Prevailing management theory suggests that people can do business anywhere. Thanks to technology and looser attitudes to work/life separation, people are getting work done in far more unconventional settings than ever before.
Maybe too unconventional.
A new survey from flexible workspace provider Regus identifies the strangest spots where respondents have held business meetings. Drawing from the responses of 26,000 people in 90 countries, the list contains some doozies: have you ever busted out a PowerPoint at a wedding banquet, brokered a deal in a cave or brainstormed next quarter’s sales strategy while in the bath? Because others around the world have done so.
As for Canadians, we’re hardly more conservative. Regus pegged the following 10 meeting locales—as listed by respondents—as the strangest in Canada:
“The strange places that people find themselves in for business meetings, from bathrooms to abandoned buildings or beaches, show just how open-minded and flexible people have become in the business world,” says Wes Lenci, vice-president at Regus Canada. He concedes that the venues on the list may not be to everyone’s taste, and that some would give most business owners pause “in terms of safety and professionalism.”
When brainstorming unconventional locations for your next meeting, Lenci recommends you factor in the following:
- Is the venue appropriate? An art gallery might be terrific for discussion with a creative client, but might be too distracting for larger groups intent on hashing out the finer points of a contract.
- Can you communicate effectively? If your surroundings are loud, more timid or softspoken participants may have difficulty being heard. And if there are lots of others in close proximity, you should save discussions of sensitive information until later.
- Is it safe? “Nothing can make a business meeting go south faster than someone getting sick or injured,” says Lenci, meaning you might want to nix that bungee-jumping forecasting conversation.
(Feeling more traditional? Check out the classic recipe for a successful meeting.)
We want to hear from you! What’s the strangest place you’ve ever held (or participated in) a meeting? Share your experiences by commenting below.