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Human Resources

I’m getting texts from my Director past 10pm on weekday evenings. What do you do to set boundaries with your leaders? How do you let them know that you are in their corner, while still setting boundaries?

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I told my employees when I took over the team that I work long hours and often will send late night and weekend emails but that was about me and the fact that I like hammering things out at weird hours. I tell them frequently to feel no obligation to respond until next business day. That has worked for us. For texts, if you have a work phone turn it on silence or set do not disturb hours. If you continue to answer your boss will have no boundaries.

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Part of this challenge depends on the time zones you live in. Are you both working remotely in the same time zone as the office you work in? If yes, set clear expectations that you will only be available during the hours you worked in the office, pre covid. If no, adjust your work schedule to the directors time zone where possible or agree on a set times that you are not available. Clarity and setting expectations is key in all situations. Both professional and personal. Some situations require flexibility. Showing gratitude in having a job is necessary as well but self care is important, too. Employee burnout is very common everywhere these last 6 months, be sure to protect yourself from it. Best practice. Be Respectful of others and set boundaries for yourself. Always.

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Are the texts “urgent” or really something that could have been an email? We have a managing director that does this (I don’t report to him, but have been on the receiving end of late texts) Based on the times we are living in, some people are having to work later due to childcare during the day, which is totally fine, yet they need to understand not everyone works that schedule. Maybe ask some questions of your Director to uncover why they feel the need to text so late? They may simply not realize how much of an imposition it is. If you can explain how you schedule your day and that you have wrapped up by then, you could ask if it would be possible for them to send an email that you can then address in the morning? Just ensure you set that expectation that their email will be addressed the next day. That worked in my situation.

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Just set your phone into sleep mode at 10PM, so you couldn’t see any upcoming texts. And have a convo with your director, say something like “I often get texts from you after 10Pm when I’m in bed, would it be a problem if instead of answering them late, I respond first thing in the morning? I have a regime to stay productive”

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