Freelance designers need OFFICE HOURS????

Do Freelance designers need OFFICE HOURS???

Hello, I just started working as a freelance designer.
I have some customers who want to have meetings at 9 or 8PM at night, because they have their jobs during daytime and that’s the only time they are free.
It’s hard to match the schedule with them, and I am getting very frustrated.

I am just wondering if, in general, freelance designers should have “OFFICE HOURS” , and not to have any meeting aside from the schedule.
Also, if none of my “office hours” work for my customer, should I just give up my time and let them decide?

Can anyone give me some advice???

Thank you very much. :laughing:[/u][/b]

when i had reg job, remember other designers needing CAD help doing this. showing up at freelancers home at night n stuff. i have a problem with it myself.

imo freelancers should set office hours. but maybe set your hours from noon - 9:00pm. or charge extra for overtime meetings. make it worth your trouble. getting walked on just makes you bitter. not good for you or the client. fair understanding of how and when you work shouldnt be a big deal.

I usually keep mine, same as regular work day plus a little extra. I’ll also try to be flexible with a weekend meeting if necessary. If what you’re doing is important to them, they should be able to schedule during day hours the same as any other meeting involving the company. Or at the very least, right after normal hours, by 5:30-6:30. Or, you do a “lunch meeting”, something. I’m very flexible but 9pm is a little harsh, change it to saturday morning or noon if they can’t do reasonable hours.

If you’re freelance it’s 24/7 people. They work regular business hours because they have regular jobs, freelancers unfortunately can’t have that schedule if they want to succeed.

Thank you for those who kindly gave me some comments.

I am still a college student and wanted to know how the freelance job works for me.
I usually have classes during daytime, but I think I should set up some “office hours” as lunch meeting, as you suggested, as well as week-end meetings and after5pm meetings or something.

Again, I appreciate for your advice.

I’m with Greenman on this one.

Giving your clients an idea of when you’re available is one thing, appearing to be inflexible (ie. “hours”) is another.

At my office, meetings are typically scheduled several weeks in advance, so there usually aren’t conflicts… I’m guessing that part of your problem is that you’re talking about same-day or next-day type situations. You should try and manage that and both you and your clients will be better off.

flexible is one thing. getting call at 4pm that theres changes n meeting HAS to happen at 8pm that night (and CAD still complete by next morning)… thats getting walked on. and it happens plenty anymore. day or two advance notice is usually enough. lots of companies are cool. some just arent.

think most freelancers understand to succeed you have to be flexible. “set” hours arent rigid. just a guideline. a starting point for when a client calls asking to meet.

If you don’t want to work late or on weekends, don’t answer your phone at the end of the day. I assume you have some kind of voice messaging system. If you want the work, you will return the call.

Granted I can’t say this is the best practice but I know some that do this… and they never give out their cell phone number, only the land line number.

sheepish grin - i do this.

Thank you for your suggestions.
I totally agree with ykh. I think a freelance designer should be somewhat flexible, or he/she won’t get a job.

Sometimes clients have their own job. Others have families and kids, and want to have meetings at night after their kids go to bed.

I need a product designed for me in CAD. How do I contact freelancers? Is there a club or something? San Diego area

I keep regular hours most of the time and won’t answer calls at dinner time 5pm - 6pm or afterwards for that matter unless it has been arranged earlier in the day. That doesn’t mean that I don’t work at night, but I’ve had some ultra needy people call me constantly if I don’t lay the smack down on appropriate times to call.

I also like to reserve my time after 6pm for doing personal projects like my own renderings, my website, and pro bono stuff that I do for friends. I also just need to get up and away from my computer to run or walk the dog every once in a while. I get aggitated if I sit there too long.

I have to be flexible. It is expected in my trade (footwear) whether you are freelance or not. We work a lot of weekends. But then so do my clients and my factories.

There is nothing wrong with putting your phone on messaging for a few hours or at weekends.

But if you are hard to contact, you can lose work.

Personally, when I am doing freelance work I welcome the fact that a potential customer would consider out of hours work.

Most of the time, if I want to freelance, that is the only time spare. The freelance work is a little extra spending money and a chance to potentially do something a little different.

I understand it may be different for those freelancer who manage themselves as a consultancy but my take on freelance is you are the “flexible” alternative to a consultancy.