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62fd4cb7
Member

Everyone refuses to use the upwork time app?

Hi Guys,

Is there a valid reason everyone seems to be refusing to use the upwork time log app, and state that they only do "manual time" or milestones? 

Or am I right in assuming they just don't want to show that a task was quicker than expected?

One guy just came out and said he's using the time app for another client right now so can't use it for mine but will add manual time... LOL. And he says he's not an agency. Maybe I didn't realise you can multi task that well ๐Ÿ˜‰

18 REPLIES 18
petra_r
Member


@April L wrote:

Hi Guys,

Is there a valid reason everyone seems to be refusing to use the upwork time log app,


One guy just came out and said he's using the time app for another client right now so can't use it for mine but will add manual time... LOL. And he says he's not an agency. Maybe I didn't realise you can multi task that well ๐Ÿ˜‰


 There are valid reasons for people prefering fixed rate contracts, but no valid reasons for people to refuse to use the tracker for hourly contracts. If people do not want to use the tracker they need to use fixed rate contracts.

 

Ironically, though, nothing protects you as a client as well as freelancers using manual time. Manual time is not protected as much as fixed rate contracts with funded milestones or hourly contracts that are tracked are.

 

If you dispute manual time you win by default.....

 

That said, I personally would never work with shifty people like the one you encountered who wanted to indulge in double-dipping.....

April, it depends on the nature of the job. Upwork timetracker requires keyboard activity, but for jobs that are not done primarily on a computer, there is no keyboard activity, unless the freelancer is willing to periodically do some typing and clicking, and even so, the random screenshots taken probably won't have any bearing on the actual task, and conceivably the client could challenge the recorded time on that basis. I'm a web developer, so almost everything I do is on a computer, but other freelancers are not so lucky, and for them, manual time might be the lesser evil.

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"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce

Thank you for all of your opinions. In this case it's for developers and I've had the same scenario a lot recently - I guess I just need to make sure the requirement is clear in the job post and hope that helps save time and discussions...


@April L wrote:

Thank you for all of your opinions. In this case it's for developers and I've had the same scenario a lot recently - I guess I just need to make sure the requirement is clear in the job post and hope that helps save time and discussions...


April, if I were a client, I wouldn't hire a developer who refused to use time tracker for an hourly job. I suppose you could state in your job description that time tracker must be used. That's not to say manual time should always be disallowed. I do request manual time on occasion, such as 10 minutes for a discussion with the client. I don't turn on timetracker for that, because it only records 10 minute segments, and I usually have no way of knowing in advance how much time a discussion will take.

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
dzadza
Member

I can only speak for myself...UpWork tracker freezes my Adobe applications (probably while taking screenshots...), and I always use manual time. Of course, I always inform the client how many hours will the project take - so they're not surprised. Recently I've decided to avoid hourly contracts altogether (clients vanished along with their payment method, one "client' was banned by upwork), so fixed price contracts are far better option for me...

I don't know who "everyone" is. This is the first time I heard about any kind of widespread refusal to use the time-tracker app. I think this experience that the client describes is not the norm.

 

I'm a developer. I use the time-tracker. Is is disrespectful for a developer to refuse to use it for an hourly contract unless she is working on an operating system that simply doesn't support the app, and that is rare.

 

My advice regarding developers who won't use the time-tracker app: don't just trust them. Check their work very carefully. In most cases, they are up to something and are not being honest with you.

tlsanders
Member

I don't know much about how developers work, so this may not be applicable, but there are many Upwork freelancers who can't use the time tracker for the tasks they're performing.

 

For example, I'm a writer, and most of my research and preparation occurs by marking up printed out source materials such as survey reports.  The time tracker is super-limited and has no way of registering that time. The same is true for designers who do preliminary sketches with pencil and paper, anyone who spends time on the telephone, anyone who is required to watch video content or read source materials without constant keyboard activity, etc. The time tracker is designed for an works only for those who are typing or clicking a mouse nearly constantly as they work, which narrows its usefulness to a small fraction of freelancers.


@Tiffany S wrote:

I don't know much about how developers work, 


They are almost 100% of the time using the keyboard and/or the mouse. They read docs onscreen and type stuff. Developers are Upwork tracker ideal users.

 

Of course they do have thinking time, but they can't help but play with their mouse while thinking. Sometimes they bang their heads against the keyboard. This is recorded by the tracker.

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   โ€”William Ashbless


@Rene K wrote:

@Tiffany S wrote:

I don't know much about how developers work, 


They are almost 100% of the time using the keyboard and/or the mouse. They read docs onscreen and type stuff. Developers are Upwork tracker ideal users.

