3 Problems Working Remotely In Language Localization And 1 Solution
Can you recall a time on your way to the office where you were stuck in morning traffic during a winter snow blizzard or maybe not feeling 100 percent to leave your home? Maybe you thought how great it would be to work from your home. Believe me, when I say that if you work from home for too long, you might find yourself thinking: I wish I was out stuck in that blizzard rather than stuck at home! Before I started working for Interpro as a translation project manager, I worked for a language localization agency for three years whose employees would exclusively work from home.
While I enjoyed my personal space, I noticed that there were challenges in executing language localization projects without being in an office environment. I encountered these three problems quite frequently:
1. An unproductive work environment
My past employer proudly listed all of the advantages of working from home to me: no commute, flexible hours, relaxed work environment, working in your pajamas, better meals during your lunch break, and much more. These are all great premises until you realize that your home makes you feel like you are on house arrest and you can only leave with a special permit. The pajamas you loved are starting to look like an inmate uniform, you have been eating pasta for the past month, and after all, it is not that relaxing to be on call 24/7! Eventually, your work performance starts to be affected.
2. Lack of communication between translation team
The other disadvantage I faced working on translation projects was the fact that way too often I had a hard time getting a hold of my localization team members. This could be really unnerving, especially when the client on the other end is waiting for a quick response on a translation quote. The ability to act quickly in the language localization industry makes all the difference between keeping clients versus losing them.
3. Slower professional growth
If you work at home there isn’t anyone you can directly learn from! Working from home forces you to find a solution for possible problems without the help of other language localization professionals. This also means that you tend to be less flexible toward innovations since you don’t have to confront others on a daily basis. Interacting with people in the language localization industry, brainstorming, and simply chatting about the job will help open your mind towards possibilities that otherwise might not have been considered. This will allow you to have multiple ways to manage a project and, therefore, find the BEST solution to solve any language localization issue!
Benefits of a language localization team under one roof
The first thing that struck me when starting working for a language localization company where the whole team is in the same office was how closely the team members work together to ensure that the best, most efficient, and cost-effective solution is chosen for each individual translation project. When a client sends us a translation quote request, there is a full team looking at it, and each of us uses our area of expertise to ensure that the client's needs are taken care in the best way. Each step of the project processing, from quoting to delivery, is carefully analyzed and developed. Working in such a stimulating environment is extremely vital and constantly calling for self-improvement on the job. Everyone at Interpro takes pride in their work.
Furthermore, “sharing the same roof” with all of the team members speeds up all the operations; many of our clients have fairly complex jobs. Localizing a product requires the joint effort of engineers, desktop publishers, account executives, translation project managers, and, of course, translators. If you are in one office, you can access all of these resources immediately. This is simply more efficient. Potential issues are caught before they can be pointed out by the client and you have a full team working to solve them in the given time.
By working together, you get to know your colleagues and learn how to better communicate with them. Good communication is the ABC of any successful company, and when you can’t physically interact with the people you work with, a big piece of that communication is broken off.
Working from home can be in many ways comfortable, but it can become easily alienating and, therefore, affect the quality of your work. Working in a functional office provides constant means of stimulation, allows you to quickly access to the help/information needed in specific situations, and gives you a healthy dose of competition with your peers, which is all beneficial to your work and ultimately to customer satisfaction.