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The boundaries between work and personal life

Most of us need good working relationships to do our job. You get to know the habits, likes and dislikes and some personal tidbits—the names of family and friends, personal projects---of coworkers and bosses.

It doesn’t guarantee friendship or closeness. The best indicator of lasting friendships is shared personal values. At work, you’re focused on the mission and values of your company.

The boundaries between work life and personal life vary wildly
Notice how much a person talks about his or her personal life.

Look at the workspace. Are there photos or clues of family, pets or hobbies?

Do friends and family visit the office?

These indicators give an inkling of what you can talk about to that person and where that person’s boundaries lie.

When you hear people say ‘too much information’ or ‘mind your own business,’ you’ve crossed a boundary either telling too much or asking too much. For example, what you do on vacation or weekends and whom you do it with falls under personal boundaries. Some people love to tell you and others don’t think it’s any of your business.

We each have different boundaries. Do the civil thing---pick up the clues and respect that difference.