July 23, 2019
How to Set Boundaries at Work
Let’s be clear. Setting boundaries at work is no easy feat, BUT it is crucial to your overall happiness, both inside and outside of the office. Not only will it help you unplug when you’re on vacay in Europe or just enjoying a Sunday Funday, but it will help you feel more energized on the daily. Yes, even on a Monday (or a Wednesday that feels like a Monday). And because I believe in collaboration over competition, I’m sharing a few tips I use to help set boundaries with my colleagues.
Feel all the feels: As a Capricorn, I don’t like to get emotional often, but it’s important to pay attention to your feelings when you’re looking to set boundaries. If you feel uncomfortable, resentful, or guilty (i.e. when a 5 minute catch-up with your colleague turns into a 30 minute discussion about your love life), it’s a sign that you probably need to set a boundary.
Communicate clearly: Once you decide which boundary that you need to set (i.e. you can’t have long conversations and still be productive), communicate it with your colleague clearly and explicitly. If they don’t know where you stand, there’s no way they can respect you and your time.
Call ’em out:
If When someone crosses your boundary, say something right away. (But do it nicely!) For our earlier example, say something like, “Hey, I have to get back to work or I won’t be able to *fill in the blank*.” If you’re addressing a boundary to not work on the weekends, say, “I’ll take a look at this when I’m back in the office on Monday.”
Be proactive: There are several things you can do to both protect yourself and hold yourself accountable. For instance, if you always get caught chatting with your colleague for too long, set a weekly meeting for a set amount of time so that you can catch up but still be productive. To stop yourself from working on the weekends, set a designated time to check your email for anything urgent, then put your phone or computer away.
Caitlin Topham is ACPR’s Junior Publicist and professional Netflix binger. Her most recent binges include Stranger Things, Outlander, Queer Eye, and Bodyguard.