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In my working life I have met different types of managers. Those who support their staff and want only the best for their crew and those who have to have their fingers in each pie and control everything that goes on in the company. Needless to say, those who guide and lead their staff and trust them to get their work done, are the ones, who are always admired and remembered. They are the ones who inspire us on our journey throughout our careers. Those who want to know what you did every minute of the day are forgotten as soon as you walk out of the door or should I say run out of the door.


My recent experience with a micromanager saw me having a meeting with a manager in the morning where we discussed my task list and two hours after the meeting, she sent me a long email on what I needed to do. I mean, we just met two hours ago and went through a list of things and it probably took her half an hour to write that email and for me to answer so I really saw no point in that other than wanting to show who was in charge and make me doubt if I knew what I was doing. We had already discussed everything so the email was a bit excessive and waste of everyone’s time.

Every time I come face to face with a manager who is a micromanager, I wonder what has gone on in their lives to behave like that? The other question that pops into my mind - do they like to be controlled themselves?


[i]Micromanagement is a compulsive, behavioural disorder similar to other addictive patterns. People who micromanage, generally do so because they feel unsure and self-doubting. Micromanagers, like many addicts, are the last people to recognise that they are hooked on trolling others.

Often they fear competition from their colleagues and staff who are smart, talented and more knowledgeable and therefore hire people who they can model into someone who will only take direction from them. That gives micromanagers power and makes them feel more confident and in control of everything.


Micromanagers are known to wanting to see your detailed task lists and regular updates. They require every decision to be run past them and every document to be approved and they want to know where you are every minute of your working day. Micromanagers send frequent emails and hold many unnecessary meetings. They often take credit for anything positive that has come out of the team but blame individuals if things do not go so well. Micromanagers find hard to trust people deliver work on time and to their standards so they often interfere with the process and therefore create extra work that is really not necessary.


Many of us have worked with a micromanager at some point in our lives and know how damaging this can be for one’s productivity and morale. Staff want to be part of the company, they want to make contributions that they get credit for, they want to feel empowered and guided and have an opportunity to learn, not be afraid and question their own actions all the time. Under a micromanager, one can never succeed. Eventually one feels like a puppet whose strings are controlled and the need to cut themselves loose to find a workplace where they are valued and supported.


When I attend a job interview, one of my questions to the hiring manager is asking them to describe what kind of managers they are. Obviously, no one will tell me the truth but that does not stop me from trying. What I am looking for in a manager or even when I work with the manager as my client, is someone who hires talented and smart people. People who they trust will do a great job. And if they do not trust their staff is competent enough, they should not have them in their company. There is no need to hire staff you don’t trust and therefore need to control. Afterall, the business is always growing and if you have smart people who support you, your business will be thriving. If you hire people who need constant hand holding because you do not trust they are capable of performing their roles, you struggle to succeed as a manager.


Employees nowadays want a boss they can trust, someone who listens to them and praises them when they do well and provides guidance or gives subtle directions when they lose track. Great manager wants to see their staff go far and he/she helps them to get there. In return he/she knows the staff will have its back and work hard to meet the goals set for the company and the manager.


Do you have tendencies to control too much how your staff or your team is working? Do you have a problem letting things go and trusting people? Please do us all a favour and calm down. Keep your eye on your goals. Have weekly, monthly catch ups with your employees or your partners and communicate well what your expectations are. If your staff gets stuck, give them some of your time to provide them with solutions and guidance. When you get praised for doing a great job, share the win with your team, when you get blamed for not doing the good job, have a chat with your team and find a way to collegially improve things. Always be grateful and thank your staff and/or your partners. That way they feel rewarded and want to do even better. Be a leader to whom your staff look up to!

[i] http://homepages.se.edu/cvonbergen/files/2012/12/The-Micromanagement-Disease_Symptoms-Diagnosis-and-Cure.pdf



Whether you are self employed working from home on regular basis or working from home full time due to the current covid-19 pandemic, below tips are useful to keep in mind for anyone.


Set up your work station

In order to get some work done without any distractions, you need a dedicated corner or a work space. Make sure it has been set up ergonomically and that it is free from any hazards such as any electrical cords and extension leads that you may trip over.


I work from my spare room which we can turn into a bedroom when guests come over to stay. However, not everyone has a spare bedroom/office, which makes focusing on work and separating your work life from your personal life a little bit harder.


Create yourself a routine

Start by waking up at same time during the working week. Remember, the earlier you wake up, the more you get done. Set yourself a schedule for breaks throughout the day and for a lunch and try sticking to them. Finish work at same time. Even better if you can shut the door to your work space and switch your mind frame from work to home.


