How to get your boss to understand you're not available 24/7

How to get your boss to understand you’re not available 24/7

Question

Dana, I’m done! I need to change my work habits and retrain my co-workers to understand I’m not available around the clock. How do I prepare my boss and co-workers to respect my after-work availability?

Answer from Executive Job Coach Dana Manciagli

1. Prepare a document for your manager that outlines the problem and your proposed solutions

List all of your day-to-day duties and show how you will redistribute your workload. Either you will delegate to people working for you or ask peers or virtual team members to take on special assignments. Some options may be to discontinue certain tasks or, for example, change weekly reports to monthly reports.

2. Prepare the rationale for your change in working hours

You have many reasons to select from: your health, the message that long hours sends to your team (e.g. your example may be having a negative impact on morale), you need more family time, or you believe that you will be more effective when you are not burned out.

3. Now, schedule a meeting with your manager

Clearly communicate your passion for what you do, your commitment to the company, etc., AND (not a but!) you want to place boundaries on your work time and non-work time. AND that you want to help those you work with have a better work/life balance too.

4. With your manager’s agreement and support, you can communicate your boundaries with your team

Meet with your team to share your plan and answer questions. Then, craft a short e-mail to share more broadly. Keep the discussions simple, straightforward, and professional.