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I dont like it

Moderator
Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
1 of 150

UPDATE: this thread has been closed from further replies.

 

Dear oDesk community,

As head of Operations at oDesk, I’m here to introduce an upcoming policy change that I believe will make oDesk a better workplace for everyone.

 

Policy update

Beginning November 15, 2014, we will introduce a minimum rate of $3.00 per hour (including the oDesk fee) for all new hourly contracts. We will continue to honor the hourly rates of contracts formed prior to this date, and clients and freelancers who have previously worked together at less than $3.00 per hour can form new contracts with no minimum requirement.

 

Why have we made this decision?

Our vision:

Our vision is to be the world’s largest, most trusted online workplace, known for top-notch talent and jobs. This means attracting and retaining freelancers and clients who value quality above all else. Individual freelancers are in the best position to set their hourly rates according to their experience level, skills, and cost of living realities.

 

However, in certain circumstances, we’ve seen that some freelancers feel compelled to lower their rates too far in order to win new work. This can result in sub-optimal work quality and low customer satisfaction. In this context, we believe the new hourly minimum will benefit the entire community by setting an expectation of higher pay for higher quality work. More importantly, we believe this change will, over time, encourage more great freelancers and clients around the world to work on oDesk.

 

Introducing a minimum rate:

While we recognize the complexity of our marketplace—from the large differences in earnings around the world, to the diversity of work done on our platform—we believe $3/hour strikes the right balance between discouraging low-quality work and minimizing disruption to client-freelancer relationships. Though a single minimum rate is an imperfect solution, we feel it’s an important step toward making oDesk a great place to both work and get work done.

 

Our customers:

Today, only 3% of freelancer earnings are below the new minimum. However, we do not take lightly the impact this policy may have on all the clients and freelancers who rely on us for their businesses and careers. In particular, we’re sensitive to the relationships our clients and freelancers have already formed with one another. Thus, this policy will apply only to new client-freelancer relationships formed on or after November 15, 2014. We will continue to honor the hourly rates of contracts formed prior to this date.

 

For answers to how this policy impacts you, we’ve developed a detailed set of Frequently Asked Questions: 

 

If you have any further questions, we encourage you to contact our support team, who are standing by to help.

 

I, along with the rest of the oDesk leadership team, truly believe our community as a whole will benefit from this transition. I want to thank you, our customers, for your understanding and support. As we look ahead to the future, we’re excited to work for you —and with you—to build a workplace for the ages.

 

 

Sincerely, Elizabeth Tse

Senior Vice President, Operations oDesk

~ Valeria
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Jason R Member Since: Mar 24, 2012
2 of 150
[quote]we’ve seen that some freelancers feel compelled to lower their rates too far in order to win new work[/quote] Yeah, this is called freelancing, and open market bidding war and kind of the whole principle behind this type of business model. If they are worth more and with a proper review/feedback and worker history in place eventually this will happen eventually, They are new, its not just about worker skill level its about there ability to do the job and be responsible, honest and so on, but now you have that away from employers as an option. So now employers have to pay more to sort out the bad workers providing sub optimal performance by paying them more. This is a counter free market move you are making with this decision. What is wrong with starting somebody who EMPLOYERS DONT KNOW and may not have any feedback at a low rate during a phase, its not like anybody is forced to take any job on odesk? This is going to make it very hard for new freelancers to get hourly work (especially VA type jobs), and its also going to cause employers to just use fixed rate contracts to circumvent this minimum. If you want to increase quality then screen them better, remove any suspected of cheating on tests, instead of having employers flip the bill to do the quality control. [quote] we believe $3/hour strikes the right balance between discouraging low-quality work and minimizing disruption to client-freelancer relationships [/quote] Really? Why dont you set this rate to take into account (and protect income) of workers in more developed countries while your at it America/Germany ect, because 3$ minimum doesn't help them at all, they are worse off then making .50 an hour for somebody in India. While your at it why dont you further segregate this protection based on skill level. For example in the Philippines there isn't a VA (who many have gotten a simple college degree) vs a Computer programmer who is worth the same. But then what if the programmer cannot find jobs and takes a job programming for $3 an hour, effectively having to take a step backwards and lumped into earning what a person that didn't get a degree in a field that just isn't comparable or skilled, but he must do this or he cannot work on odesk because your protecting the lowest skilled people and not the higher. Again, my opinion is this measure goes completely against the whole concept of this business model. Who does this 3$ an hour actually strike the right balance for? It isn't the most skilled workers on your site, its the least skilled, and that doesn't make sense to me. Why dont we just make everybody set their rates at the prevailing wages for those skills in each country the worker is from. That will ensure everybody doesn't have to suffer by having a horrible life of being able to sit at home, not have a boss looking over there shoulder, watching TV, and taking breaks whenever they want. That is one tough life! [quote]Though a single minimum rate is an imperfect solution[/quote] I couldn't agree more. This will have very little impact on me, but I dont like it on principle alone.
Moderator
Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
3 of 150
Hi Jason, Thank you very much for sharing your opinion and feedback. Let me assure you that we do not take lightly the impact this policy may have on all the clients and freelancers who rely on us for their businesses and careers. We also recognize that $3/hour means different things depending on geography, and that different skills in our marketplace are valued at different rates. We are constantly testing levers to improve quality and rates within work categories. However, we are not introducing different minimums for different geographies or skill areas at this time. Thank you again,
~ Valeria
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Jason R Member Since: Mar 24, 2012
4 of 150
[quote=Valeria Kochubei]Hi Jason, Thank you very much for sharing your opinion and feedback. Let me assure you that we do not take lightly the impact this policy may have on all the clients and freelancers who rely on us for their businesses and careers. We also recognize that $3/hour means different things depending on geography, and that different skills in our marketplace are valued at different rates. We are constantly testing levers to improve quality and rates within work categories. However, we are not introducing different minimums for different geographies or skill areas at this time. Thank you again,[/quote] Thank you Valeria. I guess this is something I'm a little passionate about and something that I disagree on principle as a business person because it really wont effect my odesk usage. I see a few of my post's have been removed, and probably should have thought them out a little better to conform with guidelines. Anyway I like odesk, and as I can recall they even seemed to listen to me and changed something at the same time i complained in a thread a couple years ago related to privacy so I wanted to get my input. I do not expect it to change this decision though because its probably been planned for a while and probably has something to do with your recent merger with elance, and my assumption is if it was open for discussion you would have asked employers before releasing the statement. I would guess that most employers would also disagree with this being implemented but its not going to stop me from using odesk at all, but maybe some it will.
Active Member
Skye D Member Since: Nov 26, 2014
5 of 150

