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A Helpful Work Environment
I hate to date this podcast, but as we’re coming to the end of this big COVID-19 pandemic the big IT companies. Apple, Facebook, all these people, they’re spending an incredible amount of energy trying to get their staff to come back into the office. They’ve been working from home for 18 months now, but spent all this money on these big fancy offices.
They filled those offices with perks, like free lunches and transportation to and from, and you can sleep there. They seem like a millennials utopia of a workplace. Why the crap do they spend that much money on these fancy offices and those kinds of perks?
Is 6% Enough?
I read a study once that claimed that people that sit by a window are 6.5% more likely to show up to work. I mean 6% that’s that’s not that big a number, but imagine 6% more productivity in your life. Imagine the compounding interest on 6%. When I’m planning for my retirement, they tell me 8% is enough to literally fund my life in perpetuity (if I start saving now).
6% may seem like a small amount but added up over time it’s a lot, especially when you’re talking about something like productivity that makes the company money. So how much of the environment that you work in, do you think affects your success as salespeople? When the amount of money we earn is usually directly tied to our productivity, how much value do you place on the environment where you work?
Does Your Environment Really Matter?
At the root of the question is really how much do we believe the environment affects us in general? So I have just a couple of things for you to think about as you, as you ponder the role, your environment and the things around you matter when you’re trying to do anything.
Like how do you drive when you really have to go to the bathroom? When you’re a couple of minutes from home or on a long trip and you really have to pee, how does that affect your driving? When was the last time you tried to sit still when you were cold? I don’t know about you when I’m cold I get really fit. Try standing still without leaning on anything or shifting your weight for 15 minutes. Can you do it? Of course. I mean, especially after I’ve challenged you to, but why would you actively choose to do those things if you don’t have to?
Change Isn’t Always Bad
We are constantly making changes to our environment, to suit our needs and to suit our motivation. If you’re hot, you turn on a fan. If you’re cold, you put on a sweater. If you’re hungry, you have some food. If you’re tired, maybe you take a nap. These are all really important things because they affect how much money we make. Not maybe in a day, but compounded over weeks and months and years. It’s important to pay attention to these things, especially now that a lot of us are working from home and might continue to for the rest of our careers.
When this pandemic first started, I actually went out and bought a really, really nice chair. And I got a really, really nice desk. And out of my own pocket (I probably should have made my company pay for it), I got monitor stands and, and beautiful lights so that when I’m in my 50,000 zoom meetings that I was going to do, I would look nice. So I’d be happy with the way I looked Because all those things matter to my productivity. It’s hard to sit on a prospect phone call for me, if I can see that little square of myself in the corner looking ugly.
So as we round out this resiliency that we’re building, I want to talk about and give a couple of tips around maintaining a good work environment. I know for myself, when I’m thinking about my own workspace, there’s a couple of things that are just really important to me. I want to settle into a place where I feel comfortable.
I mean, physically comfortable. That’s why I got the nice chair. I like having my back to the wall. So I don’t feel like people are sneaking up on me. I like soft, natural light. I like to leave the lights off if I can and have a window open. It’s great for me to have some soft music playing. It keeps my brain from trying to crawl out my ear while I’m maybe making a lot of calls that I’m not super excited about.
It’s great for me to stay hydrated. I once had an office where there was no great place to get a cup of water. And so I would find myself coming up to the kitchen to grab water. And then I would be interrupted constantly by my wife and kids who I love, but are not conducive to staying on task at work.
And then my personal favorite is I like to be just a little bit cold, not a lot of cold, but I’ve found that if I’m cold it actually kicks up my energy almost like caffeine. Those are all things that matter in the physical environment, but your head space is just as important.
Get Your Head on Straight
If your Headspace, if the way you’re thinking and what you believe is “off,” people can smell it. They can smell it on you, they can see it on you, they can hear it in the tone of your voice. And if they don’t think something’s right, it’s going to cause distrust and hesitancy that they can’t even put their finger on. It’s just something is off.
I want you to develop a couple of 5 to 10 minute activities or things that you can do to get centered. Things like taking a short walk or doing some squats or some pushups. I love to just sit and look out the window for two or three minutes with the breath app open on my watch. I find something about that just gets me back on task. Five minutes of journaling. If that’s what you’re into, listen to a good song with the iTunes visualizer on.
I recommend stay away from things like YouTube or video games or, or reading a book or something like that. Those, those trigger dopamine centers and they make you want to keep doing it. And it’s hard to pull back after only five minutes because those things are entertainment. And the challenge is that entertainment covers up, it’s a distraction. It doesn’t actually help you work through any of that or calm it down or clear it to the side.
When you’re done with your five or your 10 minute task, then make sure there’s someone there to nudge you back into work. It’s really helpful if this is actually a real person who’s working. This is one of the reasons why we get together in offices and why even average managers can have successful teams. It’s just easier to get back to work when the people around you are working.
Make Restarting Easy
The next thing you do is you grease the skids a little bit. And that may sound a little weird, but it’s just, sometimes it’s hard to get started again, once you’ve taken that break. For instance, back when I had to make a hundred calls a day, I’d make sure the very first call on my list was someone like my wife or my Dad. I’d call them and say, “Hey, I’m just starting to call blitz.” They’d say, “Good luck.” And then they’d hang up on me.
And because I’m already on the phone, it’s easier to just make the next phone call that way I’ve at least started. And by the time I’m in my third or fourth or fifth call; stopping doesn’t make sense because I’ve already gotten momentum.
It’s important to know yourself. When we do these things, it’s important to know what keeps you in the groove. Maybe, you like working for 25 minutes and taking a 5 minute break or 50 minutes, and then taking a 10 minute break. It’s incredibly important to gather this data and know yourself so that you can adjust your work environment for maximum potential success.
Get to know yourself, understand what it is that allows you to thrive. If it’s around people or natural light or whatever it is for you. But remember that your environment is nothing more than minor leverage.
It’s not going to make or break a single day. You can’t rely on it for success, and you obviously can’t blame it in that same way for missing your mark, but it can be that last 20%; that last piece that gets you the rest of the way there to day after day after day of success, which leads to lifetime success in the sales job.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this series. If you have any questions, Robert, at reclaiming sales, leave a review on apple podcast, and thank you for listening.
This is the fourth Episode of a five part miniseries on Building Resilience, you can find episode one here.
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