Supporting a Micromanager from Home: An Assistant’s Perspective

September 15, 2021


remote executive assistant taking notes
Here's how to deal with a micromanager as a remote administrative or executive assistant.

Micromanagers can be hard to work with, whether you are working from the office, or remotely. You may not be able to get much done when you are working from home if you have to keep up check in and give status updates up to several times a day.

Don’t allow the micromanaging to hurt your morale and productivity while you are working remotely. From an assistant who has finally managed to smooth out working with a micromanager, here is what you can do to support your boss

Find Their Preferred Communication Style

Some executives prefer phone calls, others email. if, for example, your boss prefers phone calls, and you send in an email, chances are they may not open the email. It should come as no surprise then that your boss would call you asking for that information or doing follow-ups.

Observe and even go ahead and ask your executive their preferred communication style. You will be able to avoid information getting overlooked.

Stay Ahead

This strategy works just as well even if you are working remotely. You may not be able to get your boss to not want updates from you, so provide them even before they ask to avoid having your work interrupted. Anticipate their need for these updates and stay on top of it before they can ask.

Send that email, or call with updates at a time that works best for your schedule. Being proactive will impress and build trust, and you will be glad not to deal with interruptions when you are in the thick of your workday.

Bridge Any Gaps

Some bosses micromanage because of they have neurotic tendencies, in which case there may not be much that you can do to change it as it is ingrained in their personality. On the other hand, it may be that you have messed up a time or two and that’s where all the micromanaging started.

You may not always be able to get things done perfectly, but if you can earnestly strive to do more than just a good job, your boss may not feel the need to micromanage. You need to hone your skills, especially if you are working with a high performer who expects the same standards from everyone else. Consistently deliver great work, and you can say look forward to saying goodbye to multiple requests for edits or revisions to your work.

Send an Invite

When possible, invite your boss to important meetings so they can get the information firsthand and you won’t have a barrage of phone calls and emails to respond to, inquiring about what was discussed at the meeting. Inform them that there will be such a meeting and send them a link to the meeting.

Again, inviting them to such a meeting will give your boss a front-row view of the progress you are making. Instilling confidence to replace the anxiety that usually drives micromanaging will help to rein in the tendency.

Talk about It

This is not a conversation for which you may have the courage and confidence to have face-to-face with your boss. You could take advantage of the fact that you are working remotely and have the conversation over the phone or email.

You need to be careful with your diction as you bring up the subject. It should be an honest conversation that sets boundaries and expectations.

If working remotely is new to you, dealing with a micromanager may not help with the transition. Supporting a micromanager can help you to reach a middle ground that allows you both to be your most productive.

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