As PrintDriver mentioned there’s no such thing as a “typical” routine and everyone’s answers will vary depending on multiple factors (whether they are freelance, inhous, work for an agency, whether they’re an art director, junior designer, motion designer, web designer, print production, etc.)
With that being said, below are my answers as an inhouse designer at a “medium-sized” company with a small internal marketing group.
•How many hours a designer typically works per day/a typical routine.
I usually work form about 8:45 until 5:15. My lunch breaks vary, but it’s usually between 45 minutes to an hour.
•How much do designers think about their current projects they are working on and does this affect relationships with family, spouses, friends in any way? (Good and bad)
Sometimes on larger campaigns/bigger projects I might think about the job outside of work to try and come up with a solution, but its not disruptive at all. Its usually later at night or just jotting down a note or sketch on my smart phone form time to time.
•How much overtime work do you think you are doing and would you personally consider overtime work as a good thing?
Overtime in my case is a bad thing because I’m salaried. So, overtime is unpaid. If I got paid, it probably would be okay, occasionally, but I really, really value my free time.
I will say that I’ve worked my whole 20 year career as an inhouse designer with 3 different companies and the experience has been similar in all 3 cases. One of the companies was a little more stressful because I was the only designer, so all the workload fell on me, but even then for the most part I kept to a 40 hour week.
I will say that effort and when is enough actually enough can be a challenge. Sometimes you just have to move on to the next job and so sometimes, yes, “good enough” is good enough. But there are also times you have a little more time and you can dedicate some more energy, tweaking, sketching, etc. to come up with some really great work.
Once again, being an inhouse designer, I might not kill myself to produce a simple piece that has a short “shelf life” and a smaller internal target. But then again if it’s a bigger external-facing piece or it’s going out to executives, I will probably dedicate much more time and not just settle for meh, “good enough”.
Work/life balance is important. And I think for the most part, for a medium to large-sized company if you work inhouse you can have more flexibility.
That’s my 2 cents.