Healthy norms and boundaries are essential for the proper development of any relationship, including those in the workplace. These help us define what our responsibilities are at work and create clear professional expectations. However, these agreements are not always met between the employer and the employee, which ultimately results in increased stress, decreased performance, and physical and emotional exhaustion of the latter.
In an article for Psychology Today, psychologist Dana Gionta has identified a series of 5 limits that must be established when accepting a job. Below, we explain in detail what they are.
It is quite common, unfortunately, to come across job offers in which a single professional is required to combine skills from several categories. This allows companies a priori to maintain a high degree of competitiveness, at the expense of the time and overexertion of their employees. And it is obvious that, if a worker takes on the tasks of two or three professionals, he will end up stressed and physically and mentally exhausted.
In relation to the above, the ambiguity of the functions to be performed by the worker can cause great confusion and uncertainty. An employee who reports to two or three different department heads or who is assigned constantly changing tasks and responsibilities will find it difficult to understand what the job description and scope is.
If the overload of roles and responsibilities are already a problem in themselves, exceeding the time of our working day is one of those that can bring us the worst consequences. What we now know as work-life balance has been largely shaken by the rise of teleworking and the inherent use of information and communication technologies to carry out our tasks and commitments. Something that, although it has multiple advantages, can also lead us to confuse the boundaries between personal and work life.
Workers can often receive calls, notifications and orders from their superiors outside of their strict work hours. Continuously giving in to these requirements will end up causing great stress, anxiety and exhaustion for the employee.
Clear and respectful communication is, probably, the most important limit that we must establish in our workplace and on which the rest of our demands will depend. Clarifying expectations, priorities and deadlines is vital to the proper performance of our job duties and to our own general well-being. Therefore, it is necessary for employee and employer to maintain clear and open communication, as well as a collaborative attitude. Nobody is a fortune teller!
In the workplace, there is nothing that deserves to exceed the limits of respect. Explicitly violent behaviors, such as intimidating language, name-calling, threats, or hitting objects, impact employee safety, trust, and overall well-being. This, together with more subtle practices such as micromanagement, that is, the exhaustive supervision of the tasks entrusted to each worker, are unhealthy habits that not only fail to improve employee performance, but also undermine their motivation.