The Boundaries To Set At Work Before A Long Weekend (No One Is Entitled To Your Time, FYI)


Cook, Motivationist and Nutritionist.

It can be hard to say no at work. According to a study cited by Thrive Global, women and femme-identifying people are disproportionate “people pleasers” at work. The study showed 54% of women act as people pleasers. In comparison, only 40% of men showed the same tendencies. People pleasers often find themselves saying yes to unreasonable requests from bosses, including additional work or work over holiday weekends. As we said in the title of this article, no one is entitled to your time. If you’re being paid for a 40-hour workweek, that should consist of 40 hours, not another 10 hours answering emails or requests or ‘just this one thing.’ How do we say no in a way that’s both firm and respectful? 

Science of People has some tips, including practicing your “no” before you give it. Of course, you shouldn’t have to devise an excuse, but sometimes letting a boss know early that you have other plans can be helpful. So if you get a message saying, “I know it’s a holiday, but this won’t take up too much of your time. Can you just write these five quick emails for me on Saturday?” you say, “I’m sorry, but I’ll be away for the weekend with no access to my email.” You can also be honest and say that you’re completely unplugging for the weekend, “but I’ll get on that as soon as I’m back in the office on Tuesday,” or “I’m very happy to do these right now and schedule them for the weekend, but I’ll be unavailable during the holiday.” You do not need to explain further. The important lesson is being firm but polite. This is still your boss, and you can respect their request while still ensuring they respect you. 


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