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Telecommuting During a Pregnancy? Keep Your Health in Mind With These Tips

It’s no secret that many employers are becoming more flexible in terms of where, when, and how they allow their employees to work. In fact, according to Upwork’s 2018 Future Workforce Report, 38% of hiring managers predict that their employees will work predominantly remotely in the next 10 years. This is a trend that offers countless benefits to any stay at home parent or expectant mother. That being said, it’s not always the easiest balance to maintain. Here are just a few smart tips to keep in mind to help you stay comfortable and productive while working from home.

Optimize your work area.

This is by far the biggest tip you’ll hear about telecommuting, and it’s an integral component of achieving both success and peace of mind as you develop your daily routine. Not only should you have a separate area designated to work, but it’s important to set it up and turn it into somewhere you look forward to spending your time. About 67% of professionals agree that working remotely is productive, so think of what would make you stay productive in a traditional office environment: if you feel as though you would get distracted if your desk faces a window, put it at a different angle. Personalize your working area with any decorations you want — just make sure they don’t interfere with your productivity. And don’t forget to invest in a comfortable desk chair that provides the support you need.

Establish a schedule, but give yourself flexibility.

When it comes to setting a schedule, don’t feel like you have to think of it in terms of hours. Instead, your productivity schedule should consist of tasks you need to accomplish. Focusing on results instead of hours worked helps you feel as though you have more control of your time. Furthermore, it helps to avoid the illusion of productivity that comes with focusing on hours instead of results — after all, they don’t always go hand in hand. With doctor’s appointments and other obligations to fit into your schedule, you may be setting yourself up for stress or disappointment if you’re to preoccupied with hours alone. And most importantly, don’t let one mistake or bad day derail the progress you’ve made so far.

Don’t neglect self-care.

Balancing your personal life and work life can be an ongoing challenge regardless of the circumstances. Approximately one in five American adults are affected by mental health conditions, so make sure to stay in tune with your mind and know when your stress level is getting to be too high. Consider developing a routine that incorporates yoga, meditation, or any other activity that promotes mindfulness or relaxation. This tip is also incredibly important once the baby is born:

“Amidst the craziness of excess hormones, nerves, and lack of confidence (and sleep for that matter) you need to figure out how to stay positive, see the bigger picture and take things as they come. Mastering your mindset is crucial in keeping your cool so that you can work at home…do whatever it takes to live in the moment during this special time,” writes Holly Reisem Hanna on The Work at Home Woman.

By the age of 40, only two in five women who wish to have a baby will be able to do so. It’s not uncommon for women to feel like they have to put their professional lives on hold during a pregnancy, but that’s not true at all. These tips can help you stay relaxed, productive, and healthy throughout the duration of your pregnancy.

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