The way we all go about our daily working lives has undergone a drastic shift these past couple of years. While some of the changes that came about as a result of the pandemic have thankfully faded into another bad memory, there are plenty of useful developments and shifting attitudes that have become a more permanent fixture in the modern workplace.
Amongst those, there are two that stand out more than most; flexible working and a willingness to embrace technology.
While task management software existed long before we even knew what COVID was, mass home working accelerated the use of these kinds of platforms at a rate that no one could possibly have predicted.
The skyrocketing popularity of productivity software shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, a recent study by Timewatch found that 91% of people agreed better time management reduces stress at work, while 90% agreed it increases productivity.
That same study found that more than a third (38%) of respondents said they spent up to an hour every day on tasks or meetings that aren’t important to their role, 32% said they waste 1-2 hours while 17% wasted 2-3 hours.
As roles and responsibilities in many businesses become more fluid to cope with ever-changing demands and a still temperamental world of work, and with many teams now scattered across different locations and time zones, effective task management is crucial.
With that being said, are businesses now tipping the scale in the other direction? Have these platforms inadvertently opened the floodgates to a new form of micromanagement? And are they becoming a hindrance to the very time they were built to save?
The real damage of micromanagement
For anyone who has worked under a micromanager, the damaging effects this management style can have on a team will come as no surprise.
Findings from Accountemps showed that as many as 59% of people had been micromanaged. 68% of those said it had decreased their morale, with another 55% saying it had hurt their productivity.
For many, the deviation from traditional working has been tricky. Not being able to monitor people or projects in person can lead some managers to be a little over-zealous when it comes to assigning and overseeing tasks, sapping morale from employees and removing the autonomy that’s vital to any happy team.
Recent research from the Harvard Business Review suggests that new managers are often most liable for these bad habits, with those fresh to these senior roles holding nearly a third (29%) more meetings than their more seasoned colleagues.
How to combat micromanagement
Good leadership is about facilitating a healthy environment that provides all the tools a team needs to perform.
Effective task management software should be seen as a way to improve collaboration, not as a platform for obsessive updates. It should streamline and centralise workflows to offer project managers complete clarity and it should serve as a tool to enable Agile working, allowing teams and individuals to flourish by working in a way that is optimal to them.
What’s more, despite a similar rise in unproductive meetings, most task management platforms still fail to effectively offer meaningful meeting management solutions, meaning hours are still lost on a weekly basis to outdated manual tasks like minute-taking and agenda-setting.
To combat this, Fluid’s suite of automated meeting tools — which includes features like agenda templates, action logging, automated minutes and effectiveness tracking — ensures these discussions are monitored and optimised.
Now, If you could combine all of that with a simple-to-use interface, one that features custom labels, decision tracking, clear responsibilities and completion timeframes for every user along with built-in communication for progress updates, then you should be well on your way to ridding your business of micromanagers in no time.
Want to find out more about how Fluid can do just that? Request a demo here.