Constant emails, text messages and everything between can make it difficult to create a set of boundaries for your professional life. Millennials outwardly crave that balance between home and the office, but other workforce generations are partial to the idea as well. Setting professional boundaries, whether it’s saying “no” more often or truly leaving work at the office when you’re done for the day, is the first step towards the work-life balance you want.
“No” is Okay
You have dozens of things to finish before the work day is over; despite your efforts to complete your projects, your team (and colleagues for that matter) come to your desk asking for help with just this one thing. When multiple people plead for your assistance, you don’t stand a chance of getting your own work done. Does this situation sound familiar? The solution to this problem, really is simple according to Stacey Carroll (@HRStacey)… say “no.”
Being a “yes man” at work isn’t as beneficial as it seems. Carroll suggests learning when and how to respectfully say “no.” You can negotiate deliverables, and in doing so, you can get more respect with more nos when you budget your time at work.
Create a Hard Line
To develop this balance, Carroll suggests making a very clear delineation between home and the office. For example, don’t answer emails after 7pm (or texts or phone calls for that matter). You are in control of your work-life balance, it’s not your company’s responsibility to decide that for you. She explained later while on the Smart Stage at SHRM 2015:
“I’m a better HR pro when I have a personal life… If you respect your boundaries, you give others the opportunity to respect your boundaries.”
Always “On” isn’t Always Good
Serve your employees where you can have the most impact - during work hours. Give yourself the time you need away from work to rejuvenate for work. You shouldn’t present yourself as the dumping ground, otherwise the team (unconsciously) will take advantage of your availability.
Creating a work-life balance is your responsibility, not that of your organization. You have the power to dictate when you will and will not be available after you leave the office; remember, saying “no” is okay. Set your boundaries, and your team will respect your boundaries.