What does the term work-life balance mean to you? The standard definition for most of us is the time we allocate to work versus the time allocated to everything else, such as family, personal pursuits, social, and leisure activities. According to HubSpot Research, one-third of salespeople say their job negatively affects their personal life, and one-half admit they need to improve their work-life balance. Another one in three say there is no work-life balance.
Most people understand the concept of work-life balance but find it hard to define what an acceptable balance is. The “right amount of work” versus the “right amount of family time” varies greatly based on individual lifestyles. Salespeople hear the term work-life balance from colleagues and managers on a daily basis, but what does work-life balance mean? It’s common for leaders and their direct reports to have different definitions of the term, and therefore very different expectations.
Redefining the Meaning of Work-Life Balance
Truth be told, the term work-life balance doesn’t have a clear, concise definition. As work-life balance and company culture continue as hot topics in corporate America, more influencers and thought leaders are presenting different perspectives on the terms.
Regardless of who we are and what we do, our lives are not in balance. As salespeople and sales managers, our lives are constantly in motion. People in the sales industry are notorious for keeping long hours; always traveling, on a call, or meeting with customers. Work-life balance is entirely possible while working in sales, but it doesn’t always look like the same balance in other professions.
Rather than defining yourself with the concepts of work and life, you simply need to change the conversation to things you like and dislike in every aspect of your life. When you’re doing activities that you enjoy, you feel invigorated. When you’re doing things you dislike, you feel depleted. Rather than focus on the negative, ask yourself, what parts of my job invigorate and motivate me? If you love your work, it won’t feel like work.
Seasons Come, and Seasons Go
Without doubt, everyone has aspects of their job that they look forward to, and others they would rather avoid. Just as life comes in seasons, so does work. Rather than trying to avoid disliked tasks, ask yourself, how can I make these tasks more palatable? How can you enjoy work so that it’s part of your life? When you focus on these questions, the equation changes from work-life balance to life-life harmony.
Sure, this sounds simple for people who define themselves as truly happy. They have jobs they love along with outside interests they enjoy. We know what you’re thinking, how can this be achieved while working in sales?
How to Achieve a Work-Life Balance in Sales
- Ask your direct reports to write out a list of their duties and rank them.
- Discuss ways for them to do more of what they love.
- Inquire about their dislikes. If they can’t do less, is there common ground to make it more pleasant?
- Try trading tasks and working together. One salesperson’s pain is another’s treasure!
Doing what you love and loving what you do should be the goal of any position. Help your team create a map on how to get there. Don’t get too swept up in terms like work-life balance. Focus on the things that make you happy and work that makes you feel fulfilled, and you’ll find that balance comes naturally.
Need more help? HubSpot created this short video series on getting a new perspective on work-life balance by finding out what your priorities are and working to achieve them.