I recently paid a contractor for a job very well done. And as always happens when I pay invoices, I’m mystified by the pay-by-the-hour billing system.
Does it include water breaks or web surfing? Do contractors take time off to visit the bathroom or take a quick napsky and keep the clock running?
More importantly, if a job normally takes an hour and someone can do it in half an hour; do they still get to charge an hour? Conversely, why wouldn’t a business just draw out a job to milk the clock?
I guess my question is – how much toggle is an acceptable part of doing business? Do most businesses fudge their numbers? Is there room for wiggle? Should you round up or down? Actually, I think I can guess the answer to that last one.
Generally I prefer to pay for the job. Less surprises. It also allows me to negotiate a rate. Haggling over hourly pay is pointless. A contractor/consultant could just take longer to do the job.