Going Remote Is Forcing Us to Finally Talk About Work Boundaries

The conversations you need to have as you figure out how to work as a team

Shane Snow
Forge
Published in
9 min readApr 14, 2020

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Photo: svetikd/Getty Images

I once managed a very talented graphic designer who could never seem to hit deadlines without staying late and working weekends. She was miserable. And as her boss, I was worried.

The reason for the late work wasn’t because she was slow. Her output was fantastic. The problem was that most of the day, she would get pulled into “urgent” projects for our salespeople who needed custom pitch decks. She’d often work all day on those, and then have no time leftover during normal hours to do her marketing design work for me.

We didn’t have the budget to hire another designer to spread the load, so I suggested she tell the sales team to give her more warning for upcoming “urgent” projects. I told her that this would help her to manage her work, so that her work wouldn’t manage her.

Instead, my advice created its own problems. One salesperson was relentless about pushing the designer to get his sales designs done ASAP, no matter how long she said she’d need. In response, I told the sales team that they could no longer go directly to her with requests, and should instead come to me. Immediately, the sales team members started complaining about how…

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Shane Snow
Forge
Writer for

Explorer, journalist. Author of Dream Teams and other books. My views are my own. For my main body of work, visit www.shanesnow.com