I'm considering getting into computer maintenance. There is a firm which I'm working with who have a few sites which I have setup the computer infrastructure for.

In computer maintenance; I've heard there is a lot of stress involved i.e. working after hours & other difficulties. I'm curious to know what these are and whether or not control methods can be set in place to ensure these are under control?

The tasks i'm looking to do for my clients include backups, updates, fixing email issues, fixing computer issues, fixing viruses & there will be many more which i cant think of at the top of my head.

Currently I work at set time frames, and I really hope I can achieve the same in computer maintenance.

What areas of computer maintenance can involve stress and how can they be taken control of?

  • in my experience, stress is a very personal thing. A specific job does not cause stress, the way a person handles the job causes stress. As a freelancer, the whole idea is you control when you have work and when you don't. If you don't stress out from working odd hours, then by all means offer them to your client. If you do stress out and prefer office hours, then only promise office hour support. – user3244085 Apr 18 '17 at 15:48

This sounds like a combination of System Admin and Desktop Support. I'll answer for both as I have done both...

If you're looking after servers and networks, 99.99% of the job will be in office hours. The 0.01% of the work that happens outside is where the money is. Companies will want someone that they can call at 2am to come and fix their server. In these cases, you charge a stand-by fee (for being available) and a call-out fee (for going out). If they don't want to pay this, then they cannot call you out.

Desktop support is a little different. This should ALL be in office hours. If a machine goes down, chances are that there is another option. Again, though, if a company wants round the clock support, charge them.

If you really don't want to offer Out of Hours support, you don't have to. You can state in the contract that you do not provide support after 18:00 or before 07:00, and you absolutely do not provide support on Sundays. That's the beauty of freelancing, you make your own schedule. However, you will be limiting your client base and your income as a result.

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