Field sales force

Staying healthy and feeling good in field sales force

Field sales force

Relaxed and rested on the road: work in the field sales force

Notebook in hand, cell phone clamped to the ear and company car always within sprinting distance - people in field sales forces work outside of normal office hours. They are always driving to clients as company representatives, service engineers or mobile carers. The upside includes a wide variety of jobs, a higher than average number of social contacts and an abundance of freedom and independence. Field sales force members can organise their time more freely.

But the downside includes sitting in the car for hours on end, pressure of keeping appointments and irregular mealtimes. However, if they consciously face up to the health risks and take all the necessary preventive measures, they can remain as high-performers in the long term and can enjoy the benefits of their job

Field sales force members are the company's flagship. How they behave, how competent they are and how well they get on with their clients has a direct influence on the economic success of the company. An essential prerequisite: they must be fit and feel at ease.

Coping with the pressure of appointments

That queue on the motorway, the notebook's not working properly and then the client goes and changes the appointment. There are many stressors. Especially for members of the field sales force. Without an efficient time management system this can lead to permanent stress, which, in turn, keeps the body on constant red alert - and that's unhealthy.

Business travellers have to allow for some spare time, judge their fitness properly and keep themselves organised. Further training, or at least a book on the subject of "Managing Yourself and your Time", are useful investments in a relaxing day at work.

Three meals a day would be ideal

The TÜV Rheinland recommends planning three fixed meals spread out over the day to keep you fit all day long. This prevents craving. When you're in the restaurant, it's better to have the consommé, Italian antipasti and grilled meat and fish rather than sausages and chips.

Raw vegetables and fruit should be just as much part of the lunchbox as sandwiches with lean sausage meat and low-fat cheese. Try a wrap every now and again. A muesli bar does just as well as a snack. Drink two to three litres of water or fruit juice mixed with sparkling mineral water a day. This is good for the circulation.

Office on wheels

Sales representatives spend a lot of time in their cars. They drive from one place to the next and organise their work in between times with mobiles and notebooks. This takes its toll on the back and the joints. Stiff back, shoulder and neck muscles is the result.

You can prevent this by choosing ergonomically designed, well-upholstered car seats. What's more, the company car should have good sound insulation and air conditioning. An independent heating system keeps you warm while you work in your parked car on cold winter's days. There are special rests and stands for notebooks. This improves posture in the car (source: Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin [Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health]).

Activate all your resources

Resources are internal and external aids to coping with stress. We need to be able to call upon plenty of personal, social and corporate resources, in order to work healthily.

Fill up your social reserves by visiting friends, pursuing your hobbies or rewarding yourself with a trip to the cinema. Your employer is primarily responsible for the corporate resources, but you can still ask about family-friendly working models or chances for further training.

Regular relaxation exercises and the ability to find work fun, keep your personal battery adequately charged (source: Viennese Red Cross Research Institute).

Sock it to me!

If your legs are swollen and hurt after a long day on the road, this could be due to blood pooling in your veins. One possible reason: the muscle pump – which pumps low oxygen blood from the feet to the heart – cannot really work properly when you are sitting down for long periods. This can increase the risk of thrombosis.

You can reduce this risk by wearing compression or travel socks. With a pressure gradient decreasing up towards the thigh, they activate the muscle pump and thus the blood circulation. Desirable side-effect: you're bursting with energy. Medical retailers have a large selection in stock for men and women. And what's best about them: nobody will notice you are wearing compression garments under your clothing. The modern variants hardly look any different to normal socks, stockings or pantyhose. Along your route, you should also plan for breaks for a short walk and stretching exercises. These are not only good for the veins, but your back profits too. After finishing work, you should train your whole body or at least swap your bike for the company car.