With many people now working from home, a new challenge presents itself; how does one establish boundaries to prevent work-life from seeping too much into their personal life? Understandably, this is not an easy thing to navigate as it comes with worries of being seen as if you are not contributing fully to the team’s success.
However, not setting boundaries may risk exacerbating other unrelated stressful situations one may have such as achieving your current work goals, managing your household and family, studying among others. For employers, we’re witnessing a paradigm shift that accelerates outcome-based work cultures, flexibility on working hours, and approaches to collaboration and communication.
As an employee, taking the responsibility to ensure you are creating adequate time to detox, reenergize, and get back your BEST state is necessary if you wish to maintain a highly productive and successful work life.
So what are some of the ways you can establish boundaries that will help ease your life today and in the long-term?
1. Communicate – Now more than ever, it’s critical that you communicate to your boss and colleagues your working hours, when you may not be available for whatever reason, any additional resources and/or support you may need to successfully accomplish your work, and so forth. For instance, if you happen to require flexibility around your working hours because you have to take care of priorities such as schooling your child, or if you’re unable to respond to emails/work calls at a certain time, it’s important that those you work with are aware of this information to avoid any misunderstanding or delays with your colleagues.
2. Learn to say NO – We know, it sounds scary, but here’s the thing, when you allow continuous violation of your boundaries, you’re telling those you work with that it’s acceptable. Ultimately, you’re bound to be stuck in a bubble of regrets for failing to ask for what you need and are now in a cycle you dislike. If you’ve already let those you work with your working preferences and schedule and still continue to receive requests during your off-peak hours, point it out with the respective individuals. Often, a polite reminder may be all you need. Of course, there’ll be occasional emergencies, but let the distinction be clear.
3. Fit your work within your boundaries – As often as you can, structure and prioritize your work within your own boundaries. In addition, inform your team of your day’s schedule and when you have created time to support and collaborate with them. By learning to respect and stick to your own plan, you can positively influence others to respect your boundaries as well.
Reflecting on how you currently organize your workdays, in which areas do you feel you need to create boundaries to ensure you are taking time to rejuvenate and fulfill other personal responsibilities?
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