Resilience at Work: Setting Boundaries

Resilience at Work: Setting Boundaries

Posted by Jan Lawrence

Setting Boundaries


Another part of resilience is setting boundaries.

It is important to take responsibility for setting boundaries around your workload.

That means you may need to have a conversation with your manager, you may need to manage your own time so boundaries can be with other people as well as yourself.

Boundaries for Time Management

Are you spending a lot of your time daydreaming, focusing on other things? Are you spending a lot of the time really quite focused? Are you taking the breaks necessary to allow you to be focused? If not then take responsibility for setting boundaries around lunch, around tea breaks.

Taking responsibility and boundaries go hand in hand.

Some of the boundaries for work would be a boundary around emails.  We work in a society where it’s 24/7 emails so do you have a boundary around it? For example if you wanted to get some kind to work life balance do you have one evening per week where it’s computer, email, phone, free so you can give that time to your family, or are you on constant alert with emails?

What happens when you retrieve an email at home that’s negative where you become angry?  Your body goes into a stress response, shuts down sixty percent you become more irritated.  If you have a family you are going to be more irritated with them so invariably they take the brunt of you not having a boundary around emails.  Just doing that small thing consistently week in week out it means your family know that that evening is especially for them.

If you don’t have that it becomes a free-for-all.  If you are answering emails at eleven o’clock in the evening and sending emails, especially if you are a manager, to somebody who you’re managing at 11, 12 o’clock.  Think about the expectation you’re sending to that person.  It is unsaid but what are you really saying?  Have you vocalised, communicated with that person? Have you set a boundary? For example, “I am not expecting you to answer the email, it’s just how I work”.

Setting boundaries if you are manager is really important.


Part 1: Resilience at Work: Stress and Resilience

Part 3: Resilience at Work: Taking Responsibility