A lot of people lack respect for others' boundaries, primarily because they don't have any for themselves. They may say "it's your job" or "we're paying you to do something". However, I encourage everyone to appreciate boundaries and try to understand what they are, and how they can create a healthy culture. A business will lose people if it doesn't value those boundaries.
Why boundaries are important for stress management
If your manager or colleagues don't respect your boundaries, you can feel a lack of control over your life and job - and like you're being micromanaged.
It may seem like a selfish thing to set a boundary. However, boundaries are there to keep you in your comfort zone - or, rather to keep you in the ideal "stretch" zone, as per the graph below.
You may need to push yourself to make sure that you can develop in your role - i.e. you need to “stretch” yourself - but that needs to be sustainable or you'll risk stress and burnout. If you put boundaries in place, it shows that you're committed to your goals, while maintaining a healthy work/life balance.
If you're looking at setting boundaries at work to ensure that your workday is as productive as it can be, simply starting a conversation is the easiest way. As you're chatting, you'll begin to recognise that you and your colleagues value the same things.
If you struggle to address the topic directly, make it fun. Saying "Heads up, I'm not a morning person!" will let your colleagues know that you would prefer to meet and discuss in the afternoon, for example.
Finally, be flexible. There may be a legitimate reason that you can't change your working hours to adapt to when you prefer to work, as you're in a customer facing role, for example. The worst thing that someone can say to you is "no". They're not gonna fire you for trying to state what your boundary may be.
It all depends on how comfortable you feel discussing the topic. There's no right or wrong way to address it, as long as the result is that you have a productive work environment.
How Goodlord aims to help
If you look at Goodlord as a business, we appreciate and create awareness around boundaries in many different ways. I recently hosted a Lunch and Learn - a drop in session where people in the business can share their expertise on different topics, around how we can respect each others' boundaries.
Setting boundaries is all about understanding, recognising, and managing stress at work too, and, for Stress Awareness Month, we had a drop-in session to cover top tips on reducing stress plus a session about the seven types of rest.
We aim to help Goodlordians better understand what may make us stressed, and what we can do to help reduce those pressures that we sometimes put on ourselves. Sometimes it's better to use visuals, such as the stress bucket below - simple, but effective - to help us grasp how stresses can be detrimental to our work and home lives.
It's important to keep an eye on how others are feeling too. If someone's working late and not taking breaks, or not joining in team meetings when they would normally be the first to speak, this could be a sign of stress, which could be easily addressed by setting some boundaries.
Combining all of the top tips we share, hopefully Goodlordians now feel prepared to manage stress, set boundaries, and be more productive at work and in their daily lives.
Oh Goodlord Limited is an Appointed Representative of Goodlord Protect Limited for general insurance products and credit broking. Goodlord Protect Limited is directly authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, registration number 836727. You can check this information on the Financial Services Register by visiting www.fca.org.uk/register or by telephoning 0800 111 6768 (Freephone) or 0300 500 8082 from the UK. The FCA is the independent watchdog that regulates financial services.