Expert insights

Could outdoor meetings benefit your business?

28 September 2017

Recent research shows many of us would like to spend more work time outside – so could al fresco meetings help you?

We need to get out more. According to a recent survey conducted by Center Parcs Conferences & Events, 15% of workers spend no time outside in a 'nature-like' environment during the week. In fact, more than half of the 1,000 workers quizzed said that lunchtime and the daily commute were the only times they stepped foot outside at all.

Interestingly, however, 89% of respondents indicated that they would like to spend more time outdoors during the working week, with 59% saying spending time outside is relaxing.

Yet despite these statistics, just 1% of meetings currently take place out in open spaces. When was the last time, when sending a meeting invitation or planning a brainstorm – or even a conference – that you put somewhere other than, 'my office' or 'the boardroom' as the location? And what would you think if the next time your boss asked to see you, she added, “Let’s meet for a coffee on the terrace of the local café” or even the nearby park?

But by always defaulting to our habitual meeting places, we could be doing ourselves a disservice. Head of Sales at Center Parcs, observes, “With our busy lifestyles it can be hard to find the time to leave the office and enjoy some fresh air, but the benefits of just an hour or so outside per day speak for themselves.”

Benefits of outdoor meetings

Those benefits, according to psychologists Bell and Dyment, include increased creativity and people being 'more civil' to each other. Indeed, it’s said that the very act of moving outside can trigger new ideas. In her TED talk, author and business innovator Nilofer Merchant even suggested turning an outdoor meeting into a 'walking meeting', which, she says, changes the way people think. This also has the added benefit of allowing meeting attendees to get some exercise, and of course, any time spent outdoors is good for vitamin D levels.

“Fresh air and the natural environment is an incredible tool to help motivate, revitalise and inspire teams,” says Head of Sales. “When you consider the benefits of being outdoors it is incredible to think that companies are not doing more to encourage their teams to spend more time outside where possible.”

Tempted to take it outside? Our experts know of plenty of venues with outdoor space so contact the team today

*Statistics taken from a survey carried out by Center Parcs Conferences & Events and Gorkana in April 2016.

Interested? Let’s have a chat about your company’s travel, meetings and events objectives - from the stuff that keeps you awake at night, to the everyday experiences of your employees! Call us on 0330 390 0340, or submit your details below.