Dina's Blog

  • Trading More Meetings For A Walk At Work

    In case you missed it, the country recently celebrated National Walking Day. Yes, there is such a thing. It might have even slipped past me during a week that our family was more focused on my daughter, Dani, getting ready to walk down the aisle! But both occasions reminded me of how important walks can be in life.

    Life shouldn’t be celebrated sitting down. Sometimes it’s great to walk and talk.

    As it pertains to business, walking truly transformed me over the years. More specifically, the more that meetings took over my calendar during my busiest years as a CEO, the more I looked for ways to change my routine. Don’t get me wrong. Meetings are important. But they don’t always have to be done at a desk.

    And still, we cannot get away from them. In fact, Harvard Business Review shared research showing that meetings have increased in length and frequency over the past 50 years to the point where executives spend an average of nearly 23 hours a week in them.

    Luckily, I decided to change the environment for my meetings early on that became a win-win for my calendar, for results and for a better frame of mind overall. That’s when I began to trade appointments at an office or conference room for a stroll outside with co-workers instead. And others seemed to like the idea. We had the added benefit of the beautiful Brazos River and Cameron Park at Dwyer Group headquarters in Waco to do this. But, more importantly, it got us moving more, it still got work done, and it became a habit that changed the way I looked at getting together with so many wonderful colleagues.

    I called these meetings Walkie-Talkies, and I had many of them over the years. (I still do!) If I was meeting with one or two people, and we could accomplish the goals of a meeting without a computer, we would take a stroll instead. We could take notes or record messages on a smart phone for later. (In my earlier days, it was a tape recorder.) And it might have even made us more creative and effective in the long run.

    Needless to say, I still do these when I can and I see many Dwyer Group associates taking a stroll here and there on the average work day. Some even do a full-blown workout during lunch. I applaud the activity that keeps our team engaged, healthy and still blowing away goals with productivity.

    If sitting is the new smoking, then I say walking is the new meeting that more of us should embrace. I even wrote a poem about it:

    Need to meet

    And don’t need a seat?

    Then grab your tennis

    'cause time is pennies.

    Go for a walk

    To have your talk.

    It's not a race,

    So keep a fair pace.

    The purpose is,

    To cover biz.

    Don't forget the mini recorder

    For any actions or ideas in order.

    What a great way to improve your health

    While you're building the company's wealth.

    In case you’re looking to change your corporate culture for the better, or get out of that same old routine, I invite you to download my free Create Your Culture Workbook HERE.