I know some web designers who have rules about work hours carved in stone. Granite, even. No emails and no calls accepted from clients after 5:00 pm or on weekends, period. Emails and calls will be returned after 8:00 am the next morning as long as it’s not a weekend morning.
Usually I stick to a similar set of rules, but they get furry around the edges with email – I may answer a casual email at 6:00, or if it’s a really exceptionally great client with a serious and legitimate question, I might even answer it at midnight.
But for a client that’s, well, not that great? It rarely happens. I’m pretty good about following my own rules then – although there are, very occasionally, some exceptions…
Speaking of which, I’m going to turn off my computer here in a second so I don’t have to be tempted to check email again tonight.
How about you – do you set strict hours for chatting with clients? When do you break your own rules, if ever?