Micromanagement: Is It Helping or Hurting Your Workers?

Micromanagement: Is It Helping or Hurting Your Workers?

Micromanagement is a management style that aims to encourage productive and high-quality work through close monitoring. Despite its good intentions, research suggests micromanagement as a top stressor which induces health risks and, worse, death. It also limits workers from making valuable decisions in their jobs, hampers creativity and causes delays. 

This presents a rather costly route for teams thriving in a remote workplace environment, where autonomy is a key component for making things work. People decide to work from home with the hope of being able to leverage their skills and achieving life balance. Without flexibility, even your best workers could quit sooner than expected.   

How closely do you manage your distant assistants? Is your management style giving them the space they need to perform at their best, or is it restraining you from tapping their maximum potential? Let’s find out.

Related Post: Why People Decide to Work from Home

The Great Dictator

Micromanagers do not stop at anything they could put their hands on. They closely manage their distant assistants and make the decisions in almost every aspect of a project. 

Characteristics of a micromanager:

  • Scrutinizes minute details
  • Avoids delegating authority
  • Loves to keep things under control 
  • Requires constant feedback 
  • Disregards the opinions of others

They ensure that things are done accordingly as they want even if it is within the distant assistant’s circle of authority. Micromanagers disregard the VA’s depth of experience and expertise. They dictate outputs, requiring constant feedback and approvals in the process.

Short-Term Vs. Long-Term Fix

There are different situations where micromanagement is applicable. Depending on its implementation, it can either build or destroy workplaces. To new distant assistants, it gives direction during their first few months of work.

To distant assistants who have been with the team, it prompts them of their responsibilities and could motivate them to do better. It especially calls the attention of underperforming workers and provides a basis for future evaluations.

While these methods are beneficial, prolonged implementation puts both the distant assistants and the business at risk. 

Micromanagement can hurt instead of equipping people for success. It stunts their development and limits their freedom to act on their responsibilities. It also makes them more accountable for failure as their actions are held under strict observation throughout the process.

Instead of finding happiness in the work that they do, they become subject to the happiness of a higher authority and gain satisfaction only from pleasing them.

Related Episode: How to Boost the Bottom Line Through Workplace Well-being

Consequences of Micromanagement

Micromanagers heavily emphasize on details. They are often ready to catch a mistake and, if found without a framework for success, their team suffers from chaos and dysfunctional collaboration. 

Distant assistants become demotivated since they could not find satisfaction from their own work. They also rely on their superior’s validation of their creativity. They lose their self-esteem and, in the worse cases, pass their responsibilities to their teammates.

The overall impact on the business could be greater than realized. Project timelines are delayed and trust becomes an issue in the workplace. 


Micromanagement has its pros and cons. It is beneficial in situations where observation and guidance are necessary, but detrimental where excessive control is placed. When met with uncertainty on advancing your goals, the best way to overcome the situation is to stop and think through your team’s behaviors. 

Realize that something has to change. Next, evaluate your management style to see what could be causing any hurt to your distant assistants and business. Find the balance that you need to carry on and succeed. 

It could mean having to develop a clearer vision, strengthening your team, or setting the right expectations from the very beginning. Whatever it is, allow your distant assistants to grow through proper guidance, merit, and communication. The answer to winning could already be waiting for you to break from within.

Looking to hire a distant assistant? Get started with a free consultation at Bottleneck Distant Assistants. 

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Jaime Jay

About Jaime Jay

Meet Jaime Jay – a man who wears many hats, and wears them all admirably. He's a master connector, an entrepreneur extraordinaire, and a published author who knows how to get things done.

Before he found his way to the business world, Jaime served his country as a brave paratrooper in the U.S. Army. But that's just the beginning of his many accomplishments.

He's the founder of the renowned Bottleneck Distant Assistant Services firm, and his book "Quit Repeating Yourself" has become a must-read for entrepreneurs everywhere.

When he's not busy building his empire, you can find him on his beloved Harley Davidson, cruising through the countryside and taking in the invigorating effects of Uitwaaien – a Dutch practice that involves facing the wind to boost health and relieve stress.

He enjoys spending his free time outside building stuff with his wife, Nikita the dog and their two kittens (for now at least) Tommy and Tater.

He is ‘over-the-moon’ happily married to his wonderful wife Sara, his amazing daughter, Jessica, who is serving our country as a United States Army soldier. Jaime and Sara are the proud grand parents of two beautiful little girls.


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