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How do Freeletics Executives manage stress?

C level stress cut

Stress affects all of us, but some lead more stressful lives than others. We asked the Freeletics Executive Team what it takes to make them stressed, how they use it to their advantage and how they’ve learnt to bust the stress beast. Here’s what they said:

Christian Weber - Director of Data & Finance

What are the classic signs that you’re experiencing stress or pressure?

This depends on the kind of stress. If it’s time pressure, I normally just switch into focus mode and shut down everything around me, which works perfectly fine for me and doesn’t impact me a lot - it actually helps me to get things done! When it comes to more negative stress factors, these can really worsen my mood and I go into problem solving mode to reduce my stress levels.

Are there any activities you do regularly to keep your stress at bay?

The best way to reduce stress for me is sport. I work out nearly every day before work in the office, which helps me to start my day fresh and full of energy. I’m fortunate that this combines very well with my work since I’m responsible for the Coach in the product. I’m a dedicated user of the Freeletics app and this allows me to constantly test out new ideas and experience the product firsthand.

Do you find it difficult to leave any work stresses behind at the end of the day?

I’m fortunate to have a wife who reminds me that the work day is over and that other things in life are important too. Over the years, I have established a very healthy balance for myself and developed the skillset necessary to not to bring home any stress I might have at work. This was something I had to learn in the early days of my career in particular.

Daniela Labus - Director of People Operations

What factors can make your job stressful and what hacks do you have to alleviate this stress?

As an executive, I often have to deal with a heavy workload and have to make important decisions fast. The way to get around any stress this might cause is with careful prioritization. This means dealing with things which have the highest impact first and dropping topics which don’t. If the situation is more pressured, this means not overreacting, taking a step back and asking other people for their opinions. Nobody can do everything, so I prioritize according to what has the most impact and adds the most value to our business.

Do you have a morning routine which helps you mentally focus for the day?

I’m not a morning person and need a couple of hours before I leave for work. During this time I have a coffee, check the news and answer the most urgent emails. I also check my calendar for the day, prepare for upcoming meetings and discuss evening plans with my husband. I think it’s important to stick to this timing and to always make time for my private life. When possible, I prefer to finish my work tasks at home in the evening so I can spend more time with my family.

Do you find it difficult to leave any work stresses behind at the end of the day?

No, not at all, mainly because I don’t differentiate too much between my private and work lives. This is mainly because my husband also works in a startup environment and so we have similar working patterns. Most of my friends have demanding jobs too and the possibility to exchange experiences with them is an important way of unwinding for me.

How do you strive to create a stress-free environment for your team?

Feeling empowered in the workplace and having clear responsibilities are important for everyone I work with. I perceive myself as a coach and consultant for my team; I’m there if they need me and I’m in the background if they don’t. It’s therefore extremely important that my team members always feel like they can approach me if they need me. An anxiety-free environment is very important, mistakes should be opportunities for learning and growth, not reasons to get stressed out.

Christian Hauth - Chief Marketing Officer

Can you ever use stress positively? Does it drive you forward at all?

Yes, definitely. I’ve found that I thrive in environments in which cause leads very quickly to effect. Stressful situations can mean making impactful decisions spontaneously and I enjoy doing this as it means I can see results fast. I’ve also learnt that stressful situations can bring a team closer together as it means supporting each other and learning more about people’s specific strengths and weaknesses which, in the long run, will benefit the team further.

What’s your tried and tested method for eliminating any signs of stress?

I try to train regularly in the mornings to reset my mind and to set myself up for the day. This usually means interval training two or three times a week before work. Working at Freeletics, I’m lucky to have all the training facilities I need right here in the office!

Stress that affects management can have a trickle down effect on employees. How do you try to alleviate stress for your department?

I aim to provide as much support as possible in the hiring and on-boarding of new employees and to help build the structures that will enable the business to function effectively and efficiently. I work together with the team to regularly assess priorities as this gives everybody a clear idea of what needs to be done and when, and keeping everything transparent is a simple way to reduce stress.