Poll: Do you check your email when you are out of the office?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 06:45
Jan 14, 2007

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you check your email when you are out of the office?".

This poll was originally submitted by Rebecca Hendry

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


ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:45
English to French
+ ...
No way! Jan 15, 2007

I am surprised at the percentage of freelancer who have so far said sometimes and yes. I think it is the age-old dilemma rearing its ugly head in this poll.

If one is being smart about being a freelancer, then s/he will decide on the schedule when they are working or available for work, and that should be the time when one also checks work-related e-mail. If we were to check our e-mail even when we are not working, then we simply wouldn't have a life. As we all know, being a freelancer often feels like being a juggler, and checking work-related e-mail after hours is one way to make the juggling that much harder.

I have also wondered many times why so many of us have cell phones just so we can get emergency calls from clients. Someone who works at a grocery store 9 to 5 usually doesn't have a cell phone so their boss can ask them after hours where they put the ketchup on the shelf... It's already hard enough to have a life as a freelancer - checking you mail after hours will only make matters worse.

If a client may need to get in touch for a real emergency, the best thing is to give them a phone number - they will probably not ring you to ask you questions such as where's the any key, but some clients actually WILL e-mail you about trivial questions such as this. Why would you waste family time on such e-mails?


Deborah do Carmo  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:45
Dutch to English
+ ...
Out of the Office doesn't necessarily mean after working hours Jan 15, 2007

Yes, on PDA if I am out of the office for any reason during normal working hours, e.g. at the local notary, library etc (other than when I'm on leave, in which case I inform regular clients in advance & leave a message on my server).

Yes, on PDA after working hours but only if I am specifically expecting something (here time-zones could often play a role).

Just two (of many) reasons why "yes" or "sometimes" doesn't necessarily equate to "not having a life".

[Edited at 2007-01-15 14:13]


Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:45
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Only in holidays Jan 15, 2007

When any member of the team is away for a morning, one day, or perhaps during holiday leaves in the summer (which we take in turns), another member of the team takes care of email.

Only in team holidays (we only close one week during Christmas and work the rest of the year), we do check our email several times a day, but warn customers in advance about the holidays, so they do not expect actual deliveries from us until after Christmas unless there's something really urgent.

I reckon that if I worked alone I'd check my email using a portable device while I was on the move, but I am lucky enough to be able to move with just a simple mobile phone.


Inga Jakobi  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:45
Member (2006)
Chinese to German
+ ...
Yes, cell phone Jan 15, 2007

Whenever I am out during the day or in th early evening, I check my mail via cell phone. I am quite new to the business and I lost two jobs because I didn't check my mail, so I started using the cell phone. As I have a side job, I am often out of "office" while others are still working and I don't want to miss more jobs because of that. And you shoul dalso consider that even if the business day is over here, for clioents in USA f.e. it is still brioght working day. But still when I am out with friends or in the gym etc., I leave my inbox be inbox and don't bother about the mails. But I don't feel like not having a life. But that might be because my life as a newbie consists mainly of searching for new translation jobs...


Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:45
English to German
+ ...
Nope. Jan 15, 2007

Do you mean, while I am at the grocery store? I don't think so. When I am out of town or out of state, I leave the hotel phone number with my clients, in case that there are questions regarding a recently delivered job or such. Other than that - noooo!


avantix  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:45
German to Dutch
+ ...
Once a day Jan 15, 2007

Yes, but only once a day from my hotel when I am out for more than one day. For 2 main reasons: 1) I also receive non-business e-mails; and 2) I do not want to dig through hundreds of messages when I come beack, so I can delete what I do not need.


Annette Heinrich  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:45
Dutch to German
+ ...
No Jan 15, 2007

When I'm away during normal business hours (usually not for long), my customers can reach me on my mobile phone in case I don't react to an e-mail.

The only case when I check my e-mails away from home is in summer on holidays/long weekends, using the Internet access (with prepaid cards) on the campsite.


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Poll: Do you check your email when you are out of the office?

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