Member Blog: Fiona Hamilton, Managing Director, William Murray

By Berenice, Tuesday 3 November 2020

Walkdown(load): in favour of the walking meeting. Whether you’re back in the office, or still working from home, one hangover from lockdown which seems to be showing no sign of disappearing is the Zoom call. A lifeline during lockdown, and still without a doubt an amazing tool to stay in touch, run workshops, meetings and gather the team; there can be too much of a good thing.

In fact, Zoom fatigue is real, with psychologists explaining that the lack of non-verbal cues and slight delay in messages being communicated put on an additional strain and tires us out more quickly. And that’s without the technical issues, anticipation of screen sharing and pressure of presenting to a ‘room’ you can’t see (we’ve all been there). 

To combat this and inject a bit of energy into Monday mornings, we’ve switched lockdown for ‘walkdown’ and are making the first 30 minutes of each week really count with a virtual team catch up - on the move. Our physical walkshops gather the team, get them outside in the fresh air and encourage the conversation to flow.

Why? Well, a break from the screen, to get some fresh air, and a stretch of the legs. Studies have found productivity increases after 30 minutes outside. And research into walking meetings shows that they increase creative thinking, up to 60% by some estimates.

But it’s not just about productivity. Walking and talking is a great way to keep the William Murray tribe connected and on top form to do what it does best for our clients. We’re finding conversations flow more easily. Challenges are aired, and solved more quickly. What’s more, walking is good for both physical and mental health. For a business built on our people and quality of their ideas, it’s vital we look after both of these.

We’re gradually introducing face-to-face meetings and team get togethers in a Covid-safe way, and are encouraging each other to pick up the traditional phone more often to call clients and each other. But for the foreseeable future we’ll still be pounding the pavements, parks and promenades to start each week. 

No staring into Zoom/ Teams/ Google Hangout (delete as appropriate). Just fresh air, a stretch of the legs and a productive 30 minute meeting without the screen so we can make the virtual meeting we do have with clients and industry really count.