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Field sales force

Relaxed and rested on the road: field sales force work

Laptop in hand, mobile clamped to the ear and company car always within sprinting distance - people in field sales forces jobs or company representatives, 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 independently.

But the downside includes sitting in the car for hours on end, pressure of keeping appointments and irregular and often unhealthy 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 relaxed.

Coping with the pressure of appointments

Traffic delays, no wifi signal and then the client goes and changes the appointment. There are many stress factors. 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 this type of work.

Three meals a day would be ideal

It is recommended that having three fixed meals spread out over the day will keep you fit all day long as it helps 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. 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.

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 swollen legs and ache 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. Bonus: nobody will notice you are wearing compression garments. The modern variants hardly look any different to normal socks, stockings or tights. You should also plan for breaks for a short walk and stretching exercises. These are not only good for the veins, but your back benefits too. After finishing work, you should train your whole body or at least swap your company car for your bike.

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