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Feeling Boxed In? 10 Signs You’re Being Micro-Managed at Work

Two professionals at a desk with laptops, indicative of Discover 10 signs you're being micro-managed in an office.

In today’s fast-paced work environment, it’s essential to strike the right balance between oversight and autonomy. However, when oversight tips into overbearing surveillance, it can feel like you’re being micro-managed. Discover 10 signs you’re being micro-managed and assess whether your manager might be crossing that line:

  1. Constant Check-Ins: Your boss frequently checks in on you, often several times a day, and not just for crucial projects. These interruptions can disrupt your workflow and suggest a lack of trust.
  2. Detail Obsession: Micro-managers sweat the small stuff, focusing excessively on minutiae rather than the overall performance or results.
  3. Difficulty Delegating: They struggle to hand over responsibilities fully, often taking back tasks after assigning them because they believe no one else can do it “right.”
  4. Request for Frequent Updates: You’re asked to provide detailed updates on your progress, often more than what’s necessary for the task at hand.
  5. Decision-Making Bottleneck: All decisions, even minor ones, must go through them, slowing down the process and stifling your ability to work efficiently.
  6. Feedback Overload: Constructive feedback is crucial, but micro-managers tend to offer constant criticism that focuses on errors or ways to tweak your work to their liking, rather than empowering you to improve.
  7. Surveillance Tactics: They might monitor your emails, time your breaks, or use software to track your computer usage, creating an atmosphere of distrust.
  8. Lack of Privacy: Hovering over your desk, eavesdropping on conversations, or intruding into your workspace without knocking are common signs of a micro-manager.
  9. Undermining Your Expertise: Despite your expertise, a micro-manager often dismisses your suggestions and insights, preferring their own ideas or methods.
  10. Impact on Your Confidence: Working under constant scrutiny can erode your confidence and make you second-guess your decisions.

Understanding these signs can help you navigate the challenges of being micro-managed. By recognising these behaviours, you can better address the issue with your manager or HR, aiming for a more balanced and trusting workplace environment.

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