Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Netwalking: doing business on move and keeping fit

Netwalking: doing business on move and keeping fit

BUSINESSES in Watlington are organising walks that help them to network with clients and promote wellbeing.

Natural Netwalking is a healthy and socially safe way for business owners to meet face-to-face.

Creative design agency Blooberry Design, which is based at the Watcombe Manor industrial units, and communications and PR company Positivity Media, which is based at High Street, will host a walk on October 7.

It will begin at 10am from the Picnic Hamper café on the Monument Business Park in Chalgrove and take in a circular route of about 5km, finishing around noon.

Rod Macrae runs Postivity Media with his wife Lesley McKie and they have both been working from home in Cuxham during the coronavirus pandemic.

He said: “This is a fantastic initiative. I think an awful lot of people took to walking during the early part of lockdown and most have carried on.

“We live in one of the greatest parts of the country for walking. It’s definitely good for mental wellbeing. When you run your own business it’s important to get out and meet other people and networking is important, even without coronavirus, but it’s even more important now because you’re locked in your home.

“Like most businesses, we have been struggling just to keep in touch with other people who are in business and networking is part of how we work.”

Mrs McKie said: “I’ve always taken part in business networking but somehow just combining being out in the fresh air with exercise and having business discussion seemed like a really good combination. We have got amazing footpaths and bridleways and it’s lovely to share that with people.

“When people have been working from home for over six months and have a really disruptive routine the number of opportunities to have business-type conversations are so limited that actually getting out and meeting people having those types of conversation is more important than ever.” Yvonne Dean, of Blooberry Design, said: “Netwalking is a brilliant way of getting out in the fresh air, having a walk and a chat, making connections and finding out who’s in our area.

“I encourage my guys to get out for a walk at lunchtime and I go out for at least 40 minutes to an hour. It really clears the mind and gives you an appetite for lunch and you get a full afternoon’s productivity.”

Another walk will be held on October 14, starting at the Six Bells pub in Warborough at 10am. The flat, circular route will head west towards Berrick and Roke.

Leaders Barry Grehan and John Patching, from the Oxford Pilgrims, will explain the history of a huge Neolithic settlement on the route.

The organisers have made sure they meet current covid restrictions and there are several leaders on every walk. Each walking group will have no more than six people and the walks are along areas with wide paths and plenty of space.

Participants should dress in casual, comfortable clothes and dogs are welcome.

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