Boundaries: What They Are in a Work Environment

Setting personal boundaries is important for everyday life; setting professional boundaries is pivotal to being an efficient and fair manager. A boundary is a way to know where your tasks end and another’s begin. Professional boundaries are a way of letting those you supervise know how and when to do things. Boundaries are often the oil for the work machine: they help keep a smooth operation.

Boundaries allow you to decipher some of the more sensitive situations within a work environment in a fair manner. The boundaries also protect you from using emotion during work procedures. Interpersonal boundaries are those used between two or more coworkers in a setting. They include attitude and tone.

When discussing or creating boundaries, always start in an open discussion with all involved. Having a defined list of boundaries can create a more efficient workplace and is an ideal start to a comfortable working relationship with those involved.

It’s important to thoroughly understand your job description when creating boundaries; this includes knowing who assigns you tasks, whom you report to, who you supervise, and which tasks need done and when. It is nearly impossible to correctly delegate tasks to those under you when you don’t thoroughly know your own responsibilities.

As a manager, having clearly defined boundaries can allow you to more thoroughly handle the tougher parts of your job. For example, it is important that your employees or subordinates know the proper manner and times to get a hold of you. It’s important for you to delegate tasks in a fair and efficient manner.

When boundaries are properly created, your entire team knows what to do and how to do it, resulting in a smooth operation that is a direct result of your management strategy. If work boundaries are something new for your company or team, have an open discussion and take suggestions and listen to differences. Overall, create boundaries that are functional, fair and efficient to ensure the success of your team and your company.