The Leap: From Sedentary 9-5 Office Worker To Fit and Flexible Deliveroo Rider

What it’s really like to swap the chair for the bike.

This month, we’re celebrating amazing women. In our new column, “The Leap,” we’re exploring that little transition time between one part of your life and the next. That moment of time when a person evolves into a whole entity … and exactly how it happened. 
Today, we’re looking at Olivia Ambrose, who quit her 9 – 5 desk-bound receptionist job and signed up with meal delivery service, Deliveroo. 

Olivia Ambrose was just like the rest of us, living the daily grind. Each day, she spent 80 minutes commuting to and from work and 8 hours sitting at a desk, answering emails and phone calls. She was home by 7 or 8:00 pm, only to wake up and do it all over again the next day. But unlike everyone else, Olivia did what so many aren’t brave enough to do—she quit her job and joined the shared economy.
Olivia’s flatmate at the time was working for meal-delivery service, Deliveroo. She spent her days in the sunshine, working on her own time and was always full of energy. It was enough to make anyone want a career change. So without hesitation, Olivia handed in her resignation letter and signed up for Deliveroo.

“I went in headfirst by going straight into full-time and I have never looked back.”

Now, her days are very different. They begin with a sleep in followed by a late breakfast.
“Running late for work isn’t a problem at all since it’s all about when I want to start my day. I love how super flexible my work day is, but I do try to have some sort of structure so I’ll start work by noon in time for the lunch rush. I’ll finish at around 2:00-3:00 pm when the lunch rush is over, get a bite to eat and do some life admin (errands and such) during my free time. I get back on my bike around 5:30 pm for the first dinner orders and then finish up around 8:00 pm.”

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Working for the shared economy is an idea many of us have flirted with but for most, the security of a regular pay cheque keeps us chained to the desk. To ensure a steady income, Olivia took matters into her own hands. She decided to track her deliveries in order to identify patterns and maximise her time.
“From tracking my deliveries, I discovered that Tuesday was generally much quieter than the other days of the week in terms of the volume of orders so I decided to take Tuesdays off. I [also] found that winter was much busier in comparison to the warmer months as people were staying in and ordering Deliveroo more often.” (Although she did not say, we assume that means she’ll be hitting the beach and holidaying in the summer time.)
From working only four hours a day, Olivia has earned up to $3000 in a month as an independent contractor, which is more than she received as a 9-5 receptionist. But it’s not the only benefit she’s experienced. Compared with her sedentary office job, working for Deliveroo has significantly improved her fitness—she cycles between 50 and 70km each day and no longer requires a gym membership—and her mood.
“I’ve made a lot of friends who all have their own interesting stories and come from different parts of the world. There’s also a bit of a social scene and I get to hang out with other Deliveroo riders in-between orders or during breaks.
After over a year of riding full time, I’d say the only thing I’ve had to sacrifice would be the time when I’d usually eat lunch and dinner. It’s a minor thing to sacrifice, and a part of my new routine, which I’ve gotten used to now.”
We’ve all wondered what it would be like to swap the chair for the bike or join the shared economy in some capacity. It usually happens every Monday. If you think you’ve got a great idea, it could be worth following your passion. If it’s flexibility you’re after—which is apparently now the most important factor for employees—why not give the shared economy a go? It doesn’t have to be full-time, there are plenty of ways to supplement your income.

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