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The Right Amount of Time to Spend with Your Boss

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It's time to look away from the computer. Most people only spend half the time they should with their manager every week, according to a recent study by research and management consulting firm Leadership IQ. The results come from a survey of 32,410 American and Canadian executives, managers, and employees.

Why that matters: People who spend an optimal number of hours interacting with their direct leader are 29 percent more inspired, 30 percent more engaged, 16 percent more innovative, and 15 percent more intrinsically motivated than those who spend only one hour per week, according to the research.

So how much is the right amount of time? The magic number is six hours a week, according to the research.

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(Six hours?) Don't freak out. You can start by simply taking the initiative. Think about it: When was the last time you walked into your boss' office? Just remember: Seeking out your manager too often can make you seem needy and creates the impression that you need to be supervised rather than managed, says Paul Powers, a management psychologist and career expert. The solution? Don't focus on the number of hours (six is a lot when we have such busy schedules!). Instead, think about the quality of your conversations—and what you need in terms of guidance and feedback. Do you want a weekly report to chart your progress? Maybe a meeting once a week to keep you accountable? Then ask your boss what she needs from you. From there, discuss the best method of communication.

And don't skip on saying a quick "hello" on your way into the office or by the water cooler—even if the topic is not work-related—to help both of you feel engaged and on the same team, Powers says.


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