One of the most annoying types of bosses you’ll meet is the one who doesn’t respect your boundaries. For them, things like rest and day-offs don’t exist. They’ll message you after work hours or overburden you with more work even though you’re swamped with work already. These bosses are a primary source of stress for employees, leading to work burnout.
In today’s remote work setup, bosses who don’t respect your boundaries have become more unbearable, if that was even possible. They seem to think that the flexibility aspect of remote work means that they can call you anytime, even though you’ve already finished your shift.
If you have a boss like this, this article is for you. Here, I shall discuss what you should do so that your boss begins to respect your boundaries so you can have a better work-life balance.
Prioritize the Things You Value.
Let’s start by finding and prioritizing your values first. Before you lay your boundaries, you must know why you need them in the first place. Is it because you want to spend more time with your loved ones? Or perhaps, you want to have more time to rest or with your hobbies?
Prioritizing the things you value helps improve your work-life balance so that you won’t feel burnt out from work. After all, sitting in your remote workspace for up to eight hours a day couldn’t be healthy. Having a good work-life balance improves both your work efficiency and health.
Establish Your Boundaries Clearly to Your Boss and Co-workers.
Now, let’s talk about setting boundaries before you start working. One reason why your boss doesn’t respect your boundaries is because you never established them before working. This can make your employer think you’re willing to work if they call you, even after your shift. I know this sounds unfair, but instances like this happen every day, especially if you’re remote working.
To prevent these instances from happening, notify your boss and co-workers when they can communicate with you. For example, you can tell them that you won’t be answering any of their emails or calls past 8pm unless it’s urgent. Be sure to clearly define what counts as an urgent matter so they know whether or not they should contact you in the first place.
Notify Your Boss Immediately if They’re Not Respecting Your Boundaries.
After setting your boundaries, you need to ensure that people follow them. The best way to accomplish this is by notifying your boss if they overstep your boundaries. This helps remind them of it without offending them. Do it as soon as the incident happens, so your boss knows how important this is to you.
Let’s go back to my previous example; say your boss emailed you about a task past 8pm. What should you do? First off, accomplish the task tomorrow instead of that night so you can rest from work. After finishing it, submit it as soon as possible to your boss and notify them why you didn’t accomplish it that night.
I know it can be difficult standing up for yourself in front of your boss. After all, you may get demoted, or worse, fired if they think you’re disrespecting them. When explaining to your boss how they have violated your boundaries, remember to do so calmly and rationally. Doing so helps you avoid coming off as arrogant and offending them.
Expect That Your Boundaries Will Be Violated.
Finally, no matter what you do, there will be instances that your boss or co-workers will violate the boundaries you’ve established. When these instances happen, there’s not much you can do but respond to the situation as best you can. Depending on how you respond, your boss or co-workers will better understand your position, or feel offended and angry towards you.
During these situations, be prepared to negotiate with your boss regarding how you should accomplish your work. It won’t be easy balancing work and your personal life, so find the best possible middle ground between you and your boss to minimize problems.
Working Relationships Is a Dance for Two.
Just like in any relationship, establishing respect between your boss is essential. So what should you do when your boss does not respect your boundaries between work and personal life? Well, do not worry! For here is the four-step guide on helping your boss respect your boundaries. With these, you will have an easier time making them understand your situation next time.