Q&A: Help! My boss has no boundaries!

Oct 11, 2023 | Burning Question

Good news! 🎉

You asked for it and we’re bringing it to you. Our popular Q&A series, Burning Questions, is getting its own newsletter. Over the past two years, we received so many questions from our community and realized Burning Questions should stand alone. 💬

We will be exploring one of YOUR pressing questions each month, so share your burning questions with us by sending them to community@equiptwomen.com.

Whether you’re seeking insights into overcoming workplace challenges, developing stronger relationships with your manager or colleagues, strategies for negotiating promotions, or guidance on navigating unconventional career paths, we’re here to provide you with valuable answers and perspectives. 🌟

Keep an eye on your inbox for our special Burning Questions edition! 👀

Now, let’s jump in and answer your burning questions! 🔥


Everyone talks about their boundaries. Is this something I should be more conscious of doing in my life? How do I know when I need to set a boundary? – Keeley, 26

Boundaries are tools for honoring what we need at work and in our personal relationships. 🤝 Think of them as guidelines that we set for ourselves to know what we need and how we are going to behave in certain situations.

The way to know if you need a boundary is by checking how you feel. Are you feeling overwhelmed? Exhausted? Underappreciated and overworked?If yes, it’s time to identify what you need. For example, maybe you need more downtime and a boundary might include limiting social outings, going to bed earlier, or not working on weekends.

Boundaries are unique to every individual and help guide behavior and choices. 🙌 To go deeper, check out this popular book on the topic “Set Boundaries, Find Peace” by Nedra Glover Tawwab.


I work for an omnichannel retailer, so everything is super fast-paced. In my performance reviews and meetings with my manager, I’m told I am a high performer (and I agree!). I like to work hard and give everything I can during the week, but when it comes to the weekends, I need a break. My job does NOT include weekend hours although my boss expects me to work every weekend – even coming into the office, which is a big commute for me. This means I am exhausted by the time Monday rolls around so it’s hard to stay positive and upbeat. I love what I do, but I can’t sustain these unreasonable hours. What should I do? – Laurel, 28

Laurel, you’ve done a great job getting feedback from your manager to know where you stand. 👏 Let’s face it, retail can require some hours outside of the core given the last-minute, fast-paced nature of the industry. That said, if your boss expects you to work every weekend, they are being unreasonable (and could learn to draw some boundaries, too). 🚫

It’s difficult when you’re not in a position of power, but you can have an open and direct conversation with your boss. It could go something like this: “I really enjoy working here and want to continue having an impact and being a high performer. In order to do that and deliver my best work during the week, I need to rest and rejuvenate over the weekends–without coming into the office or logging into email. Let’s talk about how we can make that work.” Note, you don’t need to say, “I’m drawing a boundary” as that language can get misinterpreted. Keep it light, yet direct. ✨

If your boss doesn’t respect the importance of recharging over the weekend, and won’t partner with you to align on expectations, those are signals to begin your search. 


 I have a ton of flexibility for my work so I can work wherever I want, which is awesome. But, when I go on vacation, my manager doesn’t respect that I am not available. They don’t really see a distinction between working from home and vacation (since I’m not visible in person). I need a real break, what do I do? – Rochelle, 33

Having flexibility–whether it’s where you work or the hours you work, is a valuable benefit (that many employers still don’t offer). However, flexibility is a two-way street. It works both ways. When an employer offers flexibility, they expect a little in return from time to time–especially if a major deadline is pending. That said, vacations are earned. They are part of your compensation and you deserve to take them–uninterrupted. 🏖️

Start by setting a boundary and share it upfront with your manager and team. Make sure they are aware of your scheduled vacation and provide a reminder one week in advance. 🗓️

Before you leave, write an email summarizing the status of open projects you are working on and provide a contact person who can answer questions in your absence. If such a person doesn’t exist because you are in a small team or company, simply let them know you will follow up upon your return. Turn on your out-of-office notifications, remind your team members that you will be unreachable and ask that they respect your need to recharge. If you need more help resisting incoming messages, remove your work email from your phone and stash your laptop. 📵

The key is being direct about setting expectations in advance so you can actually relax. You’ve earned that time off – so take it and enjoy!

P.S. Keep those questions coming–we love hearing from you! Send your burning question to community@equiptwomen.com and if it is selected, it will be featured in our next newsletter. 🔥


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