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Successfully manage your remote team without micromanaging.

Remote working has become the new face of the future.

“My boss hardly listens to what I have to suggest, and he keeps talking only about his ideas on the new tasks”

“I had to redo the paperwork again because I did not get the work done according to his ideas, too much attention to details”

“I had to CC him in all mails including minor query mails”

“Calls me during non-working hours to make changes in presentation has no sense of time or proper work-life balance”

Heard this before? Or experienced one you have been or are a victim of micromanaging.

Remote working has become the new face of the future. The fact that this model is widely accommodated is a good thing since it allows the employees to be flexible and managers can cast a wider hiring net into the global talent pool. However, it is tricky for employees and managers to effectively manage them in a remote work setup.

This may be because you’re accustomed to work with your team in an office setup. Therefore, you might feel the urge to constantly monitor every element in each task and employee’s performance.

What is micromanagement?

Micromanagement is a type of management style where the manager tends to control and assert their authority towards the employee or their team. They tend to exhibit keen observational behavior, excessive involvement, and giving too much attention to details.

If you’re a micromanager, you might feel guilty about the following statements:

  • Over involvement, authority, and control.
  • Wanting to be copied in all the mails.
  • Excessive monitoring while working on a task and during breaks.
  • Rarely considering inputs and reluctant to share knowledge.
  • Delegating minor tasks and paying too much attention to a low-priority task.
  • Pointing out errors instead of paying attention to the overall output.
  • Conversation lacks constructive feedback.- Scheduling too many meetings.

Psychology behind micromanaging

Apart from manifesting hovering and autonomy, let’s get into the roots of micromanaging as a bad leadership quality. “Transference” is a psychodynamic phenomenon that unconsciously redirects early experience from the past to the present expectation. This explains how few managers unintentionally micromanage.

The perfectionist. “OCD” is a psychiatric condition called obsessive compulsive disorder which can also be an underlying factor to micromanage employees. Obsessive thoughts (flawless task completion)can result in compulsive behavior (Micromanaging and taking credits).

Anxiety. An emotion characterized by constant fear and worry. Fear of losing control and fear of the unknown. While remote working became prominent, managers faced novelty to working style and managing only a few succeeded while others micromanaged.


Here are 4 practices you can do after you identify you’re micromanaging:

1. Communicate

Yes, you’ve seen this now the thousandth time but let us brush through a few pointers which might help. Set up a common telecommuting platform where you can check in periodically in a polite way than sending unexaggeratedly detailed email. When you have remote employees, it can be easy to experience communication breakdown. However, having an impersonal communicating channel might help to fasten the process. Additionally, keep in mind that remote workers face a lot of distractions and do not hover around the time taken to respond.

2. Remote working tools

Invest in remote working tools which will help you provide a better workflow. Make sure that the software is suitable and relevant for remote workers. Micromanagers can suffice their authority with tools that provide information about the employee’s status on task, availability, and performance.

3. Schedules

Set up limited meetings and periodical schedules only. Do not go back and forth in conversations and constantly check on progress. Set up a specific time frame for team interaction.

4. Productivity

Set up the right standards for productivity. Implement policies for remote workers differently and use an alternative method to measure performance and manage tasks.

For example: Responding to official emails within 12 hours of receiving them.


From micromanaging go on an expedition to micromanaging. Yes, it is a difficult journey but here is how you can try out macro-management as your new managing style

Micromanagers tend to give a lot of insight into how the work must be done and hardly listen to the employee’s input, they often do one-way communication. Let us pause and take a diversion to listen and get feedback from your employees on how they feel about the delegation and task.

1. Feedback

Learn from your team members and employees about how your micromanagement negatively affects them. It can be done by informal reviews or channel surveys.

2. Supportive model

Do not just give standing orders and be authoritative instead support them and offer guidance when needed so that they can figure out things on their own.

3. Behavioral model

Constantly reflect on your behavior until it becomes a habit. Exploring the need to control might help to focus on why you shouldn’t control.

4. Collegial model

Delegate and coach wisely. Get comfortable by entrusting your team with a project and slowly begin to adapt and benefit from the macro management style.

All things considered

Micromanaging is a very common issue across all industries and different work environments. Managers often misinterpret leadership as possessing a high degree of control and authority, but it affects the growth and innovation of your employees which stagnates their career path and learning curve.

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