I have a startup with a limited budget and have recently hired a programmer and an artist. Before they started the project, I set down a project roadmap with a lot of good documentation on what needs to be done and deadlines.
Both were asked to produce a timeline as to how these deadlines would be met. For the artist, I mentioned that if the workload was too much, it might be possible to hire an additional contractor for a month or two while they need help.
I have already started hearing things like, "well, I might need some extra help with this," and "I'm not exactly sure how long it will take me right now, so these timelines are just very rough estimates." And I get it, they're trying not to set themselves up for failure, but as a manager, I also need to know what the heck is going on.
So, there are two questions here:
I frequently see both my hires using non-company Slack, answering phone messages, and doing life admin on my watch. They've turned up late more than once in the first week, when I have a company policy of being in at 9. Maybe this is unorthodox, but we're working on a big project, and the last thing I want is them turning around and accusing me of under-scoping the project. On the other hand, I realize that this might be the norm elsewhere, in larger companies. What can generally be expected from artists/programmers in terms of working style and productivity? What's the difference between flexibility and being lazy?
My artist has already started to refuse other work (work for marketing assets, etc) on the basis that they have a lot of work on their plate already and need to manage expectations. I could deal with this if I didn't see them coming in late, answering messages on Slack, and generally doing things that don't relate to work. On the other hand, I don't know if this is normal/necessary for creatives. Is it?
If it can help:
- The studio is situated in Europe.
- I have no written policy, but working hours are contractual obligations.
- We're using agile project management.
- We are 3 people working on the project. Both are "leads" so they make decisions related to their own fields – art and code