Wellness, the concept of changing one’s habits to increase longevity and quality of life, has slowly been finding a foothold within the walls of the workplace. With the incidence of workplace burnout reaching “epidemic proportions” (Charlie DeWitt, 2017), organizations are encouraging employees to practice mindfulness, participate in weight loss challenges, and regularly hit the gym. We spend most of our waking hours at work and compartmentalizing our wellness to just a few minutes per day, or not at all, is just not working any longer.
Net-walking, networking while walking, is one of the ways that some creative, health minded people have found to welcome wellness into their working hours. Statista reports that as of 2018 the average person was spending about 135 minutes a day on social media. That’s over 5 years of the average lifespan spent just sitting and looking at our phones! And that number is on top of the 8+ hours we spend sitting at our desks and at meetings. You may have heard the phrase, “sitting is the new smoking.” It’s super bad for you! Wouldn’t it be fantastic to find a way to add some movement into your day while making connections to help grow your business and forge new contacts?
Power lunches have long been the standard for both networking and ‘getting the deal done’. Clearly more suited to fostering connections while wearing a suit (or heels), lunching involves two major wellness foes: ingesting potentially unhealthy calories and, wait for it, … sitting! While not every type of business interaction lends itself to a creative connection, if yours does I challenge you to consider walking! No special equipment required, no checks to expense, more time adding movement to your day! Also, the more casual atmosphere lends itself to a more personal connection which can forge a deeper relationship. And finally, walking helps foster creative, novel thinking (Oppezzo, 2017) which can help spark collaboration or problem solving for your business. A power walk instead of a power lunch… wow!
What I like best about net-walking is that it fits seamlessly into helping you foster a wellness foundation for your personal well-being, or, what I call, “feeding your FABULOUS”. This foundation is constructed by consistently fueling your body, mind, and spirit, and helps to inoculate against workplace burnout providing a powerful platform on which to build your professional well-being. Walking is healthy movement for your body, encourages creative thinking for your mind, and fosters connection which fuels your spirit. A fabulous trifecta!
So, the next time you are meeting someone to network I encourage you to consider taking a net-walk. If you don’t have access to a convenient walking trail perhaps try a school track, an indoor mall (many open early expressly for walking), or a fitness facility. Please reach out and tell me about your experiences with net-walking. I’d love to hear from you.