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Out of Office: Hiking

When Diana De Hulsters CMgr FIML needs some downtime, she heads for the hills for multi-day hiking trips.

Q: Why do you take multi-day hikes during your time off work?

A: I love having an active outdoors holiday. For me walking is an enjoyable pastime. As an activity, it can be as intense or as gentle as you like. There are some of the more undulating walks, like those in the Adelaide Hills, then there are also very challenging ones too.

Q: Where have you been hiking recently?

A: In 2019, I started off on the Three Capes Walk in Tasmania. In April, I went to WA and did the Cape to Cape Walk. I’m also part of a group called The Friends of the Heysen Trail. The Heysen Trail is 1,200 km broken into 62 walks which you complete over six years. I’m in my third year of walking that entire trail, and it keeps my weekends busy. I finished 2019 on the hardest walk I’ve ever tried – the South Coast Track. It’s located within Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area and involves 10 nights of camping – no luxury lodges there so we had to carry everything in and out!

Q: How do you switch off from work while on holidays?

A: Hiking often involves choosing to go somewhere with no mobile connection. But I also think that it’s not about switching off but switching over. Hiking does require my full attention. I have to prepare the right equipment, read the map, check the weather warnings and master my technique. I also need to think about my ethical and group behaviours. For example, in a national park, we stick to the track and carry out everything we take in, including any rubbish.

Q: Why do you think it’s vital for
managers and leaders to go on

A: Mainly because it makes us feel good – and we’ve earned it. But we have to role model the right behaviour for our teams too. Let them see that it’s okay to switch off. I try to divide my working days as eight hours for work, eight hours to enjoy myself and eight hours for sleep. Plus, I always use my annual leave. When you balance your time, you enjoy life a lot more.

Diana De Hulsters is a fellow of IML ANZ and a Chartered Manager. She is the managing director of Your Outsider.


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