12 Tips for Setting Healthy Work Boundaries With Your Boss

Having a healthy work-life balance doesn’t seem possible to everyone, especially when your work seems to follow you home and take up the available time that you should have outside of work.

That said, preventing this from happening depends entirely on the boundaries you set once you enter any position.

For those who feel like they’re working long after they’ve left the office, here are 12 tips for setting healthy work boundaries with your boss.

#1. Don’t Answer Emails or Calls Outside of Work Hours

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It becomes challenging for your boss to cross your boundaries if they’re unable to reach you.

Make it a point to never answer emails or calls outside of work.

Once you do this, they’ll then expect you to continue working outside of working hours.

#2. “No” Is Always a Complete Answer

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You don’t always have to give a reason for not wanting to do a task that doesn’t fall under your domain.

“No” is a complete answer.

#3. Figure Out Ways to Make Work More Effective for Both of You

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Maybe there’s a discrepancy between how you work and what your boss expects, creating problems in the professional relationship.

Sit down and have a chat to clarify these things and establish new boundaries that the two of you can agree to.

#4. Refuse Extra Work Unless It Comes With Extra Compensation

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Receiving a ton of extra work without properly being recognized or compensated can be frustrating, to say the least.

Never let your boss take advantage of you by giving you extra work without giving you something extra in return for taking up more of your time.

#5. Request More Realistic Deadlines

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If your boss is overstepping boundaries by requesting tight deadlines on your work and expecting you to meet them no matter what, ask for more realistic deadlines.

They might not like it at first, but they’ll adjust when they have better work coming from you.

#6. Maintain a Closed-Door Policy

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Those with an open-door policy may not realize how much time their bosses are taking up by constantly coming in and disrupting them during working hours.

Maintain a closed-door policy so that your working hours are spent actually working instead of answering questions all day.

#7. Establish a Paper Trail

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Not all bosses will like what you have to say about establishing boundaries.

Unfortunately, that may lead some to engage in intimidation tactics as a result.

Keep a record of all communications so you can escalate to HR or other authoritative bodies if it ever gets to that point.

#8. Steer Clear of Guilt Trips

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Some bosses may attempt to guilt you into getting rid of your boundaries if they find the change to be inconvenient for them.

Steer clear of any and all guilt trips and double down on what is acceptable and what’s not.

#9. Communicate Clearly

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A lack of communication can make it very hard for your boss to understand your needs and boundaries, making your efforts to have your time respected even more difficult.

Communicate everything clearly with your boss so they understand where you stand and what they need to do to make sure that you’re satisfied as an employee.

#10. Be Consistent

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It can be hard to argue for better boundaries and treatment if you turn around and demonstrate poor performance moving forward.

Once you get what you ask for, ensure you’re also meeting your boss’s demands within the boundaries you’ve provided.

#11. Decline Meetings You Don’t Need to Attend

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Meetings can be a helpful way to get everyone within an organization together to announce important news, brainstorm new ideas, and otherwise engage in team-building exercises.

The problem?

Too many organizations go way overboard on meetings, which cuts into the time you’re supposed to use to get your work done.

Unfortunately, you’re then expected to rush through that work or work extra to compensate for the time spent on meetings.

Decline any unnecessary meetings to make sure this doesn’t become a problem during your employment.

#12. Keep Various Lines of Communication Separate

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You know not to answer calls or emails when you’re not officially working.

That being said, that’s a relatively tricky feat to achieve if your phone is constantly buzzing during your time off.

One great strategy to set healthy work boundaries with your boss is to make sure that you have a separate email and number that they use to communicate with you.

This way, it’s even easier to make sure no one is trying to reach you when they shouldn’t.

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