Luca has recently joined a workplace as a management trainee. They are excited to learn and explore new opportunities, interact with their colleagues and kick start their career. During the first week, Luca introduces themselves to their team and starts with work. On the second day during lunch, their colleague asks them a bunch of questions about their family, hometown, partner etc, Luca is hesitant but answers them to avoid any awkwardness in their initial days.
A few weeks later, Luca receives an email asking them to join a client meeting at 11 pm, which is way past their working hours. Over a period of few months, the trend of intrusive questions and bad meeting timings continues. A workplace that was once promising, is now a chore to Luca.
Luca’s story has multiple instances we all can relate to. The absence of mindfulness and empathy in a workplace is something we may have or will encounter. The constant questions on one’s personal life or lack of communication is what can be best described as the absence of workplace boundaries.
What are workplace boundaries?
Healthy boundaries at work are the physical, emotional, and mental limits you create to protect yourself from over-committing, being used or behaving in unethical ways. Boundaries separate what you think and feel from the thoughts and feelings of others.
Boundaries play an important part in distinguishing professional achievements and burnout. In order to maintain meaningful work relations while maintaining your personal energy, it is crucial to draw functional limits to your work life.
Why do workplaces need boundaries?
Each employee has their own duties, responsibilities and relationships that contribute to a company’s success. Boundaries in the workplace help maintain a safe, supportive and conducive working environment for all employees.
Here’s a few things that healthy boundaries help foster:
- Effective communication
- Mutual respect
- Standards of behavior
- Better expectations
- Evolved and mature workplace relations
How do we establish these boundaries?
It’s simple, communicate and implement. Communicate your boundaries, this also ensures that you create a space where your co-workers are able to communicate theirs.
If you are a leader, make sure that you lead by example. It helps your team members who aren’t vocal understand the workplace culture.
Make room for awareness, as leaders it can be overwhelming to do all this by yourself. Have tools that help you start conversations in the workplace.
At Conduct, our very own Shifoo Bot has an interesting module that speaks of appropriate workplace conduct. It helps team members understand and learn at their own pace, making it easy to understand healthy workplace behavior.
Have you met Conduct yet?