[quote=Jason R] I guess this is something I'm a little passionate about and something that I disagree on principle as a business person... [/quote]

 

So you're passionate about paying people less than $3 and hour? The minimum prevents abuse of desperate and vulnerable people. I applaud it.

Active Member
Mujahid B Member Since: Nov 12, 2014
6 of 150

The idea of implementing a minimum of $3 an hour is an appropriate one.

You will be amazed that many ODeskers within Pakistan earn over $3000 a month and Ms Valerie may be able to verify that.

Active Member
Mujahid B Member Since: Nov 12, 2014
7 of 150

Well I am living in Islamabad Pakistan and it is a very expensive city in the sub-continent. Standard of living over here is fairly high. Besides I have studied my post-graduation from London UK and that has costed me alot being an international student (4 times more than UK residents/citizens). I live in a modern 425 square yards house, with four bedrooms (larger than what people have in the US and even in Texas) with four attached baths, a TV lounge of 14 feet by 32 feet, a large drawing room (on western standards) and a lawn. This is a general standard of living here in Islamabad. It is a city of diplomats and investors and they can vouch for it.

 

To give you an idea, within Pakistan I also earn about $600 per month for teaching Business Studies for two hours a day Mon-Fri. Some earn over $2800 depending on the hours they spend. And I take various corporate training assignments charging a minimum of $300 a day. 

 

You will be amazed that many ODeskers within Pakistan earn over $3000 a month from ODesk or Elance alone, and Ms Valerie may be able to verify that.

 

Although I understand your point to some degree that mimimum wage should not be set, but again that luxury to client is very temporary, because free-lancers never continue to work that low for long. Once their profile is being built, references made, they start charging more. And clients seldom move to the next low-charging free lancer due to the comfort level, trust and job understanding of the existing free lancer.

 

About the Indians, our neighbours, they do start very low but as they get recognized they move to America and make it big. According to an American Newspaper, every 6th millionaire in the IT industry is an Indian. How fantastic, on both, the Indians for their acumen, and the land of opportunities.

 

Ironically, if the market forces of Demand and Supply weren't there, then people would give the Indians just a Loaf of Bread for a whole days work which also requires technical skills and going to college. This is how London Underground (subway) and many other infrastructures have been made in Manhattan, New York during the Slave Trade era. But that era is long over. Attempts are still being made to take undue advantage of people's personal circumstances but that doesn't work for long. Thanks to the ODesk initiative of minimum rate, as an example, and the law of minimum wage rate in many countries.

 

Even for $3, you cannot buy a McDonalds meal-deal, neither in the USA, UK, and nor in Pakistan. In Pakistan it is over $5.50. You can verify it from McDonalds HQ. I will expect the same in India.

 

I hope that my point is well understood. Take care and begin your day with a smile Smiley Happy Smiles are contagious and has a positive effect.

Active Member
Antonio T Member Since: Jan 23, 2009
8 of 150
I think this is a horrible idea. I'm very curious to know if this has anything to do with the Elance merger. :-/ Raising the minimum rate DOES NOT magically raise the minimum QUALITY of work. Just because I'm paying a contractor more money, doesn't mean he/she is going to do a better job. It also doesn't magically make projects more "valuable" to me because I have to pay more. A simple copy and paste project or a data gathering project is STILL only worth $1/per hour... I will NEVER, EVER pay $3 to scrape info from the web. I will NEVER, EVER pay $3 for a simple copy and paste project. Simply because these projects don't require thought or any real skillset. So now, here's what's going to happen. Instead of paying a contractor $1 per hour to collect names from the web, I will now go to ** and just pay them .10 per record. This stupid price increase has actually hurt the contractors who would have normally gotten a $1/hr job. * Removed by admin
Community Guru
Stephen B Member Since: Dec 4, 2012
9 of 150
"So now, here's what's going to happen. Instead of paying a contractor $1 per hour to collect names from the web, I will now go to ** and just pay them .10 per record" YAAYY - RESULT! *Removed by admin
Community Guru
Gillian Michele N Member Since: Mar 15, 2012
10 of 150
I think this will probably do the trick. This will weed out the clients who do not want to pay freelancers a decent rate and who justify their ridiculously low rates by stating that the job is 'really simple'. For those clients who think paying someone $1 an hr is OK, think about this. You're not only paying the freelancer for their time and effort, the worker also has to cover the cost of their internet connection and electric. This must be taken into account. Valeria, when clients post from November, will they receive a message on the screen telling them that the new minimum rate is $3ph and they should post accordingly?
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