You know the drill: you’re packing up your things, just about to leave the office, when your boss pipes up and says, “would you mind…”. You do, if you’re being honest––but you stick around after hours anyway to get the work they want done.
We’ve all had experience with managers or leaders who have set expectations that you should be constantly available, happy to work late and respond to their every demand––even well out of your working hours.
The problem is more endemic in some industries: law, finance and many service roles are often expected to do more than their contracted hours, as a given.
Or, if you work for an international company with a “follow the sun” model, designed to create an always-on workflow between offices in different time zones, you may also find yourself called into meetings in the early mornings or when you’re ideally heading off to bed.
The pandemic blurred the lines further. In many ways the rise of hybrid and remote working is a godsend for a boss who doesn’t respect your personal time, or who loves to push boundaries. As a result, over a third of UK employees say that they work outside of their contracted hours.
No one minds doing the odd evening or taking a call out of hours every now and then. But when your boss’ boundary breakages become a source of stress and begin to impact on your emotional and physical well-being, something needs to be done.
When your boss has no boundaries at work, it can be difficult to navigate the situation––what constitutes an issue, and how should you approach things? Here are some steps you can take.
1. Set your own boundaries
Determine what your own boundaries are and be clear about them––for example, is your boss constantly impinging on family time? Work out what areas of overreach cause you the most annoyance or stress, then act. Respectfully, communicate these boundaries to your boss as calmly as possible––it’s likely your manager may not have realised the impact they are having.
2. Communicate with your boss
Have a conversation with your boss about the behaviours that are causing issues for you––that could be late night contact on your personal phone, or comments about your physical appearance. Be specific about what you would like to change, and explain how it is impacting your work.
3. Seek support
Often, boundary-pushing is organisation-wide and is a symptom of a poor working culture. So, you won’t be alone. Seek support from colleagues or other team members to help you vent and cope. They may also be able to offer advice or help you come up with strategies for dealing with the situation.
4. Document everything
Keep a record of any incidents or behaviours that are causing issues for you, along with the frequency. Evidence matters in case you need to take things further––you’ll have examples to show, meaning it will be harder to dismiss your complaint.
5. Consider escalating the situation
If things don’t improve and you are experiencing impacts on your work or mental health, consider escalating it to your boss’s manager or HR. Be clear about what is causing issues, and what you have already done to try to resolve the situation
6. Move on
If all else fails, consider a new role at a company where employee well-being is a priority. Discover thousands of jobs on the Alt A Review Job Board, or browse the three below.
Content Delivery Coordinator, ITV Jobs, Leeds
Content Supply and Distribution teams are the backbone of ITV, ensuring that content is delivered in the right place, in the right time, in the right format. The successful Content Delivery Coordinator will provide smooth running and client focused service to all customers and stakeholders, and will have the ability to multitask across different capabilities. Additionally, a high level of understanding of the Broadcast and Online standards and formats/equipment and computer based editing systems is required. Get the full information here.
HR Business Partner – Global Gaming, TikTok, London
TikTok is looking to hire a Human Resources Business Partner (HRBP) to join its growing HR team of Global Gaming, EUI region. You will provide strategic partnership and consultation to the growing Gaming TikTok business team, and support the EUI Regional Gaming leader and team across the entire talent lifecycle. Seven years’ experience in HR, with three as a HR Business Partner in a high-growth company is required, with prior experience supporting and working in a tech business environment preferred. Apply for this job now.
Specialist, Screening Operations, Netflix, London
The Screening Operations Team facilitates a variety of screenings and reviews in Netflix’s in-house facilities while providing exceptional service to content creative teams and the filmmakers working on Netflix original shows. The Specialist will support and operate a variety of review use cases within Netflix’s internal post-production and exhibition facilities. The ideal candidate is an industry subject matter expert in post-production imaging and sound and possesses a well-rounded proficiency in the primary aspects of the fields, including science, technology, art, and technique. See all the requirements for this role here.
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