Five tips for reporting to a workaholic boss
Some people can’t get enough of work, staying late and checking emails after midnight. If your manager keeps this type of schedule, how do you set the right expectations and boundaries?
Nancy Rothbard, a management professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, recommends thinking about what hours of the day you’re most productive.
Here are five tips on how to cope with a workaholic:
1. CONSIDER YOUR BOSS’S PERSPECTIVE:
First look at your boss’s professional circumstances and ask, “What are the pressures he’s responding to?” Considering these things will help you handle your boss “more thoughtfully and with less emotion,” say Linda Hill, a professor at Harvard Business School.
2. REFLECT ON THE PROBLEM:
Nancy Rothbard, a management professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, recommends thinking about what hours of the day you’re most productive. “You can’t just complain to your boss,” she says. “You have to offer alternatives that meet your mutual goal of productivity and high-quality output.”
3. TALK TO YOUR BOSS:
Frame the conversation around how you prefer to structure your workday and when you perform best. Your objective, Hill says, is to set boundaries that “create the conditions for your success.”
4. DO A GOOD JOB, BUT TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF:
After the conversation, it’s important to show your boss that you’re still a dedicated team member. He can’t complain if you’re delivering results and fulfilling your obligations.
5. MOVE ON:
Allow time for adaptation, “but if you are picking up signals that this person is not able to change enough, it might be a fit issue,” Rothbard says. “It may mean you need to transfer or it’s time to look for another job.”
(Adapted from “How to Work for a Workaholic” at HBR.org.)