When it comes to dealing with humans, irrespective of the relationship you have with the person, it is healthy to set boundaries. Boundaries are necessary in the family, workplace, and even in the place of worship.
Setting boundaries at your workplace goes beyond physical touch and personal space. Work boundaries also include how much of yourself you give to your career, and they help you form healthy relationships with colleagues, employees, employers, managers, and even your clients. In addition, creating boundaries can give you professional fulfillment instead of burning out. The inability to set boundaries at the workplace causes frustration- they no longer find happiness in what they do.
Boundaries at the place of work help you to set mental, emotional, and physical limits. They protect you from overworking yourself, being used or behaving in unethical ways, while other areas of your life suffer. In other words, it helps you balance things out.
Three types of boundaries necessary at the workplace
The three types of boundaries are essential if you want to enjoy your workplace; no one is higher than the other. The idea is to balance them.
Roles and responsibilities to the company or employer
Before you accept that job offer, you need to know EXACTLY what you are getting into. For instance, ask the manager or anyone in charge, to define your role and responsibilities. It will ensure accountability and give little or no room for excuses and blames. Also, know who you report to, who gives you feedback, who dictates what you should be working on, and who assigns work to you. Once all these are in place, you can then establish and maintain the boundaries efficiently.
Furthermore, once you know your roles and responsibilities, you will be able to set boundaries like:
- Asking people not to call at home after a specific time (set time that will be convenient for you and your family)
- Saying no to projects you cannot take due to a full workload
- Telling people you only check work emails between specific hours
- Ability to approach your employee about situations you feel go against your boundaries, also work together to solve the issue.
Interpersonal boundaries are rules guiding the relationships between co-workers, employees, and managers. They include the tone of voice used in the workplace, limiting work conversations to sensitive topics such as religion, offensive remarks, extremely personal, people’s attitudes toward one another, and the ability to focus on work with people even when you have a personal conflict.
Furthermore, having weak interpersonal boundaries can lead to bullying; you may be taken advantage of because you have not set out these boundaries. If you want to be productive in your workplace, then interpersonal boundaries are essential.
Personal boundaries prevent you from burnouts and lack of productivity in your place of work; they help you keep a healthy work-life balance. Setting personal boundaries include limiting access to your work email or voicemail when you are at home, leaving your office laptop at work, taking time to be offline; these include social media, no email, it also means taking vacation time and leaving work at work during that period.
These three types of boundaries must be in place if you want to enjoy your working in your organization. However, if you do not know what to do
Seven tips on setting boundaries at the workplace
- Know your values: It will help you know what you allow or do not allow in your workplace.
- Communication: do not assume people know what you like or do not like, let them know your boundaries. Speak up.
- Address boundaries violation right away: when someone exceeds the limit, let them know. Sometimes, humans like to taste how far they can go with you, if you do not address the violation right away, they will not take your boundaries seriously.
- Create boundaries at home: let your colleagues, employees, employers, clients, know that you do not bring work home. As stated above, do not bring your work home. Your family deserves your undivided attention.
- Create a structure: before setting up a meeting, know the agenda, and follow-through. If the meeting is going another way, draw the attention of whoever is in charge to stick to the structure.
- Focus on concrete explanations: instead of using words like I am stressed, or I have other things to do, when your boss gives you an additional job, instead, let your reply be like “If I take on this job, there will be no time to finish project X, or we may lose Y if I do not
- Prepare for violation: So long you are working with humans; you will meet people who may violate the rules, be prepared for it. Are you going to report, correct, or overlook it? These are the things you need to know beforehand.
In conclusion, work boundaries help us to respect, and enjoy the company of people around us in our different places of work. Having boundaries prevent burnout, anger, fatigue in our workplace.