Scott Burrows

Scott Burrows, Pharmaceutical Sales Speaker


Have You Given in to the Second Pandemic?


As a pharmaceutical sales speaker with a passion for what sales reps face each day, I was interested in an article by development and burnout writer Rachel Montañez in her article for Forbes magazine.

Though the piece was written as the COVID pandemic had first gripped the world, many writers and market research firms were already recognizing a potentially more serious pandemic: that the work-life balance for most sales reps was seriously out-of-whack.

In fact, unhealthily out-of-whack especially for those selling to the healthcare industry.

Chained to devices

It is no secret that sales reps across the board are chained to their digital devices. In fact, in a major research study referenced in the Forbes piece it was revealed most workers average under three hours a day of “productive time.”

What do they do instead? Apparently, “21% of (their) working hours are spent on digital devices accessing entertainment, news and social media.” In fact, most check on email and instant messaging every six minutes.

To make up for the wasted time, “28% of workers start their work day before 8:30 a.m. (and 5% begin before 7 a.m.),” with “26% of work is done outside of regular working hours.”

What is the result of sales reps constantly blurring the lines between their social lives and business lives?

The evidence is overwhelming, that personal relationships could be suffering as the result of sales reps doing more work in what should be their “me time,” and less work in what should be “work time.” In other words, there is no separation. The stress on sales reps has become epidemic in nature, and it is provable.

Several years ago, the Harvard Business School conducted a study on the relationship between work stress and health. The findings were disturbing. In addition to widespread health problems (about 8% of our nation’s total healthcare costs was spent on stress) and stress-related deaths (more than 120,000 annually), the monetary value placed on the outcomes of stress (from medications to counseling to divorce courts) amounted to more than $30 billion in 2022 dollars.

As a result of the time wasters and increasingly throwing the work and life balance into a tailspin the experts agree that sales reps are not as productive as they believe themselves to be.

Far worse, according to studies, sales reps are “propelling the burnout epidemic,” by continuing to chase the work-life balance in an out of balance manner. For example, by using computers for work purposes after 10 p.m., many sales reps are cutting into their sleep. Why are they working so late? Go back to the social media and texting frequency that occurs during the day.

Unfortunately, many pharma sales reps have managed to lose the mindset of a balanced life, and it is creating an epidemic of health and relationship problems.

It is about mindset, after all

An approach to life that is more balanced has become difficult to achieve because many sales reps believe they can’t do it, when all it takes is determination and discipline. In that approach, there must be the willingness to step away from the crowd and live a life that is in balance and driven with purpose.

To be the pharmaceutical best pharma sales rep you can be, start off by being kind to yourself and realizing that the digital world may be infinite but you aren’t. Stand up for yourself; for your health, family and business, but always with balance and self-care. To not do that, is to fall victim to another kind of pandemic.


To reach Scott Burrows, Pharmaceutical Sales Speaker contact Scott today by phone at: 520 – 548 – 1169 or through this website.


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