Setting and sticking to boundaries can be hard in the workplace, especially if you’re working from home. Here are 3 tips to make it slightly easier.
Communicate your boundaries with confidence and be assertive. Keep the focus on yourself through ‘I statements’. Instead of saying, “you have to stop calling me in the evening,” say “I need time for myself and my family in the evenings so I won’t be checking my messages.” Expect resistance if your boundary means people changing behaviour, but stick to your guns.
Bring up a boundary or violation right away
Once you have clearly articulated your boundaries, expect them to be respected. Bring up any violation immediately. For instance, you have created a boundary that every Tuesday and Thursday at 12 pm you take the time to exercise during your lunch hour. One Tuesday at 11:50 am, you receive a request for work to be done by 1 pm. Politely bring up your boundary. If the work needs to be done, it will have to wait until the afternoon unless it truly is a real emergency.
Nobody wants to be labeled “difficult to work with.” That does not mean you should be a people pleaser and pick up everything on your desk. There may be some occasions where you need to draw the line. Let people know your reasons if you think that you’re being asked to do something outside your scope and see if there are alternatives you can offer up.