Work-related stress & anxiety is something that has always affected workforces worldwide, especially in high pressure sales roles, however talking about ‘mental health’ has historically been unthinkable… luckily this is slowly changing and it needs too!
Sales is a very straight forward role – the more you put in the more you get out…
Therefore the healthier you are, the more you’re ‘on the pitch’, the more you’ll get out of the job! The very straightforward nature of a sales role makes stats like ‘15.4 million working days lost last year (2018) as result of the stress & anxiety’ (over half of days off taken) extremely alarming and something that both salespeople & sales businesses will be extremely keen to tackle!
But with 1 in 5 employees struggling with stress & anxiety, how can you manage stress levels at work? Here are 6 methods to de-stress the Robertson Sumner team would recommend:
1) Sleep – Get your 8 hours
Sales is a job that you will live and breath, constantly checking emails etc. but it is absolutely vital that you escape this mindset before bed and manage to unwind allowing you to get a decent nights kip. And please stop looking at your emails in bed!
2) Make sure you’re moving
Exercise is one of the best stress relievers out there. Exercise doesn’t have to mean two hours in the gym before and after work but can even be a walk at lunchtime or just getting involved in a weekly team sporting activity (i.e. 5 a side football). Exercise is surprisingly counter-intuitive – you’ll soon find yourself not only less stressed but also with much more energy throughout the day & experience a general lift in mood.
3) Don’t glue yourself to your desk
It is vital that you escape ‘work mode’ a few times throughout the day, taking 5-10 minutes away from staring at a screen. This may seem like a form of procrastination but it is said that your brain can only focus on one thing for 45 minutes at a time. So even if you’re not able to escape your desk, don’t stress yourself out on one task for hours – break your work into manageable chunks!
4) Think about your diet
Sales is one of the easiest professions to lose track of your diet with the perceived need for energy drinks and chocolate to get through stressful days as well as client lunches or drinks making it easy to stray from your healthy diet. This being said; guess what? A healthier diet will more than likely make you feel much better but not only that, the reduced sugar intake will also avoid energy swings throughout the day fending off stress.
5) Find the right employer for you
Finding the right business for you is absolutely vital in helping keep stress levels to a minimum as if you feel like you don’t fit a certain company culture you likely won’t be comfortable day to day, naturally increasing stress. Outside of making sure you’re a cultural fit with a business, other factors worth thinking about when considering stress factors of a prospective employer include:
- Holiday entitlement – Number of days you’re able to escape ‘work mode’
- Flexible working – Do you need to be at your desk for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week?
- Wellbeing incentives – For example: subsidised gym membership, 5 a side football weekly, yoga in the office, incentive trips etc.
- Glassdoor reviews – it’s worth seeing how valued current & passed employees feel – are the business practicing what they breach?
6) Make your stress reduction plan is personal to you, optimising your ability to produce!
We don’t want to finish this by stating ‘scrap everything we’ve just said’ but also want to highlight that not everyone will want to do every one of these 5 pointers or if you do then you’ll probably want to do them in your own way!
Salespeople will often find that stress & anxiety move to the background when they’re successfully producing against their quota & just generally performing at work so the best method to reduce stress is find a system and company which allows you to perform to your optimum potential.