A majority of us spend our time at work and it is crucial we create boundaries so that we maximize our potential. When we don’t allow colleagues to infringe on our personal space, we establish healthy working relationships. So here are a few office tips that will help you set healthy boundaries. With clear communication and practice, you can certainly build a conducive environment and a productive workplace.


According to Melody Wilding, – a performance coach and licensed social worker who assisted high achievers with creating a work-life balance and develop successful careers, when you understand your values, you will be able to establish a system to ensure your needs are met and your values are not compromised. For example, if you have hobbies which you are passionate about, like running for charity events, you might set strict boundaries about working overtime.

Communication is the key

Julie de Azevedo Hanks, in her book The Burnout Cure: An Emotional Guide For Overwhelmed Women, emphasizes that it is essential we communicate our needs with clarity. For example, if you want your clients or coworkers to contact you only between certain hours, you need to specify what those hours are. At the same time, if you would want to be reached in an emergency, you will need to articulate what your definition of an emergency. This is so that they understand explicitly when they can and cannot disturb you.

Call out a violation straight away

Regardless of your job role, if you feel uncomfortable because of someone’s behavior or what they have said, it is vital you exercise your right to be treated respectfully at that moment. Don’t wait until days or weeks later because talking to someone in a polite but firm way right off the bat will let him or her know exactly where you stand. Your approach can be assertive but should not be aggressive in order for the person to hear your concerns without becoming defensive.

Build a structure

When you have an agenda in place, you work more efficiently and come across as being more professional. This is because structures equate to boundaries and they help drive effective teamwork. For instance, if your boss has a habit of coming by your desk every day for a casual chat and if you find it’s hampering your productivity, explain why a catch-up session is better relegated to a weekly 20-minute check-in instead. No boss will argue with an employee who is trying to make their company a more productive workplace.

Prepare for violations

Always be prepared with how you handle a violation – from your personal space being invaded to your boss calling you on the weekend. When you have a plan of action in place, you won’t be caught unaware. Not being prepared might cause you to do or say something you might regret in the future.

In Summary

When we don’t set healthy boundaries, it adversely affects both our professional and personal lives. Setting boundaries will help you work smart so that you can achieve those desired milestones that much quicker.

You may also be interested in our post: How to Build your Credibility at Work.