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Just 1 per cent of meetings held outdoors

TRO urges companies to consider outdoor meetings as research finds 90 per cent of employees want to meet outside

Pictured: research from Center Parcs found only 1 per cent of office workers held meetings outdoors

Almost 90 per cent of office workers hold meetings in their offices, with just 1 per cent of opting to meet outdoors, new research from Center Parcs Conferences & Events has revealed.

The results have prompted event agencies to urge companies to consider meeting in alternative environments.

Almost 1,000 office workers were polled to find out how much time they spent outdoors, revealing 89 per cent wanted to spend more time outside. More than half (51 per cent) said their time spent outside was during lunch or as part of their commute.

TRO group talent director Nicky Morgan says more companies could take meetings outside of the office. The agency holds about 25 per cent of its internal meetings out of the office environment, including regular running meetings for brainstorming sessions.

Morgan said: "I think it's certainly something that we embrace and there's a lot to be got from being in a natural environment; I think it's quite inspiring.

"We were receiving a lot of briefs around sports, and running in particular. So a couple of us who were keen runners said 'why don't we go for a run in our local park and brainstorm as we're running'. So we had a running brainstorm and that's where the ideas sprang from.

"We just did a few laps of the same park and it was almost like we got into a slight trance like state running around the park. That's when the ideas came in because we had to think like a runner. We were in the right mindset to brainstorm ideas about running as opposed to being sat at a desk in the office."

Morgan is an advocate for outdoor meetings for internal staff, where possible. She said as long as the weather was fine, there were few downsides to meeting outdoors.

"I'm a big fan of going off site and getting out to a different environment, even if it's down to a local café or meeting room that's somewhere other than the office. We'll often meet clients in cafes and hotel lobbies and other different kinds of settings. One disadvantage to being outside is if you're presenting on screen, it's not particularly clear. We meet outside if it's more informal, like a brainstorming session."

Ryan Gray, head of sales at Center Parcs, added: "Fresh air and the natural environment is an incredible tool to help motivate, revitalise and inspire teams and it is our mission to encourage as many companies as possible to get their teams spending more time outdoors not just this summer, but year round."

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