Why do boundaries matter?
by the Wellness Committee
Personal boundaries are an important tool to help us manage our lives and are used to maintaining a sense of balance within oneself and within society.
Boundaries preserve personal limits and create a sense of protection for things that can make us feel uncomfortable or unhappy.
Setting boundaries is a form of self-care. It helps to create clear guidelines/rules/limits of how we treated ourselves and how others treat us. They let others know what is and what is not okay/acceptable.
Boundaries relate to all different aspects of life. From relationship with yourself, with others, and with the responsibilities that you carry in your life.
Although something that seems trivial, it is useful to set healthy boundaries with certain tasks to help maintain a positive and productive work-life balance. As a way to help you define your boundaries, the Wellness Committee came up with a list of tips to help you set healthy boundaries your emails.
Please consider that this list is not a one-size-fits-all, but a list of best practices from some members on the committee that could be useful to you!
1. Be informed/aware of email etiquette/expectations from your manager.
2. Think twice before clicking ‘reply-all’ on a group message – if it is not necessary, please don’t “reply all”. Your colleagues will thank you!
3. Develop a weekend and off-hours personal code of conduct that restricts email exchanges to emergencies.
4. Never expect an immediate response from an email that you send out – set up limits. Consider reasonable delays for responses.
5. Pick up the phone and call – can a conversation be quicker than an email exchange?
6. Do not send out emails sent between 8:00 pm and 6:00 am: use the delayed function – “schedule send”.
7. Consider including concise headings in subject line “action required; information only:…” to help clarify the intent of the email.
8. Only tag emails as high importance if they are truly urgent in nature. If a message is more of an FYI, consider tagging it as low importance.
9. Don’t send one-line “thank you” and “got it” messages. This only clogs people’s emails.
10. Only follow-up on an email if a response is very late. Provide a reasonable time for the desired person to respond. Don’t jump over their head unless you absolutely need to.
11. For management employees, it could be useful to speak about email expectation/etiquette during a staff meeting to set expectations.