Setting boundaries at work has always been a bit of a challenge. And now in the age of COVID-19 when many of us are working from home, it feels like the boundaries between our work and home life are non-existent. But how do we set healthy boundaries when we can't afford to get fired and being a team player is so important?
Setting boundaries is crucial in order for us to protect ourselves, our time, our self-respect, and our autonomy. Here are two very important things to keep in mind…these help me and I hope they will help you too when it comes to setting boundaries:
1. We are not responsible for another person’s feelings or reactions. When we don’t set boundaries, others can take advantage and even project blame on us for things we are absolutely not responsible for.
2. We teach others how to treat us. Setting boundaries teaches people to treat us with the respect we deserve. If our boundaries aren’t set, we are telling others that we don’t care about ourselves, so why should anyone else?
Setting boundaries are a crucial piece of self-care, and working moms often put self-care last on the list of priorities. But setting boundaries, especially at work, should be at the top of our list.
Forbes.com provides some great steps to establishing professional boundaries:
· Talk to your boss about priorities and create an understanding that those will be completed first
· Set limits – for example, don’t check your work emails between 6-9pm during dinner and family time
· Communicate clearly with colleagues regarding your availability to work on projects, etc.
· Delegate more (if possible)
· Take your time responding to requests, for example, you could say, “let me check and get back to you.”
· Practice saying NO (more on this below)
· Create Structure – Establish meeting agendas to stay on track, schedule weekly check- ins with your boss instead of having him/her constantly texting or calling you with their thoughts
· Prepare for push back – people don’t like change and will challenge you to go back to what they feel comfortable with. Stick with your boundary convictions
I find a big part of my boundary setting was learning how to say NO without giving an explanation or feeling like I’m disappointing someone. I also don’t apologize for saying NO anymore. But I do find that saying NO with a smile helps ?.
Setting and communicating our boundaries clearly can help us to feel in control, more productive, and an equal player in all aspects of our lives. Most importantly, setting boundaries helps us to build our confidence and do the important work needed to accomplish our goals on our own terms!
What’s happening in the world right now is affecting us all—we’re working from home, we’re checking in with loved ones from a distance, and we’re trying to stay as positive as we can. But we recognize how stressful this situation can be. That’s where we come in—we want this group to help you navigate your new, unprecedented path.
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