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Poll: Does your time zone affect your job?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 21:26
SITE STAFF
Apr 19, 2007

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Does your time zone affect your job?".

This poll was originally submitted by Susan Koyama-Steele

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 06:26
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Contacting the client Apr 19, 2007

I normally contact clients by e-mail, so at least I am not in danger of waking them up with a telephone call, but it can be frustrating/delaying not being able to expect a quick turnaround time when waiting for a reply on something pressing.

Of course, now that there are so many phone call package offers around (I have up to 1000 mins a month of calls to selected foreign countries, including the US, for instance), it might be useful to ring clients occasionally. So remembering to check time differences is important (I was sitting biting my nails on Tuesday morning until it was an OK time to contact my friends at VTech).

So far I have not been able to turn time differences to my advantage with regard to deadlines!

Noni, Spain


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Nicholas Ferreira  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 00:26
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other: sometimes helpful, sometimes not Apr 19, 2007

My time zone is GMT -0500.

I answered other, since sometimes this is to my advantage, sometimes it is not. For example, I normally miss out on all the regular jobs offered from European clients, since I am peacefully in bed when they hit my inbox at 4 am. However, I do have an advantage picking up their late afternoon evening jobs from Europe, since that is the heart of my work time here.

With Asia it normally causes headaches, since there is a limited window to be in direct contact during our working hours.


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Rebecca Garber  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:26
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Other: sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn't Apr 19, 2007

I'm also GMT -500, so it helps with jobs from the US west coast: I can work in the morning while they are still asleep.
I also get the later jobs from Europe, which I work on in my afternoon, when they've already left work.

However, it also means that *all* of my European deadlines are realistically pre-dated to the day before since I'm sleeping through that 10am deadline.


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:26
Italian to English
+ ...
No Apr 19, 2007

Almost all my clients are in the same time zone as me, so it makes no difference. A very few are one hour behind, so you could call that a very slight advantage - but I always try to turn work in a few hours early anyway, so again it makes no difference.

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:26
English to Spanish
+ ...
No Apr 19, 2007

Since most of my clients are local or no more than one hour off, time zone is not a consideration. Of course, some people do not realize that El Paso is so far from the rest of Texas that we are one hour earlier than the rest and they may call shortly after 7 AM. Not a problem, I´m normally up.

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If I want job from half the way around the globe Apr 19, 2007

I am in Arizona USA, -7 GMT. I draw majority of my clientale from the US, and time zone difference is only less than three at max (mind you, this is a huge Continent!)
I can manage this NO problem.
This issue came to me when I tried to get job from Far East (where half of my job-related language is spoken). Then YES, time zone is a hinderance.
Although sometimes they want me do the job because most of their translators are dysfunctional (i.e. asleep).

Happy discussions!


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Laura Tridico  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:26
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
I'm at GMT -5 too Apr 19, 2007

Generally I like it. My clients know that I'm often available to pick up late afternoon work, so I think my time zone helps me get short-term rush assignments that I can handle in the evenings (when I tend to do most of my work). They're aware of my time zone, so they tend not to e-mail me until after 7:00 am (my time).

Most of my projects are sent to me only (as opposed to "mass" e-mails, first response wins), so I generally haven't had Nicholas' problem. But I have the same issue as Rebecca - If I have a 12:00 noon deadline in Europe, I absolutely must finish the project the evening before.

But all in all, I think the time difference works to my favor!


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Melanie Nassar  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:26
German to English
+ ...
I am noticing the disadvantage now Apr 20, 2007

I normally live in a time zone GMT +2/3 hrs. and the difference to my customers is 1 hour max. which is negligible. I am currently on an extended visit to the US (also GMT -5), so I am finding that contact with my agencies is restricted, since I do not get up until the day is half over there, and as far as deadlines are concerned, I am having to rethink a bit. Just yesterday I realized with a start that the job I thought I had plenty of time for was due in 3 hours and I had to scramble to meet the deadline. All in all, it seems to me to be somewhat of a disadvantage to be in a time zone later than the zone where your work originates.

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Satu Ilva  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 07:26
English to Finnish
+ ...
GMT +7 Apr 20, 2007

Most of the time I think the time difference works very well for me - I have several hours of worktime before Europe wakes up, so any deadlines I have won't be till late in the day. Another benefit is that I can do other things in the morning without worrying about missing jobs (like shopping and other errands)... And working for clients in Asian timezones is practical. So far I haven't needed to deal with US jobs, which might be trickier.

I also see most European job offers as they come, since I have my laptop on all evening. I have however missed a couple of jobs because a European client sent them late afternoon their time and I had already switched off for the day.


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Mara Ballarini  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 14:26
Member (2006)
English to Italian
+ ...
Apart from that phone call at midnight last night ... Apr 20, 2007

... I agree with Nicholas and Rebecca, except that I'm on the other side of the globe GMT+10 here in Australia.
So I've answered other, sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. I haven't been here too long to tell really, but, at the beginning it seemed I was missing out, so I accepted more teaching hours at the school where I work, and now, it turns out that I get too much work, once everyone (my clients and me) has adjusted to the new time difference, it could really be an advantage: no problems with 9-o'clock deliveries in the morning!!! since I'll have had all day to work on the job by then!!

I find myself checking my emails in the evening/at night later than before (when I was in Italy) though, just to make sure I haven't missed anything. And just last night I got a call at midnight from the US... sh...happens!!

And I haven't had the time to look for any local clients yet...lets see what tomorrow brings (and for me it'll be in just a few hours)...


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Fabiana Papastefani-Pezzoni  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 07:26
Member (2003)
English to Albanian
+ ...
I take advantage of the 2 hours difference Apr 20, 2007

I actually am +2 GMT. Two good clients are in the UK so very often I receive the small jobs of a page or so in the late afternoon to be delivered by noon of the next dat. Late afternoons for me are a very busy family time, between the kids, cooking dinner, homework (one of them, while the other one keeps insisting that I play with her), feeding the family, bathing kids & taking them to bed, bed reading, preparing things for tomorrow, .....hiuuuu...from 17:00 to 21:00 it is practically impossible to deal with any thing else.

So I can deal with it a bit in the evening, if I am not tired to death, and then have the whole morning and early afternoon. That gives me an advantage, really.

Fabiana


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ineveryl  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:26
French to English
neither a hinderance or an advantage Apr 20, 2007

I selected other because being in one time zone over the other one, as I see it, is neither a hinderance or an advantage. It's simply a reality. But of course it affects you, because, unless all of your clients are in the same one you're in (or all of your collaborators for that matter), then you have to be aware of it. I've found a wonderful free online program called World Clock Deluxe for Mac. You select whatever cities you want, then a banner across the top of your screen shows you what time it is there. No calculations needed or multiple clocks set to multiple times adorning your home.

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