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Take your next meeting for a walk

Sweatworking – in other words, exercising during work meetings – is becoming increasingly common in the US. So what are the benefits? We met with Mathias Kemi and Rickard Forsberg who have been holding status meetings on the treadmill for several years.

The health trend is taking a leap into the world of work meetings

To hold a meeting while walking are for example becoming more common, and one version is 'walk and talk' – meaning that a discussion point is pondered during a walk, and these thoughts are then brought back to the meeting and shared. Sweatworking, or in other words, exercising during work meetings, is becoming increasingly common in the US. The trend can be a way of fitting exercise into a high-pressure way of life.

Status meetings on the treadmill

Mathias Kemi, responsible for sponsorship and partnership at Scandic and Rickard Forsberg, responsible for sports and business organisation, have been close colleagues for a long time and are considered pioneers when it comes to sweatworking in Sweden. They've been holding work meetings in the gym for at least 5 years, and these days it's natural for them to hold a status meeting on the treadmill.

"We get together at the gym every week or two for a meeting. Sometimes we combine it with breakfast and we often get started on the treadmill at around 6.30", says Mathias.

As close colleagues they often exercised together whilst talking about work – which meant that it was a natural step to hold more streamlined work meetings in an exercise environment.

A way to free up time

Mathias and Rickard say that sweatworking is a way to optimise time in a busy world. For anyone who works a lot and has a family, it can be difficult to find time for exercise after work.

"The gym also has a very relaxed atmosphere and it's a great way to get to know colleagues or corporate partners", says Rickard, who goes on to say that next week they are playing tennis with the Swedish Bandy Association.

Sweatworking in Sweden

Work and leisure are merging to a greater extent and this may be have started the trend. We live in an era where we are constantly connected and can, for example, answer a work email at 11 o'clock in the evening.

But can sweatworking become established? And will people start booking a treadmill rather than a meeting room in the future?

Mathias and Rickard believe that sweatworking will become popular if we start talking aboutit. The gym is the perfect place for status meetings. Exactly what they discuss depends on how quiet it is around them. "If the gym is packed, we obviously don't discuss trade secrets", says Rickard.

They agree that sweatworking requires the group or both parties to be interested in exercise and be at roughly the same level, and they add that walking or circuit training can be good alternatives that suit most people.

Efficiency doesn't have to mean 8 hours in the office

Mathias and Richard believe many industries could benefit from this new trend, as they claim that it's about freeing up time, which can help minimise stress. And just because we're at the office for 8 hours doesn't mean that we're effective for all that time.

"There's an element of prestige in showing that you start work at eight and leave at five. But I don't believe that everyone needs to be sitting in the office the whole time, these days it's possible to work from many different places – including the gym", says Mathias.