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Poll: Do you watch anything (movies, TV series) while working?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
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Apr 22, 2012

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you watch anything (movies, TV series) while working?".

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Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 13:53
German to English
+ ...
No Apr 22, 2012

The only thing I watch is the clock: how much time left before the deadline and how much translation still to do.

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 13:53
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No Apr 22, 2012

As I live alone, I have to have the TV going all day, even if I'm not in the same room. There's just something comforting about background voices slipping through once in a while, but I don’t watch it while I’m working, I just hear it…

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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:53
English to German
+ ...
I don't watch anything, but the TV is on at all times. Apr 22, 2012

I need human voices around, otherwise I would go nuts in this rather large house all by myself and in silence. I miss the "white noise", the voices and the laughter that I used to hear coming from adjacent offices when I was employed at a large office. Human voices and the sounds of buzzing activity do have a tremendous effect on your personal adrenaline level. I don't listen to radio though, it's distracting. I rather pick some non-annoying TV station (no yelling, no violence) and have the TV on all day in a different room.

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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:53
Member (2006)
German to English
No! Apr 22, 2012

And how are you supposed to work properly doing that. I know you have two eyes, but ...

Radio on in the background is okay but TV on in the background is a waste of energy!

But I must admit that today, as an exception, that I have the Formula 1 running on live stream on one of my other 2 monitors, but not full screen, just for results

[Edited at 2012-04-23 01:46 GMT]


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:53
Hebrew to English
Background noise Apr 22, 2012

I have the TV on, on a low volume, unless I'm really trying to concentrate on something (a weird sentence, difficult terminology etc) that's when I reach for the "mute" button.

In addition, I can't have any programme which I actually like on, or the news, as my attention starts to drift, so I just put something boring on.

Silence may be golden, but I find too much of it only exacerbates my cabin fever.


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Irene Acler  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 14:53
Spanish to Italian
+ ...
Yes, sometimes Apr 22, 2012

I'm quite "forced" to have the TV on because I have a small baby girl (15 months in a while) and when she's at home with me, she gets bored if I can't play with her, so I turn the TV on and she watches the cartoons, mainly.

On the other hand, when I'm alone at home, I prefer not to watch anything, I'm more concentrated without any voices around!


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:53
English to German
+ ...
By not actively listening. Apr 22, 2012

Michael Harris wrote:

And how are you supposed to work properly doing that. I know you have two eyes, but ...

Radio on in the background is okay but TV on in the background is a waste of energy!


With the radio on, I will be distracted whenever a great song is played. It would disrupt my work. I don't think that a TV uses more electricity than a stereo. I have to pay for cable TV the same amount every month anyway, no matter if the TV is on three hours a day or 24 hours a day.


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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 14:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
Last night's football Apr 22, 2012

Yesterday was an important league game in Spanish football. I was fed up that I was still translating (doing an important client a favour), and not being able to spend time with my family, so instead of hiding away in another room, I decided to sit in the corner with my husband and children as they ranted and wailed at the television. The result of this was that I translated more slowly, I'm going to have to spend longer on correction, but I have progressed a little, and at least I was "with" them.

This was a fairly routine repetitive bit of translation, which I chose for the occasion. It would be totally impractical for some other types of texts.

Edited:

I should probably also add that I don't like football. Not at all. (And after all these years I still don't understand off-side). So there is no danger of me becoming fully distracted and riveted to the TV screen.

[Edited at 2012-04-22 10:00 GMT]


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:53
French to English
Competition for attention Apr 22, 2012

I have never been one to have the TV except when I am watching it and it alone. I used to be able to work with music on, perhaps even with the radio on. Classical "floaty" sort of music can induce an industrious audio environment, conducive to concentration. For me, a screen competing for my visual attention does the opposite.

Nowadays, when working in an office or at home alone, I need total silence to work. When working in a public environment, I can cut-out all the background hubub and give total attention to work if need be.

When my children were tiny, I tried to convince myself I could work in their presence. It was impossible. I could grab a few 15-20 minutes sessions as they played quietly elsewhere. However, I would be interrupted often or if the silence endured beyond 15-20 minutes, although not a nervous sort, I woudl go and check what they were up to. Most of the time, they were just continuing to play quietly. Silence is not always synonymous with trouble! I would then sneak back to work for another 15-20 minutes. The most efficient way to work, for me anyway, when my children were young, was to have them at the creche a coupe of days a week and count on those days alone for guaranteed work time, anything above and beyond was a pure bonus! They were not TV watchers before the age of four or five, so I never used that. (As teenagers, they seem to be trying to catch up for that ever since!)

Nikki


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:53
English to German
+ ...
Reading all the posts so far Apr 22, 2012

I guess, habits widely depend on your environment.

My house is located in an extremely quiet street, there are no children, there is no traffic. We are surrounded by trees that will absorb any noise by nearby streets. Only when the temperatures will allow open windows, I can hear birds, eventually neighbors or an occasional dog barking. Total silence puts me into a catatonic state. Not even my computer offers any entertaining sounds or humming, as long as I don't waste my time watching videos.


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Isabelle F. BRUCHER  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 14:53
English to French
+ ...
No, but it depends what "working" means. Apr 22, 2012

I assumed that "working" meant "translating", so I answered "no".

However, when I bundle up the large Belgian Justice files (called "cartons" because the different documents are covered with 2 cardboard boards, one at the top and one at the bottom of the pile of documents, which have to be punched and attached together with a thin rope: an hour of work !), I do it on the living room's table (more room than in my crowded/cluttered office) and watch (or rather, listen to) TV, of course!


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Anna Sarah Krämer Fazendeiro
Germany
Local time: 14:53
Member (2011)
English to German
+ ...
Only some well-chosen music Apr 22, 2012

Right now I have Corelli's Christmas Concert on my headphones. Because the rest of my family is watching TV in the next room and that truly drives me nuts. Especially as they seem to prefer action, exploding cars and shootings. Not good for working.

I would never switch the TV on on purpose. Mostly not even when I am not working.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Apr 22, 2012

I don't think it is possible to actively "watch" anything while working. However, I might occasionally have a football match or sporting event on (at low volume) in the background and only pause briefly to see the goals or other "exciting" moments.

I usually have the radio or music on in the background while working, but I prefer to save TV etc for when I'm not concentrating on my PC screen.

PS: Like Teresa, Nicole and others, I sometimes just like to have the TV on to hear voices in the background to fill the silence, which I can sometimes find distracting.

[Edited at 2012-04-22 11:34 GMT]


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Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 08:53
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
yes sort of Apr 22, 2012

I think I'm in Nicole's camp...i live alone and like to have the tv on so it doesn't get too quiet. If I'm really trying to concentrate, i MUTE the sound. It's more like white noise that I have on because otherswise it gets to be TOO quiet. I have no kids and if you have no sound it's like living in a panic room or something. I actually am more distracted by the internet, fighting the temptation when I work to go on facebook. But I do need some background noise or i go barmy.

I find that some sports like baseball are ok for working, you can have it on in the background and it's not too loud or noisy, like soccer. Also, i find it's easier to do editing than translation with the tv on. When I'm translating I may have it on but with the sound off.


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