Recently I have heard many stories of difficult work environments. The new workforce appreciates a sense of autonomy so feeling micromanaged can feel uncomfortable. How can you challenge management style when you are new at work?
Here are three tips for working with a micromanager:
1. Be Transparent
If you work for a clock puncher or someone who wants to know where you are and what you are doing at all times, it can feel like you are not trusted. The key to this situation is to earn trust. Use your Google calendar or whatever mail service your company subscribes to and keep your schedule public.
Put down all of your meetings, when you will be out to lunch and block time for working on projects. Let everyone know that if they want to know where you are, to check your work calendar online. This creates a sense of accountability for you and your boss. Now your boss doesn’t have to look for you or wonder what you are doing if you are not in your office. He can just reference your calendar.
2. Track Productivity
You know what you do all day but how many people you work with understands what you do? Have you ever wondered how others are spending their time? Don’t let your boss or co-workers wonder what you are doing all day. If you are productive, share it!
A great application for this is Hours Tracker. You can download a free version or pay $5.00 for more functionality. Use Hours Tracker to track what you are doing every minute of the work day. You can create categories, projects and tasks to allot time. When you begin to work within one category, click on it and the time will be tracked. This can be tough for multi-taskers, but you can create broad categories and also assign time to categories after the fact. The information can be downloaded into excel. This is a great tool for meetings with your boss to show him how you spend your time. It is also handy to have this information in hand when asking for a raise or promotion.
3. Respect Authority
Your boss probably has a reason his behavior. He may have had a bad experience in the past or it’s just how he was treated and learned to manage others. Bosses in general like to be respected. One way to show respect is to always ask permission instead of tell what you will be doing.
It may sound menial but if it paves the way to creating a happier work environment, it’s generally worth it. You may feel you have proven yourself and want to ‘tell’ your boss you will be working from home one day but things will likely work out better for you if you ask. All bosses have a desire to be respected by their employees. Show your boss your respect by asking to work from home, leave early or come in late.
Example: Instead of, “I have a Dr. Appointment tomorrow at 10:00 and the office is closer to my house than work so I am going to work from home tomorrow morning and will be in after my appointment”; try “I have an appointment tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. It may be more productive for me to work from home and then go to the appointment because of the distance from work. Would it be OK with you if I work from home from 8:00 – 9:30, go to my appointment at 10:00 and report to work after?” This also increases your accountability with your boss.
Fair or unfair, employees must often figure out how to manage their working relationship with their boss. It may seem a suffocating situation to be micromanaged but don’t give up on a good job before trying to work out the situation. These steps could earn you more wiggle room in the long run. If it turns out it is unworkable, then you can decide if you need to make a move.
Having another perspective in these tricky work situations can be very helpful. Career coaches help people advance in their current employment and work through difficult work situations. If you liked this advice, please check out my coaching page to learn more about me and the services I provide!
About The Author
Jennifer Manhoff is a career coach over at CareerHMO.com. Her mission is to guide people on the personal journey of uncovering a career path that is true to their authentic self and to be empowered to go for it! Life is a journey, so is your career and she’d like the opportunity to support you in your next step. Check out her coaching page here.