Worker Says He Received A Bad Performance Review For Not Being A ‘Team Player’ After Setting ‘Boundaries’ With His Boss

Setting boundaries is one of the main ways to avoid burnout in the workplace. Still, some bosses are resistant.

frustrated man sitting in front of computer and tablet Dorde Krstic / Shutterstock

It’s important to be able to set boundaries in any situation where they’re needed, including at work. 

One worker tried to do just that but ended up being penalized for it.

An employee received a bad performance review as a result of trying to set boundaries with his boss.

An anonymous worker posted to the “Community” section of Glassdoor with an important question: Had he gone too far when setting boundaries with his boss?


“I got a bad performance review because I set some boundaries,” he said in his post. “Were my expectations unrealistic?”

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The employee, who only identified himself as a senior consultant, listed the requests he made to his boss.

“My boss would often call me after hours for help on random stuff,” he said. “I asked if it’s non-critical if I can do it the next day.”

His next point was similar. “Manager dials me several times a day. Sometimes I’d be in a call or doing heads-down work,” he stated. “I asked if they could give me [an] IM before dialing me.”

The man’s third request was also related to work-life balance. “I don’t often get a lunch break, but when I do, I get called asking if I can get to my PC ASAP,” he explained. “One time, I was away running an errand during my lunch break and said I couldn’t get there soon. So, I started blocking my lunch, and I guess they didn’t like that.”


Even though he had made these changes to make his time working simpler, he still didn’t think it would affect his review, and he was dismayed to see that it did.

“I gotta admit, I’m a bit disappointed in receiving the bad review,” he confessed. “They highlighted I need to be available more and be a team player.”

It’s important to be able to set boundaries at work.

Forbes stressed the necessity of setting boundaries and being willing to say no at work.


“When your workload exceeds your capacity, it can lead to anxiety, stress, and even burnout,” they said.

In February 2023, Future Forum Pulse reported that the global workforce had reached a 42% burnout rate.

@melgoose_ Overtime I’ve gotten comfortable setting and sticking to my boundaries. Its a muscle that you have to build. #9to5 #corporatelife #corporatetiktok #wfhlife #9to5 #workboundaries #lifestylevlogger #melgoose #fypシ #foryoupage ♬ original sound - mel goose

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Boundaries are essential to avoid burnout. Forbes recommends being firm and clear about them.

“Boundaries at work should be communicated clearly, confidently, and often,” they stated. “Don’t just explain what your boundaries are but also why you need them. Be honest so that your manager and colleagues understand your perspective.”

Indeed agreed with this. They said setting boundaries is a way “to keep good mental health practices while working.”

Indeed also pointed out that setting boundaries can decrease burnout, in addition to increasing productivity.

Other Glassdoor users agreed this employee should have the opportunity to set boundaries as needed.

Many of the people who commented on the worker’s Glassdoor post agreed that he should be able to set boundaries, especially when it came to such simple matters.


“We know some things to be true and needed,” one person said. “Having some personal time like lunch is not unreasonable and a need, not a want. Penalizing for this is not cool.”

“Everything you’ve stated sounds perfectly reasonable and should be respected,” another person said. “Sounds like a toxic manager to me.”

A third person posed a very important question to the worker. “Are you sure this is the right fit for you?” they asked. “It does not sound very healthy.”

@realisticrecruiting Replying to @Heidi H setting boundaries feels awkward but most people will respect them. We can not just expect people to operate under rules we don’t establish. Set them and stick to them. #jobsearchtips #corporatelife #careeradvice ♬ original sound - Mike Peditto | Job Search Talk

While there are some things you simply can’t control at work, some things you do have a say in. Setting boundaries where possible is a way to maintain your mental and physical health and ensure you have a good work-life balance.

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Mary-Faith Martinez is a writer for YourTango who covers entertainment, news, and human interest topics.