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Poll: If you work from home, do you miss interacting with colleagues at work?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 07:02
SITE STAFF
Feb 6, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "If you work from home, do you miss interacting with colleagues at work?".

This poll was originally submitted by Keren Terret

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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Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 16:02
English to Dutch
+ ...
Not really Feb 6, 2008

Interacting with colleagues on-line is a good replacement for having 'real' colleagues around - to me anyway.

And I very much like being able to take a walk or yet-another-cup-of-coffee-and-a-cigarette, or just do nothing for a while without wondering what anybody else will think of it.

Having said that, I do very much enjoy powwows


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Keren Terret
Israel
Local time: 17:02
Hebrew to English
+ ...
Not really Feb 6, 2008

I suggested this poll because one of the many perks of working from home is the peace and quiet it entails. I find that the lack of "human" distractions keep me better focussed on my work. It's also a pleasure not to have to deal with workplace politics, moody colleagues, etc.

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Elena Robles Sanjuan  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:02
English to Spanish
I do, I do Feb 6, 2008

I don´t think working from home does any good to chatterboxes like me. It´s fantastic for everyone else, though, as they don´t have to endure having me around

If I´m very busy, I can go through the day without even realising I haven´t uttered a word in hours, but if I´m not, the house feels very empty. Only my dog keeps me company and I´m not going to start losing my head chatting with her all the time !


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lillkakan
Local time: 16:02
English to Swedish
Not at all Feb 6, 2008

I don't have problems with being social (put me in a social setting and I fare quite well) - I just prefer not to be. Apparently this can be very provocative to some people, as I often get suspicious comments from people with "normal" jobs. All I can tell them is I have never been happier in my life since the day I decided to make this my career and I was allowed to lock myself in with nothing but my computer to keep me company.

People love to make biased generalisations such as "it's not healthy to not ever meet people in real life", which I find highly offensive. It's not about "never meeting people in real life", it's about being entitled to choose exactly when and where I meet them - not to mention whom! Egoistic? Yes maybe, but if you never meet me it won't affect you, right? =)

[Edited at 2008-02-06 14:36]


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sylvie malich
Germany
Local time: 16:02
German to English
The only things I miss... Feb 6, 2008

are the Xmas dinner / New Years party and the annual Betriebsausflug (company picnic)!

But I don't miss the politics and gossip.

-sylvie
www.einmalich.net

[Edited at 2008-02-06 15:37]


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 10:02
English to French
+ ...
Very much so Feb 6, 2008

Elena Robles Sanjuan wrote:

I don´t think working from home does any good to chatterboxes like me. It´s fantastic for everyone else, though, as they don´t have to endure having me around



This is exactly how I feel - all of it!

I find that not having colleagues working with me is the biggest drawback of freelancing. Never mind having to be disciplined, take initiatives, multitasking and all the other parameters us freelancers need to have as opposed to employees - I find my days are often too long because I don't interact with people, and I am the kind of person who needs to chat - could you have guessed?

However, I compensate for the lack of human contact by posting often in the forum here and by working with clients who allow me to collaborate actively with other translators, editors/reviewers and proofreaders, and even with the DTP people. This makes up for it all to a certain point - but this is still not enough in my case. I make sure I get out of the house fairly often to get some other form of human contact regularly. But I do appreciate the peace and quiet when I need it.


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Sophieanne  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:02
English to French
+ ...
I miss the exchange of ideas Feb 6, 2008

While I find it great to have peace and quiet to do my work, I miss being able to exchange ideas, I find team work exciting and one gets (and gives) more inspiration that way. It's also nice to be able to take a little break with an actual person, rather that email back and forth.

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Fernando D. Walker  Identity Verified

Local time: 12:02
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not in my case... Feb 6, 2008

I work with my girlfriend, who also is a freelance translator, so as you can imagine, when I need to talk, she is always there. And our dog too.
Regards,
Fernando


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Iza Szczypka  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:02
English to Polish
+ ...
My feelings exactly Feb 6, 2008

Margreet Logmans wrote:

Interacting with colleagues on-line is a good replacement for having 'real' colleagues around - to me anyway.

