A client hired me to research and recommend workstation setups for a group of employees, each of whom had unique needs. They had already purchased some equipment and needed to make sure everything else was compatible.

The client ordered some equipment counter to my recommendations. I then spent time researching what they ordered to make sure it would be compatible before I went on site.

I spent nearly as much time on research and communication as I did on site. I'm looking at my log now and wondering why it took me 30 minutes to draft that email. Per our agreement, all this time is billable and the client will not be surprised, but I really am embarrassed now at how long it took.

1 Answer 1


That's how long these things take. Just for documentation write-up, my minimum estimate is an hour a page, excluding research and drawing of figures or graphs. Easily longer for high density pages. I'm not surprised at an email taking half an hour. Especially since it is also necessary to check grammar, spelling and punctuation.

You are correct to charge for research and communication time. Communication with the client is a deliverable - you are giving them your expertise. Just because its in the form of an email doesn't mean it's cheap.

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