It only takes one flurry of client emails anticipating a response at 7 pm on a Saturday night to frantically send us to Google looking for, “How to Put Office Hours in a Contract SOS HELP”.
As modern entrepreneurs, we all work diligently for our clients along with wearing approximately 78 hats. Accounting, marketing, customer service, social media management, sometimes it feels like a new hat is being made every day! In order to simply wear the “you” hat, protecting work/life balance is key. So often, we get caught up in communication with clients outside of working hours, leaving us feeling drained when we should be on the clock. The answer? Clear working hours in our contracts. Laying it out clearly in writing makes all the difference and takes the pressure away from needing to send off a 7:05 pm response.
OFFICE HOURS IN A CONTRACT ARE PROFESSIONAL
Clients won’t be annoyed at boundaries if you set them right from the start. There’s truly no downside to this, it legally protects your downtime and boosts your professionalism, building trust. The easiest way to do this? Put your working hours right within their contract and set a place for them to initial beneath the clause, saying they’ve read it and agree to it. Looking for a done-for-you template? We’ve got you covered there.
Set boundaries on working hours with your clients from the start. Copy + paste, go right ahead.
It’s that simple, we’re on a mission to give you clarity from the contract on up.
EASILY REMIND CLIENTS OF YOUR OFFICE HOURS
Once your work with the client has begun, be proactive with reminding them of your working hours boundaries. This is really as simple as setting up your out-of-office autoresponder within your inbox! Turn it on before you log out and your client will receive a simple reminder if they send off an email outside of your working hours. (Looking for a copy + paste situation with an out-of-office responder? Our communication experts over at BRANDSPEAK Studio have that just for you!.)
INSPIRE YOUR CLIENTS WITH BALANCE
Brand strategist Brittany Wilson says this best. “Time management definitely taught me the importance of managing effective office hours. You have to time everything you do and decide what makes you feel good and progressive opposed to funky and regressive. Stress is real, not-so-easy clients are real, and time is limited so make it worth your while and feel good all of the time… What I normally do, my clients follow suit to improve their lives. When I make better use of my time, so do they, and I love impacting them in that way.”
If you’ve been wondering how to put office hours in your contract and it’s been feeling overwhelming, we’ve got you covered and it’s easier than you think. When you implement this policy, share it with your existing clients, too! No need to have them sign a new contract, just share that to protect work/life boundaries, you will now be in your inbox from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm on these specific days. Emphasize that this is so you can focus more fully on working for them while staying attentive to their communication.
P.S. Looking for a full contract? We’ve got you covered, here.
**This post is for informational purposes only, no attorney-client privilege has been formed.