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Poll: Do you charge extra for jobs done on the weekend?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 14:30
SITE STAFF
Jun 13, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you charge extra for jobs done on the weekend?".

This poll was originally submitted by LauraDK

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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Carla Guerreiro  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:30
French to Portuguese
+ ...
I don't... Jun 13, 2008

... but I should...

It's time to stop being idiot.


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Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 18:30
English to Spanish
Other Jun 13, 2008

I don't accept jobs to be done over the weekend (i.e., jobs assigned on Friday to be delivered on Monday). Ever. Weekends are meant to be dedicated to me, my family and my friends.

If I, for whatever reason, get stuck on a given weekend doing a translation that I had initially planned to do on working days, that's my problem and should not be passed on to the client.

Greetings

[Edited at 2008-06-13 16:53]


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Joan Berglund  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:30
French to English
I said other Jun 13, 2008

Generally I do, if it is the clients deadline that makes weekend work necessary, rather than my own scheduling issues. I was letting it go sometimes until I realized that I had worked every weekend for two months, then I decided to start insisting. Sometimes there are mental health advantages in letting yourself be outbid - and I guess I will be a lot since so many people don't charge for weekend work. Hey beach season is coming up you guys:)

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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:30
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Reasonable customers Jun 13, 2008

Our customers very rarely ask for a job over the weekend. They are very reasonable. If we have to work some weekends is because we never say no to regular customers, and we see no other way of delivering jobs with overlapping deadlines.

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Wenke Geddert  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:30
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
Weekend Jun 13, 2008

I voted for "other" as it depends -

a) If I chose to work over the weekend, that's my decision and I wouldn't apply a surcharge

b) If I receive a client's request by end of play on Friday to be delivered first thing on Monday then I would apply a surcharge - it's quite interesting to see how quickly the assignment is not that urgent any more...

On that note - have a good weekend!


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Joanna M Case  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:30
Italian to English
Yes in principle - it's not a working day Jun 13, 2008

I say in principle as if it is - or should be - clear to the client that the work means the translator working part or all of the weekend then I apply a surcharge and only start when agreed. If I work the weekend just because of the way I organise myself then that's not the client's fault. More often than not you get the work on Friday evening as the client wasn't organised enough to give it to you earlier, - why should you suffer for that!

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tom_michell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:30
Spanish to English
+ ...
How much is your time worth? Jun 13, 2008

By coincidence I faced this issue just today and was considering posting this very question as the agency in question said I was the only translator they work with who charges more for weekend work. Nice to know I'm not completely alone.

It comes down to this: while as a freelancer I can work or not work whenever I choose, my friends and girlfriend work regular office hours. So, the time I can spend with them is a more limited "commodity" than the time I have available to work. In these terms, Saturday afternoon is worth more to me than Monday morning.

Clients are paying me not for words but for my time, so if their deadline obliges me to work on the weekend, that time costs more.


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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:30
Spanish to English
+ ...
Negotiation is a part of any business Jun 13, 2008

I’m certain there are as many answers to this question as there are translators. I’ve personally come to the conclusion that I don’t care which days I work as long as I have some time for family activities or hobbies.

I don’t ask for a surcharge for weekend work, but I do negotiate from the start with every client as to how much I’m willing to work for and what’s worth my time and what isn’t. Some clients are taken aback because they’re used to translators just accepting whatever’s offered, but I believe that negotiation is part of any business undertaking. Those who choose to negotiate a weekend surcharge are just doing what comes naturally to a business person, and those who don’t are within their rights too.


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Iza Szczypka  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:30
English to Polish
+ ...
I don't Jun 13, 2008

I feel free to accept/reject jobs that require work over the weekend. So why should I charge more for something I decided to do of my own accord?
When I have specific plans for weekend entertainment / family time, I negotiate to have the deadline sufficiently extended and simply reject the job if the negotiations fail. After all, jobs don't pop up once a week or specifically on Fridays. Hey, isn't it why we've decided to go freelancing?


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Paul Lambert  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 23:30
Member (2006)
Swedish to English
+ ...
I don't ask, but am often offered. Jun 13, 2008

When I first started translating, I had to take as much work as I could and try to build up a name for myself. Therefore I did weekends at no extra charge.

Problem is that after a while the weekend warriors start expecting me to do the work at the same terms (i.e. no surcharge) and after having done many on those terms, it is hard suddenly to raise the rates on my best customers who send me lots of work and have helped me get a foot in the door in the business.

So what I do these days is this: whenever I am asked on a Friday afternoon for a Monday morning delivery, I try to negotiate for Tuesday. Either the client will realise that the urgency is not as great as he first thought and agree to Tuesday, or if he truly is in such a hurry, he will offer to pay a premium of as much as 50 %.

This way, I think everyone comes away fairly happy without offending or being offended.


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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:30
Portuguese to English
+ ...
I agree Jun 13, 2008

Iza Szczypka wrote:

I feel free to accept/reject jobs that require work over the weekend. So why should I charge more for something I decided to do of my own accord?
When I have specific plans for weekend entertainment / family time, I negotiate to have the deadline sufficiently extended and simply reject the job if the negotiations fail. After all, jobs don't pop up once a week or specifically on Fridays. Hey, isn't it why we've decided to go freelancing?


I see translating as a seven day per week job, but since I'm a freelancer I have the choice to say "yes" or "no" to any job, which is what I do. My kids grew up a long time ago and I live alone, so I don't mind working on weekends as a general rule. If I were younger and still had family at home I would probably turn down more weekend work. I love the freedom of being a freelancer.

Amy


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María Eugenia Wachtendorff  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 18:30
English to Spanish
+ ...
I estimate delivery times in Working Days Jun 13, 2008

For large projects, I estimate delivery times in working days. This gives me the freedom to choose whether to work on weekends or not. Usually, family/social life affairs are not restricted to holidays or weekends, so I do my best to manage my time as I please

For urgent work received late in a week and requiring delivery by next monday, I charge 30% for the portion I think I will have to translate over the weekend. But then I sometimes choose to work long hours in order to be at least partially free that weekend.

Have a nice weekend, everybody!


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:30
English to Spanish
+ ...
Work best on weekends Jun 13, 2008

I work best on weekends, less distraction, so I am usually glad to get a nice assignment to do over a weekend.

I can kick back any other day of the week or any time I want. I am not a slave to clock or calendar.


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:30
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
So do I Jun 14, 2008

María Eugenia Wachtendorff wrote:

I estimate delivery times in working days


and the "reasonable customer" is one who lets me. Every working day I guarantee 3,000. Should s/he have needs that require more than that, the excess gets the "urgent" surcharge. That way I make sure the client isn't paying for my own personal decisions on how to use my time. Now, if I take a weekday off and have to work on a weekend to make up, that I won't charge extra.


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