super excellent at your desk based job.

The concept sounds almost too simple to fathom. So to help persuade your scrupulous Manager, the University of California has even produced walking meeting guidelines to helpfully overly complicate the matter get your workplace off your butts and on your way.

In a recent survey, 100% of respondents said they like walking outside. And while that survey was just of myself and my wife’s cat (cat is banned from going outside, so we have to literally catch her as she tries to jump out the front door), I guarantee you will feel better for trying a walking meeting if you haven’t already done so. Even if its raining. Trust me, its a walk in the park… literally. Oh, I’m too funny.

Okay. On a more serious note, can the concept of a walking meeting translate to cycling? Duh, people happily chat away when cycling side by side all the time. Don’t believe me? Here is absolute proof: just look at these guys. Productivity Poster Boys.

vondelpark-02

That image is from Mark Wagenbuur’s take on “cycling together”, author of the popular blog Bicycle Dutch. Let Mark explain more:

Cycling side by side is something the Dutch find the normal thing to do. As you can clearly see in the video, that makes the interaction very easy. People talk and laugh together. Some seem to be having more serious conversations, but most of them are simply having a good time while they ride.

And here’s the video.

So yes, cycling and talking is so obvious a thing, you’re probably wondering why you’re reading this and not better spending your time on the toilet. Or maybe you’re reading this on the toilet? Good for you. Multi-tasker. (Good news, you’re ready for simultaneously cycling and strategising!) I do have a few points to make though about cycling meetings in Aus, now you’ve finished thinking about the toilet:

  • To ensure sound carries and you can look people in the eye, riding side by side (two abreast) is best, which means you’re pretty much limited to a meeting of only two people.
  • Cycling requires a little more concentration than walking and is probably best restricted to quiet streets and separated cycleways with very limited car traffic.
  • Make a cycling meeting a super easy option by having super easy access to bikes (shared office bikes, anyone?).
  • Get your work healthy safety stuff sorted if you’re on officially designated ‘work time’. Wear hi-ves vests if this is what it takes to make it happen.

Based on the above “criteria”,  cycling meetings during ‘work time’ in Aus (a slippery concept these days) are unfortunately probably limited to a select few. And so, I will end this post as I do with many, that is to say, get your act together Australia and invest in proper cycling infrastructure and safer speed limits, particularly for our town centres. But chin up, we’ll get there.

What do you think about cycling meetings? Are you already a seasoned practitioner? Could they be the next work productivity thing?

In the next post: Are bathroom meetings the new thing?

In the actual probable next post: our recent trip to Japan–including cycling in Tokyo and Hokkaido!

Featured image source: Kenny Louie

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