Remote work gives workers a ton of flexibility when it comes to scheduling. With no need to spend hours on the road just to get to the office, you are free to use the extra time for personal or family tasks. You can also dress as comfortably as possible—no need for makeup or office clothing unless you’re hopping on a video meeting!
Although there are numerous advantages to working remotely, one of the most significant downsides is the difficulty of setting boundaries. When you work in an office, you are free to do whatever you want when you clock out and walk away from the building. You don’t have to accept calls or answer emails once you sign off. But when you work from home, you may feel the pressure to be available at all times. If your boss asks, and your work computer is right on your desk, there’s no reason not to sit down and look for that missing file, right?
Setting boundaries at work
Boundaries protect you from people trying to take advantage of you. Setting firm boundaries at work is especially important because you set the rules to dictate what to do and how people treat you.
When you don’t work within the walls of a physical office, it can be difficult to remain firm when it comes to work boundaries. Here are a three simple tips to help you stick to your boundaries no matter how hard other people try to break them:
1. Set your limits
Your boundaries largely depend on your employer’s flexibility and what you’re comfortable with. Coordinate with your direct supervisor or manager and talk to them about what you’re comfortable with. Try to find the balance between what your employer expects from you and what you can deliver.
Make sure all your job responsibilities are outlined clearly and specifically. If you have to clock in at a specific time, make sure your managers and co-workers know and agree that you will not respond to any work communications beyond these hours. If you work in an industry where time-sensitive emergencies can come up throughout the day, decide what allowances you’re comfortable with and set firm rules for you and your employer to follow.
Once you’ve set these limits, make sure to communicate them to all relevant parties. This isn’t limited to your manager, either—if you’re part of a team working closely together, you and your colleagues should have set rules that you should all follow. If you’re collaborating through a team communication channel, make sure to set your status appropriately at all times.
2. Be as strict as possible
When you’ve set and communicated clear boundaries, you should follow them strictly. This is usually an all-or-nothing venture—the moment you answer one email outside your set work hours, you are letting people know that your boundaries are flexible, letting them take advantage of that.
The stricter you are about your boundaries, your colleagues and supervisors are more likely to respect them.
The moment you’re off work, make sure to disconnect all your work devices. Think of it as clocking out and driving away from your office at the end of the day. Technology has made it much easier to stay connected to work at all times, so you should be more proactive when it’s time to disconnect and enjoy your leisure time.
Setting strict work boundaries is essential if you don’t want to burn out immediately. No matter what kind of work you do or what industry you’re in, you and your team should communicate clear rules about work arrangements and individual schedules.
If you’re looking for work from home jobs for moms, Skilled Moms has all the resources you need. Our empowering platform connects you with remote job opportunities and offers virtual training for women to gain essential employment skills. We are looking to partner with various remote employment agencies nationwide, so check out our job seeker portal today!