If there is one thing that binds all of us together, despite working in different industries, it is our constant struggle to maintain clear demarcated boundaries at work. And if anything, the pandemic has only made it worse. There have been numerous instances where employees complain about their managers assigning them work after the stipulated working hours, or expecting employees to work on weekends. And an employer firmly stating their boundaries is often taken as a refusal to work.
In case you relate to the above situations, we compiled a list of 18 internet-approved handy tips that will help you build a healthy boundary with your manager or any colleague at work and increase productivity too. Read on to find out more.
1. “I keep two numbers. One for office, one for personal use. The office one is an old Nokia 105. I turn it off on Fridays and switch it on on Mondays. Work only what you are paid for.” – bow_to_me_plebs
2. “If you can then shift to a new job. If not, have a proper 1:1 word with him. That’s all you can do. Remember just because you have put boundaries doesn’t mean they will accept or like it. Many times people react badly. If this person were a decent person, they wouldn’t expect you to be available out of office hours. You can reach out to the HR, if they’re any good.” – hotamasalachai
3. “Don’t answer calls on holidays, days off and on vacations. Don’t share your WhatsApp number with your manager. Email, Teams, Skype or Google Hangout or whichever client you use during working hours should be more than enough for him to reach out to you. If he tells your colleagues that you’re being egoistic and they’re listening to him, then you’re working with a bunch of teacher’s pets. Don’t worry about hurting him, he needs to understand that life doesn’t revolve around work.” – Sungkd
4. “Be a top performer. And resign.” – Educational_Dark_705
5. “Turn off your WhatsApp read receipts. I had to do the same when my office people started troubling me on weekends. At least, this relieves me of the pressure to respond immediately. After a few hours you can respond by saying ‘Noted, will take this up on Monday.’ ” – Pk_9322
6. “Do not for any reason answer emails or phone calls on weekends or vacation days, even if the company is burning down. You set the expectations…If they want you to do anything extra, like work a weekend or put in a lot of overtime, do not meekly accept it. Make sure to grumble and complain as much as they do while giving appraisals.” – __DraGooN_
7. “Report to HR. They would take care of it. If the HR route does not help, you work for a shitty company and need to start looking for a new job.” – YeeHaw_72
8. “The work will never be done. You must prioritize what needs to be done today and what can wait. In most cases, our jobs are not saving lives – don’t ruin yours.” – Imnotanahole
9. “Just adjust your response time whenever possible. If an email or issue can wait until tomorrow, let it roll. They’ll get used to your response level and still appreciate that you go above and beyond when things are actually on fire. It’s up to you to figure out the difference and justify it if ever confronted. Talking to your boss about specific boundaries is a waste of time. Supply chain is constantly in flux and he’ll just peg you as a complainer.” – TurnandBurn_172
10. “I used to not set boundaries and over a year into COVID, I was ready to rage quit. Now I work a strict 9-6 on weekdays and refuse to answer emails, PMs, or texts, unless it’s from the CEO himself. Life is better now.” – caligaris_cabinet
11. “I never send emails after work hours unless it’s an actual emergency. If I happen to be drafting an email late at night, I use the schedule send feature in Gmail to have it sent at 9 am the next business day. You’re not a martyr or a hard worker because you send emails at 10 pm.” – kaleisawful
12. “I work in an industry where it’s VERY common to work off-hours, on call, etc., and I spent many years in jobs where that was required of me and I hated it. I’m still working on setting boundaries. One thing that has helped my ever-present work anxiety is not checking my work email before physically arriving at work or after I get home.” – spicyhandsraccoon
13. “Don’t bother discussing boundaries with your workaholic manager because it’ll make you look bad. Instead, simply shut off your work computer.” – F_Dingo
14. “My work calendar, honestly, has lunch blocked off and my off work hours blocked off. I do not respond respond to anything during those times and I decline meeting invites during those times. In the odd event that my director or CFO calls or texts me after hours, I take care of the issue but make it clear they interrupted family activities.” – Fat_Bearded_Tax_Man
15. Setting clear boundaries start from Day 1.
Begin with reasonable boundaries. Otherwise putting in extra time upfront makes it look like you’re slacking when you drop back to “only” 40 hours a week.— Corey Quinn (@QuinnyPig) March 13, 2021
Set a timer for 4:45 to begin wrapping up.
16. Desi employers have a thing for sending work-related messages on WhatsApp.
I make it a point by not replying to anything asked on WhatsApp. Simple answer, there are 100 chats there, i missed it. Sets clear priorities for next time.— #ALLAHUAKBAR (@badtameez_dil) June 2, 2022
17. Only work on the things that is assigned to you.
Finally managed to set boundaries at my work in terms of hours and when I get off.— JayTea🖊️(Animating) (@jayteamations) July 16, 2022
Idk how well that’ll turn out for me… but i’m done doing more than I’m assigned to do.
18. This helpful productivity hack.
What are your tips and tricks to enforce boundaries at work? Tell us in the comments.