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Tech Talks: how Spot is supporting employee health with walking meetings


27 Jan, 2022

"Sitting is the new smoking." 

That's the statement some experts are making when it comes to our increasingly sedentary lifestyles. Well that's not exactly true, but a lack of movement in our everyday lives is certainly contributing to overall worsening levels of health.

"If you spend long periods sitting, then you can’t dispose of the glucose in the food that you’re eating," says Dylan Thompson, Professor of Human Physiology at the University of Bath told The Guardian in November 2021. "It accumulates in your blood and increases the risk of diabetes. You can’t remove the lipids in the fat from your blood after eating a meal, and that will put you at high risk of cardiovascular disease, heart disease and stroke." 

Research has shown that even walking for just 15 minutes a day can significantly improve both your physical and mental health. But while it's all well and good saying we need to move more, the fact of the matter is that our jobs often require us to be tied to a desk. That's where Spot comes in. 

Meet Spot

Spot lets you take work for a walk, as their unique audio-only meeting platform helps to facilitate walking meetings. Of course, this supports employee health; but it also has the added effect of stimulating creativity and encouraging junior workers to speak up when they otherwise might be intimidated by more senior colleagues.

To learn more about Spot, we spoke to Catalina Bello, from their Social Media team. She told us all about how Spot will fit into the future of work, how to incorporate walking meetings easily into your working routine, and whether she thinks hybrid working is here to stay.

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NearU: Can you summarise what your platform is/does in a sentence?

Cata: Spot is an audio-only meeting platform built to support walking meetings. With Spot you can transcribe your conversations, take notes, send follow-ups, and, most importantly, you won’t feel guilty for leaving your desk.

What role do you see technology playing in the future of work? How will your platform fit into that?

The pandemic pushed a large segment of the global workforce out of the office and into their homes. Companies were forced to adopt existing digital collaboration tools to fill the in-person void. From now on, the tools companies choose for collaboration will be how their remote teams reflect and build culture. Which tools a company chooses to use will say a lot about who they are and what they value - to the point where these tools may even become listed on company culture and careers webpages. We believe that remote workers should have autonomy, flexibility and support and that’s precisely why we’re building Spot. 

Spot’s platform makes remote collaboration efficient and productive. Spot takes the stress out of virtual meetings because it requires voice only and eliminates the need for video — on Spot, you can just talk and build relationships with your coworkers like you’re catching up on the phone. But unlike the phone call, Spot’s platform takes notes. Audio recordings and full transcriptions are available after every conversation. We believe that the physical and mental health benefits of walking should be accessible to all and not hindered by the myth that sitting at a desk all day with your camera on makes for “good” workers. That’s why Spot is mobile-first and thoughtfully designed for walking meetings.

How have companies been using your platform so far?

People from different companies use Spot for weekly or monthly 1:1s, brainstorming sessions, external meetings with clients or investors, hosting interviews, networking conversations, and even higher education courses and yoga classes.

Hybrid working - is it here to stay?

I think most companies will probably have to choose to be entirely remote or return to in-person as their workstyle expectation - but that's just my opinion!

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Spot is all about staying active while working-from-anywhere. Do you have any advice for businesses looking to improve their employee’s physical welfare as we move increasingly online?

If you want to incorporate walking meetings into your workday routine, start small! Encourage employees to transition their 1:1 or small group calls to a platform that doesn’t require you to sit at your desk (like Spot!) and gradually build from there. If you aren’t quite ready to go for a walk outside, just pace around your space. You’ll soon notice how just adding that little bit of movement to your day sharpens your focus and assists with creativity too.

Any tech platforms you'd like to give a shoutout to while you're here? Maybe one that has helped your company during the transition to more digital working.

Spanning the globe, our team is changing the way the world collaborates. Spot’s Founders are from the United States and the team is distributed all around the world making us 100% remote since Day 1. Of course, we use Spot for meetings but we love these collaboration tools too: Trello, Figma, and Mural.

Here at NearU, we also believe in the power of walking. In fact, we pride ourselves on being able to find a workspace near you that you can either walk (or take public transport) to in just a few minutes. You can check out over 800 listings right now on NearU by simply downloading our app from the App Store or Google Play. Can't find one close enough? Get in contact with us directly at information@nearu.io and request a location (or a specific workspace) you'd like to see on our app.