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Pregnancy, maternity leave and how telecommuting is changing the game for women.

Technology Means Pregnancy is No Longer a Career Breaker

Maternity leave is often a nightmare for both women having to put their careers on hold for a year or so and for HR departments trying to manage transitions, career advancements, and coverage not to mention rights and benefits. However, technology is developing something of a solution for both parties allowing for a smoother transition and less of a career break or hurdle.

Many jobs can be done from home and this includes many aspects of HR work itself. The rise of remote working is freeing women not only from office constraints but is also allowing them to continue their career in the third trimester and postpartum while caring for a new infant.

The Rise of Remote Working from an HR Perspective

Remote working means that employees are doing the same work as before but are working from home. This is ideal for administrative, design, and many creative jobs. It is also possible for sales related jobs, too. A remote worker requires an Internet connection, access to company platforms and systems, a computer, and a good work environment.

Early studies are showing that from an HR perspective, employees who work from home are more engaged and more productive, while also being happier, than their office-based colleagues. It can, however, be something of an adjustment for the employees themselves if they lack self-discipline and are easily distracted. Remote working is also a boon for HR executives in terms of gauging performance for annual reviews and benefits/compensation decisions. Their work is fully tracked online in terms of hours worked, workload results, such as the quantity and quality of the work completed.

How Women are Using Remote Working to Maintain a Career

All of the above also applies to women who are pregnant or have just given birth. It’s a simple process to transfer careers from the office to a home environment during pregnancy. This is best done in the first or second trimester, so they are up and running during the third. While they will still require some time off immediately prior to giving birth and afterward, most new mothers who work from home take drastically shorter maternity leave and return to work faster. This can be part-time or ad hoc to begin with, but many find it easier to balance childcare and work while being at home. In short, companies save money on maternity payments by not having to hire temporary staff; HR executives are better able to work with expectant mothers and track their careers, and mothers can maintain their income and their careers while also having a family.

Everyone wins!

Sally Collins is a professional freelance writer with many years experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and traveling as much as possible.

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HR Girlfriends™ is a Human Resources networking organization dedicated to advancing the practice and culture of people empowerment. Our team of Girlfriends consult, train, educate, develop, share, promote, and advocate for solutions in the field of human resource management.

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