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allenisaacson
Member

Assigning Multiple Freelancers to a Contract

Good day,

 

I have been working on Upwork as an individual freelancer and have recently started an agency with my colleague (we'd like to be able to deploy each other's expertise collaboratively). This is our first foray into using an agency account. After extensive research, I have concluded that it is not possible to assign hourly contracts to be logged by multiple freelancers in one agency (although it is possible to do this internally with fixed-rate contracts). Is this understanding correct?

 

If so, I'd like to strongly suggest that Upwork make progress on adjusting this functionality to align with the way agencies actually perform and bill work. I came across posts as old as almost a year with people complaining about this. If I indeed understand this correctly, I'm not certain I wish to retain our agency account, as the benefit seems limited relative to simply purchasing Freelancer Plus (which at least comes with monthly connects). 

 

Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.

 

Thank you!

17 REPLIES 17
vladag
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Allen,

 

I'd like to follow up on your question regarding transitioning work to your agency members and confirm that subcontracting is allowed on Upwork for Fixed-Price contract only. The freelancer or the agency member is 100% responsible for the product they deliver and has to comply with all laws when they use independent contractors or employees to work on their contracts. If you decide to accept a contract under your Agency and work as a team, you can consider asking the client to send you an offer for a Fixed-Price contract. Let us know if you need further guidance in regards to Upwork TOS and subcontracting work, and we'll be happy to assist you.

~ Vladimir
Upwork

Hi Vladimir,

Thank you for following up.

Subcontracting was not the point of my post. What I mean is that it would be much improved if the Upwork system allowed managers to assign multiple freelancers to a contract to work as a team instead of requiring each freelancer to generate a new contract individually.

For example, a business manager could assign freelancer A at $75/hr for task X, B at $25/hr for task Y, and C at $35/hr for task Z, all under the same contract with the agency and in a centralized place. The client could have the option to approve the team assignments. Alternatively, the client could opt out of the "Agency Contract" entirely and continue to work with one freelancer. This would be similar to the "Hire Multiple Freelancers" option but with a centralized setup to make Agency Contracts more effective and convenient for the team and for the client.

As it stands right now, the agency account vs the independent does not offer any collaborative or centralized advantages.

For example, I can't even use the Upwork chat system to create rooms for my whole team or add team members to a chat with a client (as far as I can tell; please correct me if I'm wrong). EDIT: I have discovered there is a way to chat with my team, although I'm not sure if I can add a team member to a room with a client. Probably, right?

Giving Managers a centralized place to coordinate teams and manage contracts would finally give agencies the collaborative resources they need in a way that corresponds to the reality of how agencies work.

Hi Allen,

 

I appreciate your follow-up. Please note that we've already received the request you shared here and while our team is considering different options to further improve the Agency dynamics and experience, we can confirm that this isn't on our immediate roadmap.

~ Vladimir
Upwork

I haven't found any of your responses to this thread to be helpful. I won't waste my time in the Upwork community forum in the future.

Hi Allen, 

I agree with you. This is stupid. I am not sure what Upwork is charging for. They haven't provided any collaboration tools and I can't get my client to hire a team member on the same contract

Hi All,

 

I am new to posting here. However, this is a serious challenge on Upwork by both us Agency owners and our Clients. By the previous comment on this forum, Upwork is not concerned with streamlining this process, but If I am to continue using Upwork for my online design firm, this needs to be addressed sooner than later. If there is not going to be a real answer to solving this issue, do not bother replying. However, if a real solution is going to be acted on asap, please let me and the rest of the community know. Working as a freelancer on Upwork is great, but the Agency experience needs some help. I look forward to serious responses with solutions.

 

 

Best Regards,

W-Michael **Edited for Community Guidelines**

I do agree and support that it is issential to have a possiblility assigning some freelancers on a contract both fix price and time&material.

 

@Upwork, please add this feature.

 

Thanks.

I'm actually having this problem now. The client's project requires a copywriter, a graphic designer, and a brand expert. He is willing to hire the agency but there is no way for me to assign three people under the same contract. It is a hassle to have to ask the client to create three separate contracts. Might just lose this project altogether. 

Hi Carla, Slava and Wilbert,

 

We certainly appreciate your feedback and will make sure to pass it along. I'd like to reiterate that at this time it's not possible for more than one person to be hired on one contract. However, you can ask the client to send offers to and hire several members of the agency on different individual contracts.

 

Thank you.

~ Luiggi
Upwork

Seems like a big gap.

Not sure how do we do big software project with team of 4-5 resources for like 3-4 months on T&M basis? Doing fixed price contract is not ideal solution. That means either client is paying more than required or Agency is taking much bigger risk.

 

Will be good to know why Upwork is not taking this on priority. This could mean much bigger contracts and thus much bigger commission for upwork.

 

So you're saying it's not possible for a "client" to hire an "agency" in Upwork's Agency schema?  Sounds like you guys are overcomplicating your user's experience (both client's and agency).  In my line of work, this is a complete lose (i.e. terrible UX = leaving money on the table).  Please consider rethinking this.

This is a much-needed feature. If a client is hiring my agency for a large web development project, We would absolutely have multiple developers work on this (Designer, Developer, SEO, etc..). We normally do these as hourly contracts, especially when it comes to ongoing maintenance for a website. If I cant have multiple employees work on a contract what is the point of an agency account? I just recently opened my agency account but now it seems like it's not really going to work out for our needs. This seems like a huge miss for Upwork. 

 

 

Luiggi, 

I'm also facing the issue. As an agency owner can't assign task to members too on hourly contract. 

I would like to ask you a question what if my agency member is taking a holiday break, it is only this agency member who has a contract with the client. All of sudden client wants the job gets done, how to resolve it ?          





Your sincerely,
Johny L.

At least can Upwork be transparent about the roadmap you mentioned? We need to know if it is worth investing in building an agency. So hard to make business decisions without knowing where the agency feature is going in the long run.

Guney

About 2 years fast forward, so sad to see this is not still implemented. Two things are crucial to running a solid agency business.

  1. Applying to a job as a team.
  2. Charging hourly as a team, either a single rate or multiple rates per team member.
    1. The rate can be a single value. In this case, it is the responsibility of the manager to determine an average rate and distribute it unevenly across team members.
    2. Or, the rate can be set per team member.
Guney
0a775b70
Member

I recently started an agency account on Upwork and told the client hours would be logged with the upwork timer, including screenshots for transparency that work is done when time is charged. Now found out my main designer can't log hours with the timer! The only way to log hours is for me to manually add them.

 

Agency account is $20 per month for an extra profile, I'm not finding any other useful features for running as an agency for that fee, only an extra profile. Billing for sub-contractors is not there. Logging hours on the upwork time tracker is not there, essentially nothing is there except an extra profile ( persona ) for twenty usd per month. And if you hire subs via upwork, that work is double paying upwork percent.

 

I see no added value to having an agency account, and I'm starting to regret wasting my time setting one up.

 

 

 

jeremywoolf
Member

Not having this option seems counter-intuitive for Upwork. It's pushing people out of the platform, to set up separate contracts and billing arrangements (which flies in the face of the company's model). I'd love to bring in contractors on my projects within the Upwork ecosystem.