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Do you work on week-ends?
Thread poster: Sorana_M.

Sorana_M.
Romania
Local time: 21:01
English to Romanian
+ ...
Dec 12, 2015

My best paying client, from whom I hadn't heard in a while, sent me an urgent project today - meaning Saturday, at 7:14 p.m. my time. Delivery: Monday, noon or something like that.

I declined the job.

For a long time, I have been working one week-end after another and this has had a tremendous negative impact on my family (my partner and child), as well as on my health. So I gave it up.

Do you work on week-ends? If yes, is this usual or occasional? Do you charge extra for week-ends? How about family life?


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Mohsen Askary
Local time: 22:31
English to Farsi (Persian)
+ ...

MODERATOR
My thoughts Dec 13, 2015

Hi, good question. I am not married so I don't have problems with working on weekends. But that was your best paying client, aren't you afraid you lose it? If I were you, I wouldn't work on weekends unless it was a high paying project.

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Gabriele Demuth  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:01
Member (2014)
English to German
Not officially Dec 13, 2015

I take on projects that are doable within regular working hours, if they are not I do apply a surcharge. However, when I actually do them is up to me really. I am more productive in the small hours of the morning, I do jobs at any time to get them out of the way to make time for the family and I am doing an MA as well at the moment, so I try to fit everything in as best as I can.

But I find sometimes clients' expectations are just a bit unrealistic, and I feel I need to point that out, e.g. yesterday lunchtime I was offered a small urgent job (100 words) for 10 Euros and I declined. Firstly, I do have a minimum charge, then an urgent job on a Saturday?!


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Vadim Kadyrov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 21:01
Member (2011)
English to Russian
+ ...
In my opinion, Dec 13, 2015

freelancers have to set clear limits right from the start. I once decided for myself that I don`t work on Saturdays and/or Sundays. Period.

Still, I break this rule once or twice a year, but only for very generous/special clients who will send the payment the next moment they have the translation (the per-word rate here is not a very important thing, I just need to see that they can do the same thing for me - i.e. pay instantly).


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VicYas  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 21:01
Russian to English
+ ...
Why not if they pay a surcharge? Dec 13, 2015

I do not like working on weekends and holidays (I am a freelancer, but my partner, relatives and friends aren't!), but if I do I ask a 45% surcharge like for an urgent assignment.

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Gabriele Demuth  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:01
Member (2014)
English to German
True Dec 13, 2015

For a very good client I would go the extra mile - no questions asked.

But I would mention that this is a special favour and that no surcharge is being charged, otherwise they may make a regular habit of it.

[Edited at 2015-12-13 08:54 GMT]


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:01
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
If required Dec 13, 2015

Since Sunday is not a day off in every part of the world, I often receive work on Sundays. In this one case, no surcharge applies,

Other than that, I hardly ever work on weekend, and if, then a surcharge applies.


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Sorana_M.
Romania
Local time: 21:01
English to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
My Sundays Dec 13, 2015

In order to be able to finish the project within the deadline mentioned, I would have had to spend Saturday evening and night working, plus my entire Sunday doing the same.

And this would have been impossible.

This was the first time this client did not take into consideration that Sundays may actually be dedicated to one's family. I'm not even sure they realized how late the project would reach me (after 7 p.m.).

I do regret the project, though.


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Kristina Cosumano  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:01
Member (2015)
German to English
I do work on weekends, Dec 13, 2015

but there are periods of time during everyone else's working week when I am not available, so for me the weekends are normal business hours. This does not much affect home life because my spouse's work hours (self-employed) are nearly as erratic as mine.

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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:01
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Accept/reject jobs or actually work on them? Dec 13, 2015

I often check my emails on my smartphone during the evening and the weekend, and even on holiday, if only to delete the dross, or respond to ProZ.com forum notifications. So I'm happy to accept a job from an existing client if I can do it during my normal working week. Even if it's a new client, I may be prepared to put in the time to decide whether I'm happy to collaborate. But only if I'm not doing anything special as I don't hold out much hope for a collaboration that starts at the weekend.

But I rarely go into the office, turn my desktop on and start work at the weekend. It isn't fair on my husband. He's retired and often spends time in the lounge while I'm in the office during the week. I don't like the same to happen at the weekend.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 19:01
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes, sometimes! Dec 13, 2015

I often work through the weekend. It totally depends on the workload! I might take 1-2 days off some weeks and then go a couple weeks with no days off... I love having a nice project I can finish off during the weekend or give it a good push. There are generally less interruptions on weekends, thus enabling me to be more productive. I rarely get rush jobs on a Friday evening and when I do I’m offered a higher rate. Over the years, I have done very occasional urgent translations for regular clients without surcharge, but I would charge extra for a new client (or an infrequent one)!

I’m a widow and my children have left the nest long ago. We have a family lunch every Saturday, but other than that I organize myself as I please. On the other hand, during the week I take time off for all those appointments that require contact with people during the work week. That flexibility is the beauty of freelancing!


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Sorana_M.
Romania
Local time: 21:01
English to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Arrangements Dec 13, 2015

I kept on being a workaholic even after I became a mother. Work-at-home mom + workaholic did not get along well. One's own possibilities to make arrangements in this case are highly important.

My daughter still needs me a lot, she's a first-grader (7 years old).


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Rita Pang  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 14:01
Member (2011)
Chinese to English
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
Say yes/no as you so please Dec 13, 2015

I am not sure why weekend works sounds almost evil to some - not saying that I support working 7 days a week, but if the price is right, and I'm free and know that the work won't eat into my rest/entertainment time, etc (and a list of many other reasons), I'll gladly take the job.

Given difference in time zones and as Thayenga mentions, when it's Sunday for me it doesn't mean it's the same day for my clients. I sometimes do get those type of requests coming in and I'm fine with it.

Again, the choice is yours (ours).


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jssnowden  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:01
French to English
+ ...
Sometimes, but maybe I shouldn't set precedent... Dec 13, 2015

It sounds like you've all got varying degrees of experience and are at different stages in your personal life. This question is one that I've got in my head as well at the moment as well. I am quite near the beginning of my freelance career - I feel like I want to work on weekends, but working from 8/9am until 2am some mornings (my university workload on top of my professional workload is quite impressive) I am obviously in need of time off or I will burn out eventually.

I am keen to work on projects - but setting the precedent of working on a weekend (especially on a job with a flexible deadline) isn't a particularly smart idea unless, as you say, it's a high-paying or a particularly good client.

For now, I might do the odd bit on a weekend, but I think I'll generally only work during the week. I personally enjoy my university holidays - I can focus a lot more on my professional freelance work without having to worry about deadlines for Durham!


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Kristina Cosumano  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:01
Member (2015)
German to English
I see a lot of people dissing weekend work Dec 13, 2015

here and elsewhere on the Internet, that is sets a bad precedent, that if this keeps up everyone will be expected to work all day, every day.
I look at this differently, and I think it has more to do with where one is on the translation food chain, so to speak. New translators are often more than happy to work at odd hours, just to have any work at all. After they get established, with lots of connections and experience, they should be able to 1) raise their rates and 2) set their hours more to their liking 3) decline work. That to me seems to be the ways of just about any profession, expect maybe politics, I guess. (Perhaps I am too naive about how weekend work affects other translators, but I see this direction in music, where the new colleague will take just about any gig, and the more established colleague says "On a holiday, for that little money? No thank you." And there is hardly a profession with more competition and less stability than in the music world.)


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