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Why Should You Set Boundaries While Working Online

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After the pandemic, a lot of companies decided to work remotely or in a hybrid system. Since it is still relatively new and companies are still getting used to it, both employees and employers can cross each other’s boundaries. To be more productive and enjoy your life more, you should set boundaries while working online. To learn the importance of setting boundaries and how to do it, keep reading!

Why Should You Set Boundaries While Working Online

Companies and their workers know their rights and responsibilities while working at an office. However, starting with the pandemic, now more and more companies are working online and both sides are struggling to understand what to and not to do while working from home. You should know your rights and responsibilities and act accordingly whether you work remotely or at an office. ‘Why is it important?’ you may ask. Here is the answer; sometimes both the employee and the employer may try to take advantage of the situation and cross the other’s boundaries. As an example, your boss may want you to work extra hard since you are not at the office and he or she cannot see and/or directly control you all the time. Also, an employee may take advantage of being in the comfort of their home and do their chores during a meeting. If both of these circumstances happen too often, it affects the productivity and the comfort of the company. Moreover, while working from home, if you live with other people like your family or flatmates, you should set certain boundaries with them too. This is as important as setting boundaries with your boss or employee since it also affects your productivity and mental state. For instance, if you work from home and are in a meeting and your roommate has their friends over and having a party, it may disturb you since you cannot focus on your job.

How to Set Boundaries While Working Online

If you are starting a new job where you will be working remotely or hiring someone new to work online for you, you should be certain about what you want and do not want. Also, if you are going into working remotely or the hybrid system you should set boundaries because the disadvantages of remote work are different from those of working at an office.

Set Boundaries As An Employee

Whether you are new at the company or have been working there for years, you should set boundaries to protect your work-life balance. When you start a new remote job, at the interview or before your first day you may discuss what your boss expects from you and what you expect from them. Learning about what the work hours are like if they will want you to work extra hours, if so how often etc will benefit you in the future because that is when you will decide if this job is suitable for you or not. After you had this conversation, if they try to force you to do the opposite of what they said you always react because it is not what they offered, and they have to respect your boundaries. Not all mobbing and crossing lines come from bosses so, you should set certain boundaries with your fellow employees as well. You should let them know you will not work outside of your job description and that you know your rights. Of course, to set boundaries and expect people to not cross them, you should also be careful about their boundaries and make sure to complete your tasks and complete your duties. You should not take advantage of your boss or colleagues not being able to see you all the time. You should not wash your dishes during a meeting or take your dog for a walk during the work hours you signed up for.

 Set Boundaries As An Employer

If you are starting a new business and working remotely, you should have a talk with all of your employees to set boundaries and let them set theirs. If you’ve been working at an office with your team and decided to go remote or hybrid from now on, you can have this talk before you change things. Even though of course, you could have this conversation after you started, it is always better to talk about the expectations before you start and give each other feedback as you go along. This will help you in case anything goes wrong in the future since you can always remind what you’ve talked about and set the boundaries again. Setting boundaries at work prevents you and your staff to take advantage of different circumstances. You should always talk about your work hours and how many hours per week or month you expect your team to work. This way, you can come to a consensus and hold them accountable. As a boss, you should also be careful about your workers’ relationships between them to prevent mobbing and crossing boundaries. What are some boundaries you can set with your workers? You should have a certain work time or amount of hours per week or per month. You should not force them to work extra hours too often or without pay. You should not let them work in a hostile environment. These examples will help you and your workers be more productive because both sides will be happy and willing to do their work better. Also, if you respect your workers and the jobs they are doing, they will respect you and the company and will work more motivated.

Set Boundaries With Your Family

Boundaries at the workspace are important but so are the boundaries at your home. If you work from home and do not live alone, you should talk with the people you are living with to set some boundaries. These boundaries improve your relationship and prevent possible disagreements and fights. You can set boundaries by putting an ‘on a meeting’ or ‘do not disturb’ card on your door to let others know you are busy or just tell them you are going to have a meeting or want some quiet hours to focus on your work. Of course, you can work from different places depending on your job and the rules of the company you are working for, but if you want to form from your home or you have to do so, you should definitely set boundaries to be more productive and have a better relationship with your loved ones who you live with.


Yasemin Yumusak