July 11, 2023

Setting Boundaries in the Workplace

It’s easy to fall into the habit of saying yes to everything at work. Trying to set yourself apart by staying late, taking on more responsibilities, and helping coworkers can lead to great results but can also lead to burnout.

While it’s great to stand out at work, it’s important to remember to take care of your physical and mental health along the way. Setting healthy boundaries at work can often lead to greater success than overworking yourself. Read along to learn how to set boundaries at work and why it’s important. n

Why are boundaries important in the workplace?

Boundaries are important to set early on at your workplace because often people spend more time at work than they do at home. People also tend to overshare at work about their work, personal life, or love life. It’s important to remember that not everyone has your best interest at heart so oversharing can potentially hurt you in the long run. Oversharing in the workplace can impact how people review your work, share information with you, and treat you. This treatment can be done without people realizing they’re even doing it because it’s a natural human response to change your perception of a person based on certain information they may share.

Another great example of how oversharing can impact you is if you tell a coworker about a fight, you and your husband had one week. The next week, your husband shows up at a work event and meets your coworker. There can be tension between your coworker and your husband that can end up causing problems both in your personal life as well as your professional life.

How would someone recognize that a boundary is needed with an employee, coworker, or manager?

Listening is important in the workplace for any situation but it's especially essential when communicating with a coworker. You may be comfortable sharing information while your coworker isn’t comfortable opening up. It’s important to listen to your coworkers, employees, or managers when they share information to gauge if they enjoy sharing personal information or if they’d rather only talk about work. If you sense that someone in the workplace doesn’t engage in the conversation when you bring up personal information, then you can recognize that you shouldn’t share that type of information with them anymore.

How can someone go about setting boundary with a co-worker, employee, or manager?

Being honest and authentic can go a long way when creating a boundary in the workplace. If someone in the workplace is making you uncomfortable or stepping over a boundary you have, you must communicate that with them. It can be scary, to be honest with a coworker, especially a manager because you don’t want to create any tension in the workplace. If you’re upfront, honest, and empathetic, most colleagues will respect that and respect your boundaries.

At JK Executive Strategies, we treat each other like family. If someone is having a bad day, we communicate that with each other whether that’s talking about it with each other or communicating that you aren’t in the mood to talk that day. Everyone at our office emphasizes the need of learning about each other, respecting each other’s boundaries, and listening to each other when we express what we're needing.

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