The article was published in The Globe and Mail on 27 April, 2020.


My boss is a micromanager and working remotely for COVID-19 has augmented his micromanaging tenfold. He is constantly emailing me for updates and scheduling Zoom meetings to touch base, taking time away from my actual work. How do I get him to let go and trust that I can do what’s required of me?


These times are unusual for bosses and employees, and many struggle to find a ‘winning’ approach to work productively from home. The best thing you can do is share your experience as a way to cooperate. Also, let him know what might help you work effectively and convey that everyone will benefit.

Here are some tips:

1. Initiate the discussion based on what matters. Share your feelings about the impact these frequent meetings and emails are having on your morale, motivation, productivity. Ask him candidly what it is about your work that makes him feel the need to micromanage. You may be able to dispel his worries, while learning his perspective.

2. Quantify the impact of his micromanagement. How many hours of actual work time are you losing by logging onto his meetings and check-ins? How far behind are you as a result? How much overtime has been caused?

3. Ask for clear expectations and suggest a structure. Maybe this means setting clear deadlines and touchpoint meetings at specific times. This way, he can check on your progress and get updates, while you work independently with less interruptions to meet his expectations.

4. Talk about specific achievements. For example, share situations when he was on vacation, and you stayed at work and performed with a tangible, undeniable benefit to the team/organization.

Finally, during these times, we are all learning as we go. Building a candid two-way dialogue with your boss and your walking the talk is the way to go.

Carine Lacroix

Carine Lacroix

Carine Lacroix is founder and CEO of Reneshone, an Oakville-based HR company powered by facts and data which focuses on employee engagement for organizations of 5-3,000 employees.