The Invisible Forcefield

The Invisible Forcefield

Navigating the minefield of professional versus personal boundaries can sometimes feel like trying to juggle flaming torches while balancing on a tightrope. In today's world, where remote work blurs the lines between office and home, maintaining boundaries can be never-ending.

Professional boundaries refer to the limits and guidelines that govern appropriate behaviour and interactions within a work context. Personal boundaries on the other hand are more about personal individual rights that establish limits, including time, emotional, and physical space.

With the ever-developing tech world, we are more connected and available than ever, there is a social and sometimes professional expectation that we will be contactable outside our working hours. Often, we do the sneaky little bit of work to try and get ahead of the mouse wheel for the next day, but does that ever work? Will the world end if you leave it for the next day, or can you reassess the issue and find a long-term solution? It’s time to get comfortable with the uncomfortable!

There are six basic types of boundaries.

  1. Material- do we want to share our belongings?
  2. Physical- do we want to share our personal space?
  3. Mental- The right to our values, beliefs, opinions, and thoughts.
  4. Emotional-You are responsible for your own emotions.
  5. Sexual- it is your right to choose your comfort level.
  6. Spiritual- it is your right to choose your spiritual journey.

Boundaries do not require an explanation, but in some instances, it may be easier to communicate your view. We all have our own beliefs, values, and boundaries based on our individual experiences and if we don’t agree with others, we can still respect they have their own thoughts.

  • Define your boundaries. Reflect on your values, priorities, and comfort level, and draw your line on what you will accept.
  • Communicate openly. It can be difficult to say the gentle no, but it will be worth it. Express your needs, preferences, and limitations assertively but respectfully
  • Set limits on tech. Establish times for designated work and personal time. Disable notifications and switch on Do Not Disturb.
  • Maintain confidentiality. That means no office gossip, stay in your lane.
  • Practice your self-care. Set time aside for hobbies, relaxation, exercise, and anything that makes your heart happy.
  1. Boundaries only work if you uphold them.

Helpful phrases and tips

  • “Thanks for thinking of me but I have a full plate at the moment”.
  • “I can’t attend but I appreciate the invitation”.
  • “I don’t feel comfortable talking about that”.
  • “I would love to join the team lunch, but I need some time to recharge alone”.
  • “I can help you in the morning, but I have plans for the afternoon”.
  • “I won’t be available for contact after 5.30 pm”.
  • “I disagree with your approach”.
  • “You can borrow my jacket, but I will need it back by Thursday”.
  • Excuse yourself from the break room if the gossip starts.
  • Excuse yourself if you need 5 minutes of fresh air to reset.
  • Don’t apologise for looking after yourself.

Work-life balance can be the nemesis of many, but it is within our control, baby steps lead to big strides.


Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.