Earlier this month, I shared some tips on How to Establish Boundaries at Your Nonprofit Job which focused on tips that will prevent you from burning out and being overwhelmed.
Today we will look at a different set of boundaries – ones you need to establish with co-workers.
While it’s good to focus on the “work” boundaries in the work/life balance, we also need to cover boundaries for when you or your co-workers might be bringing a little too much “life” to work.
Of course you want to be social with your co-workers to build morale, etc, but you also need to get work done.
So what is the best way to make sure your boss knows you are doing your job while fostering important connections?
Robin Madell at U.S. News and World Report shared these tips:
- Set up visual cues like notes saying you are busy working or wearing headphones to circumvent chatter.
- Move to spaces set aside for focusing like meeting rooms.
- Communicate your deadlines with others and encourage them to share theirs as well.
- Maximize “quiet hours” for work to be able to participate later.
- Carve out set times to turn off work and engage with others like coffee or lunch breaks.
- Attend the office happy hour to better nurture your office relationships.
Depending on the platform, I would also add pausing any internal messaging apps your office might use during times when you really need to hunker down and work.
But Melody Wilding in her article How to Set Healthy Boundaries at Work warns against boundaries that are too rigid.
“Someone who is aloof with their coworkers or who shies away from social events at work may have rigid boundaries. But ultimately these rigid boundaries backfire. They prevent them from developing relationships they need in order to advance in their careers.”
So, as in most things, it’s all about finding the right balance.
What do you think? How do you get work done while also maintaining work friendships? Share in the comments below!