Use These 3 Phrases to Set Boundaries With Your Coworker

As the modern workplace undergoes radical shifts, employees are reexamining their work habits, both big and small. Many of us have realized that we need a much greater work-life balance. Especially because so many of us are choosing to work from home at least part of the time, it’s important that we create and maintain healthy boundaries around work.

Ideally, we wouldn’t have to speak up about our boundaries at all. We’d simply set our work hours and stick to them, without anyone infringing upon our schedules or our priorities. This is not the case for most of us. When it comes to human relationships, healthy boundaries are a necessary part of co-existing, and co-working, together.

3 Phrases to Set Boundaries With Your Coworker:

This might be the hardest to say, but it’s the most important one to have in your repertoire. Nothing works better for fending off a huge dump of work that could burn you out. 

1. “The best way I can contribute is to stay focused on the tasks I’m currently working on.”

If you already know that your workload is too heavy to onboard the new skill set that a particular task requires, pass it along to someone who can handle it, such as someone who is already well-versed in those skills. 

2. “I don’t think I’m the best fit for this task. I recommend checking with _____ who knows a lot more about it.”

There are times when it’s completely appropriate to jump in and help out on a project that is not actually yours, especially if the person asking for your help has an emergency, is going on vacation or has covered you in a similar way in the past.

3. “That isn’t my concern right now. I know you can get the job done, and I believe in you.”