5 Strategies for Effective Boundaries in the Workplace
I was once featured on Livestrong in an article about setting effective boundaries so that you do not become emotionally or even physically drained. Sometimes not having clear boundaries can do this. Without good boundaries we can feel exhausted. Since for most of us the majority of our time is spent at work, I wanted to elaborate on how to set effective boundaries in the workplace.
Having clear workplace boundaries not only impacts you, but all those you work with as well. Having clear boundaries in the workplace helps to improve productivity, decrease stress, helps foster good relationships and improves motivation. Although setting boundaries is complicated based on the nature of the work and relationship, a study that examined boundary setting in the workplace found that evaluating and setting boundaries did in fact impact relationships. According to The University of California San Francisco, when boundaries are clear organizations work more efficiently and groups within work more productively.
5 strategies for effective boundaries in the workplace
- Responsibility – Having a clear idea of roles and responsibility is crucial in a work environment. If this is unclear, then meeting with co-workers and supervisors may be important for clarification in order to understand who is responsible for what.
- Self-Care – Self-care may not seem as obvious when looking at boundary setting. However, this is more of a preventative measure. It is easy to become unclear about where appropriate boundaries should be when we are run down, stressed out, irritable or overwhelmed. Having good self-care practices will allow us to not only function at peak level but also remain clearer about where appropriate boundaries should be.
- It’s not Personal – Remaining aware that work relationships may differ from personal relationships is an important perspective to hold. This doesn’t mean that there is not a certain level of familiarity or closeness with those you work with. Some decisions in a work environment may be out your control. In addition, there may be decisions that are made that don’t make sense due to components that you be unaware of or are not privileged to know. Just like in all relationships – learning to not take things personally can be a game changing perspective to hold and a way to reduce stress and anxiety.
- Clear and Friendly Communication – Setting clear boundaries does not mean needing to be dry, cold disconnected from your fellow co-worker. In fact, having a positive friendly attitude can generally impact the environment in a great way. Remember that there can be a balance between clear boundary and a friendly, positive attitude.
- Be the Leader – In an environment of unclear boundaries there is an opportunity. This opportunity is for someone to establish a leadership role and be a model for how to set clear boundaries of relationship and responsibility. We always have the option of being in a position of either following the trend or stepping up as a leader, regardless of our position in any environment.
How else have you been able to set clear boundaries in the workplace?