And I very much like being able to take a walk or yet-another-cup-of-coffee-and-a-cigarette, or just do nothing for a while without wondering what anybody else will think of it.

Having said that, I do very much enjoy powwows

Plus, we like to have a chat over the phone from time to time beside the on-line contact or to get together now and again, despite the kilometers ... Very recently I was deeply moved by the enormous support offered by my on-line friends... Many thanks to all of you! :*


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:02
Spanish to English
+ ...
It makes me a much more sociable person Feb 7, 2008

I have friends whose jobs involve dealing with the public constantly or dealing with heavy demands from coworkers. By the end of the day, they are often "peopled out" and just want to be left alone for bit.

I, on the other hand, am usually in a pleasant, sociable mood after a quiet and focused work day.

[Edited at 2008-02-07 01:32]


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Gita Madhu
Local time: 23:02
French to English
Translator colleagues are always around, on and off line... Feb 7, 2008

Keren Terret wrote:

I suggested this poll because one of the many perks of working from home is the peace and quiet it entails. I find that the lack of "human" distractions keep me better focussed on my work. It's also a pleasure not to have to deal with workplace politics, moody colleagues, etc.


Well, maybe a real time office set up would be more peaceful at times! At home the bell can ring, the family demands are more immediate, etc.
But
Keren Terret wrote:It's also a pleasure not to have to deal with workplace politics, moody colleagues, etc.

Keren is quite right about this! Although we do have our squabbles, by and large the translator community around the world is always there for you.
I don't know how many other professions can generate this one big happy family vibe.

In the course of the day, I pop in on various translators sites/forums, say a word or two by messenger to some colleague or the other, many of whom I may never even meet face to face.

As a translator I'm never alone. Online it's always day somewhere on this planet and so even in the darkest hours (even figuratively speaking) another translator is keeping vigil with me.


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patyjs  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 09:02
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not really. Feb 7, 2008

I love the peace and quiet of early morning and that's when I do my best work. Let's face it, I'm not great socially and don't crave company but I do enjoy being part of an on-line community. Having kids and all the social interactions that brings is sufficient for me.

I totally agree with Magreet. It would be nice, though, to have someone else around to bounce work-related ideas off sometimes, or just to exchange comments about the current job. I would love to attend a pow-wow but so far haven't been able to.

I can't stand chit-chat and office politics and all that junk so I relish the fact that I don't have to "go in to work".


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Marija Stojanovich  Identity Verified
Serbia
Local time: 16:02
Member (2003)
Serbian to English
+ ...
Sometimes Feb 7, 2008

But it's usually around 4 AM, after 6 hours of non-stop work, and I highly doubt there'd be anyone left in the office by then anyway...

A long-term client once invited me for a full-time job interview and, having watched me fidget for ten whole minutes following a very tempting offer on his part, declared with a laugh: "You're one of those natural-born freelancers, aren't you?"

Like Steven said, the lack of interaction AT work makes me a lot more eager to interact AFTER work, which is something I imagine my family and friends appreciate quite a bit.


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Paul Adie  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Spanish to English
+ ...
Don't miss colleagues... Feb 7, 2008

I don't miss colleagues that much, as there's always going to be some bickering, some tension between the boss and others, some office politics in place...I can't really be bothered with it all. Especially if it gets to the point where you're working in-house and not saying anything to the people who sit beside you. However, in saying the above, I do miss human contact when freelancing, so I'll pop out every three hours or so to pick up a newspaper, some food, have a wee walk. I need the fresh air and some human contact now and again. I'm just that kind of person, I tend to become withdrawn if I don't speak to people for days on end. It just depends on how you are as a person.

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