Why Setting Healthy Desktop
By Rahul Nainwal, Director, School of Business UPES | Nov 2023

Why Setting Healthy Boundaries is Important in Workplace?

What is a boundary? To begin, boundaries help us state clearly what is acceptable and what is not Many often feel the need to please others, often without realizing that by saying “yes” to everything, they are also saying “no” to something that might be equally important to them. This can have a direct impact on personal well-being and can affect both your personal life as well as career. Not having healthy workplace boundaries often results in burnout, lost productivity, poor performance, and voluntary attrition.

Why is it important to set boundaries?

Setting healthy boundaries around communication and time at work can make it easier to handle work commitments and also help in establishing a good social as well as personal life. To say the least, good personal boundaries build great interpersonal and professional relationships.

As one spends the maximum time of the day in the workplace, boundary setting becomes a healthy strategy to implement self-care as mental health is of utmost importance A boundary is something that is considered ‘non-negotiable’ and makes it clear that one is not open to any kind of flexibility or debate. Boundaries help one define his/her rules and values that are applied to maintain one’s own level of contentment. Working efficiently and safely depends on how one feels mentally and physically - your well-being is consistent with how you feel.

Boundaries create trust and build healthy relationships. Boundaries also generate safety in relationships. When one starts respecting one’s own privacy and self-worth, it is seen that the organization starts respecting you more. You feel heard, validated, and appreciated. Also, you are not taken for granted by your colleagues and supervisors.

Setting boundaries is not unreasonable and certainly does not mean you require any form of special treatment but what it does mean is that you think enough of yourself and your job to care about how colleagues and your workplace engage with you and you with them. This is a healthy mutual respect and in turn, will be beneficial to all concerned.

Example of a healthy work-related boundary

A common boundary is not accepting being spoken to in a less than professional and respectful way. Of course, if you speak to your colleagues in a consistent pleasant manner, always being mindful of their feelings and listening to their opinions without prejudice then they will undoubtedly offer you the same in return. If someone speaks to you in a less than respectful way, using your already established firm boundary to remind them that you do not tolerate being spoken to in that way and neither will accept it, will convey that you are someone who uses communication both wisely and appropriately.

Healthy boundaries can help you define your uniqueness and your core. Saying no with assertiveness to a new commitment means you are honouring your existing ones. Boundaries are not just about getting what you want. It's about you getting to perform with the best of your capabilities and also means that you are someone who loves to live life on your own terms.’

Boundaries clarify responsibilities and expectations. Both employers and employees need to identify, set, and maintain them to keep people engaged and deliver strong performance. Setting healthy boundaries gives you the ability to express your thoughts and feelings in a way that clearly communicates your needs.

Advantages of setting healthy boundaries

  • Established rules enable one to effectively listen and see other points of view while respecting one's own.
  • When boundaries are set, one is able to practice self-respect by standing your ground.
  • Clear boundaries help avoid future conflicts and resentment
  • They help us stay focused on ourselves, honour our values and standards,
  • Boundaries also make us aware of our personal limitations
  • It helps in preserving our physical and emotional energy and has a positive impact on personal life


Boundaries are the mental, emotional, and physical limits people maintain with respect to others and their environment. Many renowned psychologists believe that having healthy pre-set boundaries or rules in the workspace ensures an individual’s continued well-being and stability. Part of learning to set boundaries requires internalizing the fact that one can have limitations and there is nothing wrong with that.

Expectations from employers

Employers need to respect individuals for who they are – their talent, diversity, personal strengths, etc. According to a June 2022 Gallup study of 8,090 remote-capable US employees published in Psychology Today, 60% want a long-term hybrid arrangement. Employees no longer see flexibility as a perk but as a right. Make no mistake; setting boundaries is an assertion of power. Employers also need to explicitly state what they expect from an individual and should pay attention to and empathetically inquire into a significant change in an employee’s performance, and suggest solutions for the same. Organizations should also motivate managers and leaders to practice boundary setting, model boundary setting, and coach others in doing the same.




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