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Poll: Would you adjust your working hours to correspond to a client's time zone?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 03:25
SITE STAFF
Jun 26, 2012

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Would you adjust your working hours to correspond to a client's time zone?".

This poll was originally submitted by Birgit De Gregorio Ph.D.. View the poll results »



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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:25
Member
German to English
+ ...
No Jun 26, 2012

I don't have that flexibility. My working hours are defined by the times at which my children are at school, so I can't just shift them. All my clients are on the same time zone or one hour out, and I'd rather that than get disrupted at all hours of the day or night.

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Angus Stewart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:25
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
Its not a live issue for me Jun 26, 2012

This simply isn't a live issue for me, because my focus is upon Europe and so there isn't that much of a time difference to start with.

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xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 12:25
English to French
+ ...
Yes Jun 26, 2012

I do, occasionally... during conferences and/or other sessions, when press releases for instance need to be ready and translated by 22.00 hours their time.
I then start working at 21.00 hours my time, which gives me 6 to 9 hours (according to where the conference is held) to get things done in due time.

The rest of the time, my American continent clients are perfectly happy with whatever work schedule I go for: long jobs (preparatory to these conferences) can be done when I chose... They are now "trained" enough to know that permanent emergency is not an option!

One of those clients decided to have their office in South Africa coordinate all translations. Easy for me, more internal discipline for them

[Modifié le 2012-06-26 13:40 GMT]


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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:25
Member (2006)
German to English
other Jun 26, 2012

once again, if I was living in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and all my customer were in Europe, with European deadlines, then more than likely, but otherwise probably not.
All depends where you live and where you get your work from.


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dasein_wm  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 12:25
Member (2009)
Italian to English
+ ...
Other - I do regularly Jun 26, 2012

I have clients on both sides of the Atlantic. My working hours are mainly 'normal' daytime CET hours. I must, however, be available to communicate and accept work (which I will do the next day(s)) from overseas as well.
I leave my laptop on in the evenings and glance at it every so often. I'm not technically working, I suppose. But, then again, I'm not completely away from it either, as I continue to be available to suit my overseas clients' schedules.
I am not, however, jumping on a translation job late at night. Too old for that, I'm afraid.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:25
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Jun 26, 2012

I claim to provide a service 24-7, 365 days a year, so it'd be a chance to put my money where my big blabber mouth is.

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Nikki Graham  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:25
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
No, definitely not Jun 26, 2012

I don't have clients in a different time zone anyway (don't translate into US English, don't translate from Latin American Spanish). I have also often ignored work emails which arrive late at night or at the weekend, and don't reply to them until the next working day. This job encroaches on my private/family life too much as it is, so there have to be some boundaries in place. If this means I miss out on a project sometimes, then so be it.

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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 20:25
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
No, thank you Jun 26, 2012

But I do work long hours and weekends.

In Europe, a 1- or 2-hour time difference would probably not be a big issue. The same analogy would apply if I was working with companies in Taiwan or Singapore, a mere stone's throw away.

However, I'm located where the water falls off the edge or 8 or 9 hours away from Europe so this would mean fundamentally altering my sleep cycle and body clock. It would have to be a really well-paying and worthwhile project spread over 2 or 3 months, say, to warrant my pulling out the stops and accepting this kind of work. And, at my age, I am not going to go through all those all-nighters again!

I wonder how our counterparts in the US with its nine time zones will answer this poll.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 11:25
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes Jun 26, 2012

When working for a Japanese client I have to alter my schedule in order to meet the deadlines. This happens a few times a week during 3/4 months every year...

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Renée Lizotte  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:25
French to English
+ ...
No, not usually. Jun 26, 2012

Michael Harris wrote:

once again, if I was living in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and all my customer were in Europe, with European deadlines, then more than likely, but otherwise probably not.
All depends where you live and where you get your work from.


Exactly. The only time I adjust my schedule is when I go back to the States for a few months at a time, which isn't very often. The time difference is 9 hours, but that doesn't mean I wake up at midnight to accommodate clients as they start their business day on the other side of the Atlantic. It just means that I start my day a few hours ealier, so that I can respond to any messages before my clients leave the office for the day. Otherwise, I agree with Nikki that work already does occupy a significant amount of the day and the line has to be drawn somewhere.


Edited to correct a typo.

[Edited at 2012-06-26 09:46 GMT]


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 12:25
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Should probably have voted Other Jun 26, 2012

I have got past the age when I was tied up with children and family commitments most of the time, but I have had my share of that. Now I plan around the big events and work at fairly erratic hours anyway. I'm a night owl and often work in the evenings. I'm not much use after 3 am and until I have had a night's sleep, but most of my clients are in Europe, like me, so the question rarely arises.

I can start at 7-8 am too!

I did, however, stretch things to work with a client in Australia for a week - late nights my time and mornings theirs, exchanging mails about some illegible PDFs that the end client had to explain for us... And I would do it again if necessary.

But when I am otherwise occupied, I ignore mails and do not answer the phone - I certainly have a private life too.

Generally, my clients mail or ring in the daytime and early evening, and I try to answer then, even if I am not at my desk all the time. So changing my routine calls for planning - also because totally rearranging my hours sets off a migraine attack.



[Edited at 2012-06-26 09:57 GMT]


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Milana Penavski  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 09:25
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I'm doing it right now... Jun 26, 2012

I'm temporarily located in Florida and I need to be up at 4 a.m. in order to accept my new European client' requests. Their deadlines are tight and if for any reason I'm out of the office for a couple of hours - or asleep - I'll miss the job. It's not easy and I'm considering discussing this issue with them, because I noticed that I'm their only translator who's not located in their own time zone.

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Neil Cross
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:25
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
The answer I wanted to give... Jun 26, 2012

"Maybe, but only if they asked me really nicely"

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felicij  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:25
German to Slovenian
+ ...
always Jun 26, 2012

I work with many outsourcers that live in USA, China and Australia, so I really need to stay flexible. Actually I really don't mind since I'm a nightbird.

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