Working from Home – Don’t Micromanage

As a boss working remotely, many, if not all of your employees, are working from home.

Do you let them get on with the work and touch base at pre-determined times or do you keep sending emails and making calls to check progress.

If it’s the latter you might be a micromanager…. Or if you are a frustrated worker trying to make a deadline with a boss who keeps checking in – you might have a micromanager on your hands.

Tell-tale signs of micromanagement

In general micromanagers:

  • Resist delegating
  • Immerse themselves in overseeing the work of others
  • Correct tiny details instead of looking at the big picture
  • Take back delegated work before it is finished if they see mistakes
  • Discourage employees from making decisions without consulting them

A truly effective manager sets up those around him to succeed. Micromanagers, on the other hand prevent employees from making and taking responsibility for their decisions.

Good managers empower their employees by giving them opportunities to learn and grow on the job. Bad managers reduce opportunities resulting in disempowered employees. And as any boss will attest …a disempowered employee is an ineffective one, requiring a lot of time and effort from supervisors and managers.

The best way to build healthy relationships with employees is to take the most direct approach – Talk to them

Having individual conversations allows you to affirm good behaviours; deal with concerns both personal and commercial.

By all means use technology to communicate but do not overlook the power of conversation.

An important part of being a good manager is the ability to listen – a skill often lost on the micromanager. Engage your employees by listening to them.


If your boss is a micromanager try the following:

  • Help your boss delegate to you by prompting him to give you all you need up front.
  • Ask for work you’re confident you will be good at.
  • Communicate progress at regular intervals – agreed in advance if possible
  • Highlight challenges and contribute to solutions


Paul Doyle