If we can thank the pandemic for one thing; it’s that we have learned to value our own personal time more. One pastime that has grown from the various lockdowns we had to endure is that materialistic things are no longer as important as we once thought they were and we now see the real value and need in communication at a basic level. Walking and talking together is proven to build stronger relationships as it makes communicating with each other easy and natural. The art of netwalking has enabled us to get business people walking and talking together enabling them to build deeper, healthier business relationships in a more natural environment. Not only has it pulled people away from the four walls of their office, be it home or business, but the simple change in lifestyle has seen immeasurable benefits from a health perspective. Not only does it help the mental wellbeing of an individual, but it also gives them a chance to destress as well.
So, you might ask yourself, what exactly is Netwalking?
Quite simply, netwalking is a meeting held whilst taking a walk. This form of exercise encourages people to step away from the office environment and unleash their ideas into the fresh air instead. These al fresco meetings can take place in person or in a group scenario. A little unknown fact is that Steve Jobs also loved netwalking and would often take a stroll around the neighbourhood in Cupertino, California during his meetings. He felt that by bringing his team together for a simple outdoor experience he could reap great rewards. This was long before remote working meant that some people may never have even met face to face.
It may seem obvious, but what are the benefits of Netwalking?
One thing we’ve probably all suffered from during the past year is Zoom fatigue, and yes it is a real phenomenon. Spending so much time behind our screens at home or in the office can lead to burn out and a feeling of disconnection from our colleagues. When chatting to work friends or business colleagues, you realise how many of us don’t actually venture outside at all during the working day. The average person now sits in front of a screen for about 9.5 hours a day, which is roughly 2 hours more per day than we sleep. Walking has also been linked with increased creativity, exposure to much needed Vitamin D and as mentioned previously it can help to improve mental health and ease feelings of anxiety and stress.
In her TED Talk on the benefits of walking at work, Behavioural and Learning Scientist, Marily Oppezzo, discusses how taking a step away from the work desk can drastically improve brainstorming. When trying to come up with a new idea, we all have times when we get stuck, but getting up and going for a walk might be all it takes to get your creative juices flowing.
With that in mind, North Dublin Chamber are delighted to team up with a group of small business owners, led by Wendy Stunt who have adopted this concept since our first imposed lockdown was lifted. They have been meeting regularly throughout our fair capital as Netwalkandtalk for a much needed get together with like minded business people. Not only that, but some of these events have even been educational as Don Harris (a local, mentor, tour guide and business coach) has kindly given the group some history and background on areas like; Howth Harbour, St. Annes Park and The Bull Wall.
If you are interested in joining us, the aim is to meet us at St. Annes, Red Stables Market on the last Friday of the month for some fresh air and a coffee whilst you stroll around the grounds of the park. The venue may change in time, but for now the availability of parking, shelter amongst the trees and the coffee shop make it the ideal location to meet up.