Dress up

One good thing about working from home is not having to wear the typical office attire which doesn't necesarily mean you should stay in your PJ-s whole day. Putting on some clothes what you would normally wear outside the house, makes you feel like you are going somewhere and gets you into the work mind frame. My work attire is jeans and a white tee :)


Obviously, if your role requires you to wear a shirt and a tie or a suit even, you don't have much choice.


Being a woman, I also tend to put on some light make up. When I know I have virtual meetings throughout the day, I feel better having my face on. Not everyone likes wearing make up though and some never do. That is fine- whatever works for you.


Don't forget to exercise

It is important to look after both your mental and physical health. Without the daily commute, the chances are, you are nowhere near your ten thousand steps a day goal. More likely three thousand if you're lucky. That's why it's important we move around and take breaks throughout the day.


Personally, I like going for a run or do a pilates session after work. I also like to take my dog out for a walk- always a reason to get out of the house.


And don't forget......when you need an instant mood lift, put on some music and perhaps even dance :)




With the current Corona virus outbreak and recommendations to self-isolate, working from home may become more and more common practice among businesses. As with any change, some find it hard to adopt but some are willing to embrace it and give it a go. Who knows, they might even think it’s fantastic and be more open to flexible working in the future. Let’s be honest, not everyone can work from home though. We still need shop assistants, nurses, doctors and others in customer facing roles. Unfortunately the same people are also the most disadvantaged and in danger of being infected.


For those who are freelancers or self-employed, this is what their Monday to Friday looks like every week. There are a number of reasons why working from home can be a great option for small business owners.


Some people love working from home, including me. I quite enjoy having no one around and getting things done. I am a morning person and love working in the morning and getting things done in the first half of the day. I hate commuting to the office. Especially when I do not live that far from the city and my journey from door to door normally just takes me 35 minutes but with disruptions in the train service, it can take me over an hour or even two hours. Let’s be honest- that is complete waste of time. The time I could spend on getting stuff done. The time I never get back.


Let's look at some of the pros and cons of working from home.


Pros of working from home:

  • As mentioned before, one of the biggest pros about working from home is no commute to and from work. Personally, I spend at least an hour and half commuting daily and that’s a short commute. On average, it works out 7.5 hours a week which is actually a whole working day. So technically, if we wanted, we could fit in another 7.5 hours work a week or increase our own personal family time.

  • Flexibility. You can fit your work around your personal life. You can put a washing on when you grab yourself a sandwich or you are having a break. You can pop out for 10 minutes to take your furry friends for a walk or do your shopping online. You can decide to work when you are most productive and when you don’t feel like dressing up, you can work in your pyjamas and no one judges, unless you have a virtual meeting. Then you better put a shirt on.

  • You can save money. Without commuting to work Monday to Friday, you can save at least $160-200 a month. Not to mention, all these coffees or lunches you have on top of your commute. Plus all the money you spend on work clothes. I spend $40 a week on commute and probably around $30 on coffees and lunches. That will work out $3360 a year. Well, it’s not exactly a big overseas trip but could probably stretch to a week in South East Asia for sure.

  • Better work-life balance. Some people may find hard to balance their personal lives and working lives and having enough time for both. Working from home may help you find that balance, especially if you can do some personal tasks simultaneously to your work tasks.


Cons of working from home:

  • As already mentioned, you need a lot of self-discipline to get things done and keep yourself motivated when at home.

  • It’s hard to separate personal time from work time. Whilst working from home, you should still stick to your normal breaks: take 10-15 min every now and then to just walk away from your desk, get some fresh air, rest your eyes, have a lunch and finish work on time you would normally finish.

  • It can be lonely- people who are used to being surrounded by people and talking to others around them, may find it isolating and quite hard to adjust to being on their own. You can ring people as you would ring them in the office. Utilise Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp, FaceTime. You can still participate in meetings by using technical solutions and your electronic device.

  • You lose living space. As much it can be quite good sitting on the sofa with your laptop in your pyjamas, it’s probably not a good idea in long term. You should have a dedicated work space at home or an office space where you can focus on getting things done and feel productive. You should not mix your living area with your work space. Even though hanging around in pyjamas whole day may sound good too, and sometimes you may even do that, it’s probably best to get dressed into somewhat casual Friday outfit that will make you feel like you are actually at work.

  • Relationships are harder to form. When working from home, it may be harder for you to communicate with your colleagues and build those vital relationships.

As you can see- working from home has some advantages and disadvantages and whether this is for you in long term, depends on the person.


In meanwhile, with the pandemic when everyone is in lock down or self-isolating, this is the way forward.


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