Quite often, I get asked if I work at night. I know a lot of my colleagues do and I commend them for that, as it is very hard. I don’t work at night, but I know all about the difficulties of at night.
Our job requires concentration and a fully functioning mind, if we are tired and unable to properly focus on the task at hand, we won’t be able to do the job properly. That’s when serious errors can occur. So, for that reason, I have made the decision of not working at night. I admit I’m terrible at night, I feel very tired and my concentration is next to none. After a day working on the computer, I am totally unable to focus, even just reading a newspaper online is a hard task and if I was to accept a job at night, the quality of that job would be highly compromised. For me, that would be unacceptable.
Quality is very important to me, so is customer service. Working at night would mean scarifying both, so I’d rather lose a job by not working nights, than doing a bad job and loose clients in the process. It’s a balancing act, but I believe that if boundaries are set from the beginning it will work. This way, I ensure my clients they will get great quality work, because I’m at my productive peak.
But I am not saying nor implying that everyone who works at night does a bad job. In fact, it may be the opposite. The same way that I feel better working during the day, some colleagues actually prefer working at night. Some like the silence of the night, less interruptions, etc. Others may be part-time translators and that’s the only time they have to work. We are all different, and we all have our own working routines and methods. It doesn’t need to be 9 to 5, but it certainly doesn’t have to be a night shift either, each one of us works out what’s best for them and their clients. That’s exactly what I did. Some may say that it is not necessarily the best for the clients, as they may need the work done at night. I disagree. In my view, the clients are the ones who benefit most, because they get the job done properly. It’s better having a quality translation done a few hours later than having a translation done by an overtired professional, that may contain errors and then pay a proofreader to proofread and correct those errors. It will make them lose money and the time they wanted to start with. My advice is to talk to the professional and hear what they have to say.