From taking on other people’s responsibilities to answering work calls during your downtime, these signs indicate that you need to set some boundaries at work.
Setting boundaries at work can be difficult – especially when you are in a position with limited power.
From feeling pressured to go above and beyond in your role to working much later than required, placing boundaries around our work and day-to-day lives is fraught with office politics. Wanting to be perceived as the hardest working and most dedicated employee might be the goal for some – but at what cost?
According to Aviva’s report, Embracing The Age Of Ambiguity, two in five (43%) employees describe their wellbeing as being less than good, and more than a third (34%) said they carried on working even when they felt unwell.
This ongoing need to keep going can be to the detriment to our own mental health and wellbeing – but how can we identify when we’re struggling to place boundaries between ourselves and our work.
Therapist Abby Rawlinson has addressed this in a recent Instagram post, which highlights the signs that you may have boundary issues at work.
One of the first signs noted in Rawlinson’s post is that workers may agree to meet “unrealistic deadlines” no matter how it may impact their mental health. In addition, she warned against doing other people’s work, as that goes way beyond your own job description and responsibilities.
Rawlinson adds that doing work for free and not receiving financial support for your efforts is a sign of a lack of boundaries at work, alongside refusing to take time off, taking on more than you comfortably manage and answering work calls and messages during your downtime.
Commenting on the post, many shared how they struggled with their own boundaries at work and emphasised why there is a need for this to be further discussed in the workplace.
“Boundaries at work are not spoken about enough,” commented one. “I wish it were socially acceptable to enforce work/life balance and to acknowledge the moments when it all feels overwhelming.”
Another said: “100%, especially in this day and age of MS Teams/Zoom/instant messengers, etc. I regularly have to use the ‘polite pushback’. It takes a while to get used to but so worth practising it.”
Saying no to an employee or asking for help can be tricky to do at a time when we are so used to powering through on our own.
But it’s important to take the steps to place our wellbeing as a high priority – and chances are, your career satisfaction and progress will be all the better for it.
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