Susan Rees has been walking to work on and off since 2005. That might not seem a very amazing statistic – except that in 2005 she started working at home full time.
Susan, owner of Your Virtual Business Partner, told us, “When I told the folks at the head office that I walked to work, they looked confused and replied, “but you work at home”. I then explained the benefits I had discovered after what amounts to about a 30 minute walk each morning and they started to get it. Lots of people walk to their place of work, so why not do it when your place of work is also your home?”
Susan told us more about how she got started “walking to work”…
When I Googled “Walk to Work” the first page that came up proved an interesting read. I didn’t know there was a national walk to work week and then I discovered they do it in Australia too only there it’s just a day.
Home, until 13 months ago was the pretty Cotswold town of Cheltenham in Gloucestershire. My walk to work then was urban with some parks thrown in for good measure. I now live in West Cork in Ireland and my walk to work is very rural – especially after the farmer has been muck spreading. I generally take the same circular route as I like to watch the seasons changing. It takes me about 30 minutes and the last leg is up our very steep hill – a little bit of aerobic exercise thrown in for good measure.
The benefits of this walk are numerous and vary depending on the day ahead and my thoughts as I walk. Some days I don’t think at all and just enjoy the being. But every day I get to work refreshed, ready to go and happy – not a bad start to the day.
I have a close friend in Gloucestershire who also works at home. We often swap texts before we start work in the morning and then arrange to “meet at the kettle” mid morning for a catch up. Anyone who works at home will know how lonely it can be and difficult sometimes to keep motivated. Having a fellow home worker to chat with via text is great.
She knows I walk to work and this morning she decided to go with me. We both set off at the same time and swapped our experience via text when we got home. So this morning I walked to work with my mate!
That got me thinking – there’s hundreds of people who work at home. BBC news ran an article about the increased numbers of people working at home earlier this month. According to the Office of National Statistics, there were 4.2 million UK home workers in the first three months of 2014, amounting to 13.9% of the workforce. That’s a lot of people that possibly haven’t thought about walking to work.
An idea started to form; “Susan Rees’ Walk to Work Movement.” which now has a fan page on Facebook – it could have legs, as the man said – groan.
So fellow home workers, virtual assistants, virtual PAs, anyone who works at home, how about giving it a go tomorrow morning? The longest day of the year has just passed. June is a grand month to start, better than January for a new resolution. The hedgerows in the parks and countryside are full of bird song and blossoming flowers. I wonder if I Debbie and I might be joined by one or two more of you tomorrow morning – enjoy.
PS if you’re not a morning person, why not walk home from work instead.
What do you think about a Walk to Work group for VAs? Let us know and let’s join Susan to make it happen!