I am currently 9 months pregnant and still working, my family and friends wonder how I can handle and manage my personal and professional challenges during pregnancy. So, I would like to share the journey of “Work from Home Experience” in this article.
Working from home means there is no commuting, no traffic, no pollution and you can sleep, eat, walk, exercise, listen to music, read books whenever the energy becomes low. Every day is not the same and yes, I couldn’t predict the good or bad day, but I can say that work from home option made my bad days better. The support, love and care I received from my team were unconditional and it encouraged me, whenever I feel sick or down.
How I Manage My Daily Tasks & Responsibilities?
As an SEO manager, my responsibility includes keyword research, on-page optimization, little technical stuff, links monitoring, search ads and handling my team. I need to coordinate with the content writers too. Our project management tool and workflow helped me a lot here.
Though the office time starts at 9.30 am, I start work earlier in the morning, during the time I would have spent travelling to an office. I start assigning my works and team task before 9.00 am, this could help me as well as my team to plan and schedule the daily tasks, set priorities and work on the tasks. We use Ora, a task management tool to assign tasks, track the task updates, timings and outcomes. We have used so many tools for task management & collaboration before and we felt Ora is comfortable, convenient and productive. Also, we use Slack for collaboration, it’s easy to send direct messages to the team, create channels for project-related communication and share news and updates.
Every day we have a standup meeting at 9.45 am for 10 minutes, which I couldn’t attend, yet we use Slack to discuss the tasks, clarify the doubts and set the priority. And by 11.00 am, we have a team meeting via conference call, where we discuss the project status, goals & achievements along with the reporting manager and the client if required.
I used to take a nap to relieve my stress and whenever the energy drains to zero. This short nap gives double the energy to continue the work in the remaining hours. Flexible working hours, project management tools and the process we follow at Internest helps me in assigning tasks, tracking the progress and reviewing team activities & reports.
Time is the most precious asset and I could save nearly 2 hours every day which I would have spent for travelling. It also lets me escape from the pollution and traffic frustrations. I can utilise this time for the betterment of my health like walking, exercising, reading books and meditation.
Eat at Home:
Maintaining a healthy diet during pregnancy is important and the body requires additional nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Packing the food for the whole day, especially for the two (mom-to-be and the little one) puts you in stress and you never know what kind of food you crave for! While working from home, I can prepare my coffee and even lunch and enjoy it in the comfort of my home.
Though work from home gives you the flexible working hours, time to nap, eat at home, you will start to miss the workspace, colleagues, the chit-chats and the funny lunch hours. Also, there is a chance you start to get out of the focus, couldn’t complete tasks on time, couldn’t stay firm with the responsibilities. To make the best out of this situation, I used to set the guidelines, prioritize tasks and schedule a call with clients and teammates, so I can make the best use of the time, in professional as well as my personal life. Added to it, my team has always been my greatest support and encourage me at the time when I feel alone or sick.
Once I complete all my tasks and review, I’ll update my daily report and happily sign off from the professional role. With flexible working hours and supporting team, I can easily manage my tasks, responsibilities, team meeting, review and learning. Also, it helps me to spend quality time with my family and the little one inside me. I’m happily balancing my work and personal life. Working from home makes my pregnancy so much easier.
I would like to extend my thanks to Rajesh Natrajan – Head Digital Strategy @ Internest Agency and my team for their continuous support, love and care they shower on me and my baby. With pride & pleasure, I’m taking maternity leave for a few months and will meet you all soon!