How to Set Healthy Boundaries in Business

Updated: Jul 13

With smartphones at our fingertips, boundaries around business are more blurred than ever. Apps like Clubhouse, Zoom, Slack and Gmail make us radically accessible, conference calls can happen at any time of the day, and laptops make it easier than ever to work on the weekend. It’s no surprise, then, how stress begins build up.

Things happen at work that leave us feeling frustrated and burnt out.We find ourselves balancing clients who cancel at the last minute, working extended hours, and juggling others’ expectations that we are always available. If you feel resentful, guilty, or angry about things that happen at work, chances are you have over-committed yourself. The key to overcoming that resentment and achieving work-life balance is learning to set healthy boundaries.

Boundaries are lines we set about our expectations, availability, and energy. Because boundaries protect our energy and focus, they allow us to be more productive in the workplace. And they do not have to be hard, aggressive rules. Boundaries simply prevent us from over-committing and make our lives easier.

We might think that setting boundaries pushes others away from us. However, setting boundaries can actually help us have better relationships with others. Use these tips to set boundaries in business:

1. Explore what you need. Identify where you feel guilt, resentment, or anger around work.

● Maybe you feel anger towards a client who cancels on you at the last minute.

● You might feel guilty because you’re not spending enough quality time with your children or partner.

● Figure out what makes you feel resentment or guilt. Then figure out what you need instead.

2. Create structure around what feels right for you. After you understand what you need, create a structure to help you achieve your desired outcome.

● Set formal policies around cancellation.

● Set office hours based on when you would like to be available.

● Whether you work from home or in an office, set up a structure (like closing the door or working with headphones on) where you can work undisturbed.