Written by Lori Thiessen

Cove Bikes had a shop hours sign that read: Come and see us soon, just not before noon! Setting your own hours is one of the most often touted advantages of being a java commuter (self-employed), and that’s true to a certain extent. As an employed java commuter (e.g. you work for a company but you either on the road a lot or you are allowed to work from home a day or so every week), your hours may be set by your company.

Next challenge facing the java commuter from the blog entitled “Challenges for the Java Commuter” is:

Potential for extended work hours

Set regular hours

Those of you who do contract work are laughing your asses off at that advice. As a java commuter who does consulting work, it is often feast or famine. If you aren’t working on contracts, then you are chasing potential contracts. Once you get a few regular clients, you might not be putting in as many long hours, but until then… where’s that next cup of coffee to help me stay awake?

But, in general, I think it’s an excellent idea to have regular hours, not only for business but for your health. If you start out with your clients knowing that they can’t call you at 10:00 pm on a Saturday, then it likely won’t happen. There are, of course, exceptions to the rule when there is a critical job that needs extra hours, but make it the exception and not the rule.

For me, my hours are 10:00 to 6:00 M-F and weekends off. I also take off all the regular stat holidays. My Saturdays are a bit flexible but my Sundays are untouchable by work. I felt I had to choose one day that was dedicated to my personal life and Sunday seemed to be the best choice.

These days even scheduled work hours by an employer can suffer from work weepage, meaning that after a while you end up coming in early and leaving later without benefit of being paid the overtime.

Setting boundaries is often difficult, especially for folks like me who don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings. But it is important to be clear about what your work hours are, stick to them and to express them clearly to everyone.

Q: What are your work hours and do you have many challenges to keeping those hours?

Thanks for dropping by and I’ll save your seat until next time!