David rozing

"Topless meeting" in vogue in Flanders

Topless meeting is becoming an increasing success in businesses across Flanders.  Employees see it as a mark of mutual respect to hold meetings without laptops and smartphones at the table.

The idea first gained ground at companies like Google and Apple in Silicon Valley, but is now also conquering Flanders.  People taking part in the meeting are less distracted and meetings are said to be more efficient!

Ignace Van Doorselaere, CEO of praline manufacturer Neuhaus compares the mobile phone to his wares: "A GSM is like a praline.  It looks like a chocolate and you eat it even if you don't fancy one."

"For some people the mobile has become a body part.  They can't do without.  It's an addiction.  Still, you wouldn't pick up the phone during a first date.  At important moments you have to respect the people around you and they should receive all your attention.  One colleague recently told me: it's a measure of how good the meeting is, how many times you look at your mobile."

"You can turn it round too.  A mobile is somewhat compulsive.  You want to check the latest on Brexit, how the kids at are school."

"People also lose a lot when they are busy with their mobiles during meetings.  Observing body language is very important."

"I don't know what technology will bring during the next 15 years, but it's up to people to decide how to deal with the new opportunities."

Our photograph illustrates how not to do it.