Productive Meetings

4 reasons to change up your one-on-one meeting location

4 min read

Meeting location is a huge part of a meaningful, productive one-on-one meeting – sometimes, it can mean the difference between a boring meeting and a powerful conversation. That’s why getting out of the office for your meetings once in a while is so important.

Not convinced? Here are four reasons why you should change up your one-on-one meeting location once in a while.

1. It’s a great way to get the creative juices flowing

As we mentioned in our guide to walking meetings, getting out of the office is a great way to think differently about a problem you’re working on:

Research has shown that long walks get the creative juices flowing (and thinkers like Steve Jobs and Sigmund Freud swore by them). The change in environment is a great way to think differently about problems and come up with solutions that might never have occurred to you otherwise.”

So, if your one-on-one agenda has a roadblock to overcome or a problem your employee can’t seem to get past, taking your meeting out of the office can be a great way to find a creative solution.

2. It can make your meetings more productive

Think it’s a waste of time to throw on a coat and take your next one-on-one meeting offsite? Think again. You’ll make up for it with a more productive meeting.

According to Hilton Worldwide’s survey of meeting planners, 63% of respondents said “meetings outside the office are more productive.”

Why? There are many reasons this may be true. For one, you’re literally pulling people away from all their distractions (more on that later) – when you’re not sitting a few feet away from your desk, and all the work that’s waiting for you there, it’s a lot easier to focus on the conversation at hand.

A new meeting location can also encourage people to be more open minded – which can make for a more productive conversation. According to Breather, “There’s a creative spark that comes from being in a new environment. This also allows for people to be more open-minded about changes or new ideas.”

3. It’s less distracting (and loud, and…)

The a-little-too-loud convo in the kitchen. The phone that a teammate didn’t turn to silent. The constant traffic in and out of the front door. In other words, office life. It’s a part of any workplace, but it can be distracting. And, according to a study commissioned by Udemy, office interruptions make employees feel “unmotivated, stressed, and frustrated.” In fact, 50% of respondents said they are “significantly less productive” as a result of office distractions.

And when you’re trying to forget a meaningful connection in your one-on-one meetings, those distractions can do serious damage. That’s why it’s so worthwhile to relocate once in a while to somewhere more quiet – a cozy coffee shop, a park bench, even a nearby bistro can provide a much-appreciated respite from the office din.

4. It’s more private

Yes, a park or a coffee shop might seem like the least private spot in the world. But when you compare it to a glassed-in meeting room in the middle of your office, it certainly offers some preferable anonymity – especially when it comes to one-on-ones.

Because when you’re sitting down to have some of the more difficult conversations that can arise during one-on-one meetings, you need to be in a safe setting. Your employee needs to feel 100% confident to be honest and vulnerable with you – and while sometimes employees will feel that way tucked into a meeting room at the office, there may be times when they’d much rather be elsewhere for the conversation. Trust us.

Once you’re ready to have one-on-ones out of the office, the next step is getting organized. SoapBox’s mobile app can help with that! With SoapBox for mobile, you can review and add to your agenda, add meeting notes, leave comments and more – all from your phone!  

Take your one-on-ones out of the office with SoapBox!