Merits of stand-up meetings highlighted by university researchers

Managers who find their monthly meetings are becoming a tad stale may want to try this new method of invigorating their workplace.

Discovered by researchers from Washington University, taking chairs out of the room and holding meetings while standing up can actually have positive effects on workplace productivity.

Reported by Andrew Knight, an assistant professor at Washington’s Olin Business School, found – when standing during a meeting – participants were more ‘excited and receptive to collaboration’.

In a series of experiments, Knight told participants to work together in a room where the chairs had been removed. As a result, contributors were found to be less territorial about their ideas and more willing to share information – which can’t be said about the control group who were forced to be seated around a table.

People being territorial over ideas is one of the most common meeting problems, leading to the derailment of good group collaboration, claims Massachusetts Institute of Technology lecturer Andy Yap.

The only problem around the stand-up method is that a person’s physique may become more obvious during the meeting; taller people are often ‘unconsciously perceived to have more power’.

“Our study shows that even a small tweak to a physical space can alter how people work with one another,” said Knight. “We wondered how this type of arrangement would play out for people working together in a group to achieve a collective goal.”