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The Importance Of Setting Boundaries At Work

Joanna Clare

People set boundaries in many different aspects of their lives as they find that they need to in order to reduce stress and to allow situations to flow more smoothly. It can also allow a lot more structure into their lives and of course, everyone should know because of the boundary, what is acceptable and what is not acceptable.

People often have boundaries cemented into their lives without even consciously knowing or even realising. It is perhaps these things that have become stable aspects of their lives and thus they find that their lives run better and more efficiently using certain strategies - or boundaries - that have been incorporated within their day to day living.

However, whether you currently set boundaries or not, the benefits of setting boundaries can have far reaching and profound effects especially within your working environment. If you already have implemented some boundaries that are already set in place, you can always set more because they are yours to set.

A boundary is something that is considered ‘non-negotiable’ and not open for any kind of flexibility or debate as they are your rules and values which are applied to maintain your own level of contentment.

Boundary setting is also a healthy strategy to implement for your own self care as mental health is of utmost importance especially because you can be in the workplace much of your time. Working efficiently and safely depends on how you feel mentally and physically - your wellbeing is consistent with how you feel.

Setting boundaries is not unreasonable and certainly does not mean you require any form of special treatment but what it does mean is that you think enough of yourself and your job to care about how colleagues and your workplace engage with you and you with them. This is a healthy mutual respect and in turn will be beneficial to all concerned.

So, what is an example of a healthy work related boundary? A common boundary is not accepting being spoken to in a less than professional and respectful way. Of course, if you speak to your colleagues in a consistent pleasant manner, always being mindful of their feelings and listening to their opinions without prejudice then they will undoubtedly offer you the same in return. If someone speaks to you in a less than respectful way, by using your already established firm boundary to remind them that you do not tolerate being spoken to in that way and neither will accept it, will convey that you are someone who uses communication both wisely and appropriately.

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