I sent a prospective client a proposal last Saturday at 6:30 pm. Her email response:
“Have a nice rest of the weekend. (although I see you’re working despite what day it is :)”
Sometimes I fantasize about having a job somewhere like Starbucks, where I only work scheduled hours, and when I leave at the end of the shift, I am done for the day. In addition, if I’m sick or can’t come in to work, I know that it would be possible to find someone else to work instead.
Or better yet, a job in a government office that is only open Monday-Friday, where a high level of security is required, and it’s forbidden to take work home over the weekend.
The career of website design means being on call 24-7, dealing with emergencies, and a willingness to do some work that is unbillable. It means interacting with many independent clients, each of whom may be demanding attention on any day, at any time.
Along with the planned and predictable work, an urgent or time-critical request may come in unexpectedly — including on the weekend, at night, or on a holiday. I describe my own day as that of a triage nurse in the ER. I constantly have to juggle incoming requests with the items already on my to-do list. A website that is not breathing needs more immediate attention than one with a broken finger.
Other stuff I did last weekend included:
- Driving 10 miles to meet with a client who owns a store and could only meet with me on the weekend.
- Removing a flyer on Sunday for a event that happened on Saturday night.
- Providing feedback to a client for an online logo design contest, as the time window to give a response was only 24 hours
- Created a Constant Contact announcement for an event happening just one week later. The request came into my email on Friday at 7pm, so waiting until Monday morning would have been a huge delay.
So yes, sometimes weekend work is necessary. But if you have the choice between sending a request on Friday night or Monday morning, please wait until Monday.