What do you do when a remote team member is AWOL for ages, takes _days_ to respond to emails, misses deadlines, and does not do what they have promised?
I am transparent with my team.
I tell them what the project expects of them: what and by when (the ‘how’ is their job).
I am clear about deadlines.
I am also very clear about the need for them to communicate with me, and to tell me if they have any issues reaching those deadlines _as soon as they know_.
This allows me to plan, perhaps to re-schedule tasks, or notify the client, if our task is a key dependency for their plans.
I had a remote team member who was based in US, but who then stuck in India when the lockdown happened.
I’m sure it wasn’t fun – working the night shift, but that’s essentially what he was doing.
Living in India, but working US hours.
His tasks are very delayed, and he hardly responds to slack messages, and even if he does, he only addresses part of the question.
It is very difficult for me, as a PM, to defend this behaviour.
If you’re facing personal issues with family, health, parenting – anything like that, you need to share that with your manager. you must tell someone.
Because, in the absence of information, misconceptions will arise.
You must learn how to manage the expectations of your peers, your managers, and your clients.
If you’re going through a tough time, especially right now when (almost) everyone is working from home and it’s not obvious who’s struggling, you’ve got to be your own advocate.
Being vulnerable isn’t a weakness.
People might be kinder than you expect.