Setting limits at work enables us to protect our time, energy, purpose in life, and feeling of fulfilment. If you’re trying to get your demands over to coworkers or your superior, some people please too much, some people walk on eggshells, some people are scared of sounding insulting or pushy. It is hard to balance asking for something, demanding it, and suggesting that it is a good idea. A stern “no” could be all it takes to push you over the line. But if you keep quiet, you give other people permission to drain you all the more, so you can’t give your all in any given scenario.
How to establish boundaries at work? Use these tips to set positive workplace boundaries and prevent the negative impacts of work stress.
- Disable alerts and badges, and exit your inbox.
After work, turn off notifications so that emails and texts don’t disrupt your evening with your family. By uninstalling business apps like Whatsapp or Teams from your personal phone, you may avoid being bombarded by alerts even when you’re not using them. Even if they can be handy at work, seeing updates from coworkers continuously lighting up your device or laptop is rarely worth the hassle. Keep work to working hours. Keep private life out of work hours.
- Keep Your Relationships Work-related
Even though this may be hard for some, particularly our more outgoing friends, it’s crucial to keep your friends and coworkers distinct. While being sociable to your coworkers might help your career in the years ahead and make the repetitive aspects of your job more bearable, if you really want to preserve your professional reputation, you need to recognise how to distinguish between professional and personal interactions. Some people blur these lines, but to get ahead in work, it is best to keep things simple and distinct.
- Communicate Clearly
If you’re not comfortable with direct communication, setting workplace boundaries may be complex. Every work decision has implications and trade-offs. Having a list of non-negotiables prepared ahead of time, when we have the luxury of reflecting on the potential outcomes of our various choices, is a huge benefit to communicating what you want. Hence, by communicating clearly about it, you prevent future miscommunications.
We are in work, to work, we are at home and with friends to have fun. Work needs to be fun and engaging, but we are not the same person in work as we are at home, and the boundaries that we set in place should emphasise that.