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.
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 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.
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
[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.
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.
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 Smiles are contagious and has a positive effect.