Work Boundary or the Lack of It Causing Employee Burnout

Published: April 22, 2021

So much is changing around us. Be it our schedules, work preferences, or even the way we choose to work; everything is changing rapidly. Even though new work models have come under the spotlight, post-pandemic burnout is real. We are still struggling to set up a work boundary. 

With this blog, we attempt to bring to light what burnout truly is and provide tips to deal with it. 

Sounds interesting? Keep scrolling to read. 

Burnout: A Lack of Work Boundary 

According to Small Business Trends, 80% of employees feel overworked. Most of them pointed out that high competition and the need to stand out forces them to work extra hours. This ultimately leads to massive burnout. 

In 2019, a survey revealed that 74% of marketers feel burnout. In the US, 49% of employees leave their present companies because they feel overworked. Many experts have cited that work pressure and other factors such as longer commute time and lack of work-life boundary can also cause burnout. Many chimed that the on-site work model was highly responsible for exhaustion. 

The pandemic introduced remote working for most employees in almost all industries, but that didn’t reduce burnout. A recent survey conducted by FlexJobs and Mental Health America found that 75% of people experienced burnout at work; specifically, 40% experienced it during the pandemic. With pay cuts rampant and work pressure increasing, the situation around us is stressful. The fine line that separated work from home is increasingly diminishing, and of course, there are worries over job security.

All of this has only made burnout worse. Some even say that burnout has become a constant complaint in the new world era. However, by marking work boundaries, a solution to burnout, especially during this pandemic, can be achieved. The process is not simple; nevertheless, we have listed five ways you can mark work boundaries to reduce burnout. 

5 Tips to Perfectly Mark Work Boundary 

According to the author and motivational speaker Tony Gaskins, “You teach people how to treat you by what you allow, what you stop and what you reinforce.” Here we have listed five ways to set healthy boundaries at the office to work smarter and increase your productivity.

1. Discuss Your Tasks 

Even a small task like seeking advice from your manager can help you go a long way. New York Times bestselling author Ken Blanchard suggests the following process to deal with burnout:

  • Start with you and your boss each creating a separate list of all the tasks you believe you are being held responsible for. This exercise can be eye-opening as, most of the time, there are discrepancies between the two lists. 
  • The second step would be to prioritize the tasks you think you should be focusing on 
  • The last step should be to negotiate on agreed-upon priorities and fix the same 

Clarifying your tasks with your manager can ensure that you don’t end up doing extra work. 

2. Set Your Work Boundary

Even if you have clarified your tasks, you need to set your time limits. For instance, if your work hours are from 9 am to 6 pm, make sure you do not engage in any office work after that. Inform your colleagues that you won’t be answering calls or emails. If you are unavailable for a particular day, inform your manager. By setting your limits, you ensure that nobody can violate your work boundaries. 

You can use apps like WorkInSync, which allows you to set up your time boundaries. 

3. Communicate Clearly

Once you set your limits, you need to communicate them clearly and confidently to your manager and colleagues. For instance, if you don’t want your team members to contact you after 7 pm, tell them exactly when you will be available for work conversations. If you don’t like to be contacted unless it is an emergency, make sure to outline what constitutes an urgent matter. You should address any violation of your work boundary immediately to avoid confusion.

4. Delegate When Necessary

Being a good leader means delegating your tasks. If you are expected to do the work of 50 people, which makes you feel overwhelmed and burnt out, chances are not only that you are not delegating your tasks, your productivity is also taking a massive hit. Delegating is a skill that can help you go a long way as a leader. Learn to let go, trust your team and play to their strengths. On the plus side, this is the healthiest way to set a work boundary.

5. Create a Work Boundary Structure

One of the best ways to create structure – and thereby establish a boundary – is to have an agenda. An agenda is a more efficient process and positions you as a professional and capable leader. When setting an agenda, ensure to include a start and end time along with topics to discuss. Also, conduct weekly catch-up sessions to avoid wasting your and your colleagues’ time. 


Burnout is an obstacle that most employees face. This pandemic has made only more apparent. Most organizations lose employees to burnout. Thus, it is essential to mark your work boundaries. Say “No” when it is required. Always remember, a happy employee influences a growing organization.

WorkInSync allows you to mark your office time and highlight your out-of-office hours to ensure that you can mark your work-life boundary. 

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