 

Of course they do have thinking time, but they can't help but play with their mouse while thinking. Sometimes they bang their heads against the keyboard. This is recorded by the tracker.


Really!?! I can get paid for that? And all this time I've been banging my head with the tracker off? You're a godsend, Rene. This could double my income on some contracts.  Cat Very Happy


I agree with the assessment on research. There are times when tracking doesn't make as much sense, especially if the tracker isn't going to pick up any changes through the screenshots. I suppose we can update the memos to record that we're doing something like reading with the tracker on. Or if you're sketching, you could keep a record of the sketches on your phone with a timestamp on them. 

As a developer I use the time tracker 100% of the time. Even though the majority of my clients approve manual time (which I never ask them to allow) I simply never use it. I like both the convenience it provides and the protection it affords. I have never had a client ask about the time tracker so I don't know if they actually look at the results, but they are certainly welcome to. I've never had an issue using the time tracker on a PC or Mac.


@Scott B wrote:

As a developer I use the time tracker 100% of the time. Even though the majority of my clients approve manual time (which I never ask them to allow) I simply never use it. I like both the convenience it provides and the protection it affords. I have never had a client ask about the time tracker so I don't know if they actually look at the results, but they are certainly welcome to. I've never had an issue using the time tracker on a PC or Mac.


Same here as a graphic designer.

 

For phone conversations, I have the timer on and I take notes in a Google doc. For sketching on paper outside of my design software, I have the timer on and take pictures at regular intervals, which I automatically synch to the computer and display for screenshots. I keep good memos in the Work Diary and I've never had anyone complain. The only time I've had to use manual time is when my whole computer crashed once and the tracker lost a series of screenshots.

 

The biggest point for me is that if a contract goes south (rare, but it happens), I still get paid for my time.

 

It actually doesn't take that much keyboard/mouse activity to keep a full status bar - I think the algorithm is looking for consistency as well as volume, going from experience.

 

There are far too many opportunities for clients to abuse the Fixed Price system. I'm not willing to risk it unless it's for a client I already know well, and even then I prefer to use the tracker.

As a client, I have hired dozens of artists and graphic designers.

 

I always allow manual time.

 

I have found that almost none of them use manual time. Even when I have hired artists who do painting, hand illustration and other traditional art techniques... I specifically allow them to use manual time when I set up the contract, because I know that many artists do things on paper...

 

But 90% of the time the artists I have hired have done all the work on a computer, and have tracked the time using the time-tracker.

ruth_bowles
Member

As a writer, I take fixed price and hourly contracts. When I have an hourly contract, I try to always use the tracker. I like the security it provides, and I like that I can change the little memos attached to each 10 minute segment. So when I'm researching, I put that in the memo. I also feel it gives my clients an important window into the sort of work I am doing for their project. I have never refused to use the hourly tracker.

 

I would ask the freelancer's you are working with why they won't use it. Also, I work on one client's projects at a time (A writer, so could be different from other crafts). When I want to switch to another contract, I stop the timer, select the new contract, and then start the timer again. So I don't know what that one freelancer is doing that he can do two separate projects SIMULTANEOUSLY? I would be worried about your quality..... Could be wrong, I'm not a developer (as I said).

Since the OP modified her post after I replied to her original post, I'm going to respond now to this comment she added:

 

One guy just came out and said he's using the time app for another client right now so can't use it for mine but will add manual time... LOL. And he says he's not an agency. Maybe I didn't realise you can multi task that well

 

While it's possible the freelancer wants manual time so he can simultaneously bill 2 clients for the same time interval, he'd be a little naive to say so that openly. It's possible the freelancer is new to the platform, and doesn't understand that he can work on more than 1 hourly contract, as long as he works on one contract at a time, and switches the time tracker from 1 contract to the other as needed.

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"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
jamiermeller
Member

I am unaware of a widespread refusal, but I personally choose not to use the app. The terms that a freelancer must agree to in order to use the time tracker app are concerning to me, and therefore I choose not to use it. I've attached a screenshot below of what is particularly concerning. Upwork clearly states that you could be vulnerable to privacy breaches by using the software. I am sure that I am not the only freelancer that has personal or valuable data that they do not want to be accessed by an unknown third party. I personally am not comfortable with taking this unnecessary risk, especially since it can be avoided. If this became an issue with a client, I would simply share this screenshot so they could understand my reasoning for not using the application, and if that became an issue, offer to use a more secure means of time tracking.

Sharing this in hopes that everyone takes the time to read through what they are agreeing to by using the application, and fully understands and accepts the risks.

 

**Edit: I am fully aware that personal data is vulnerable with nearly every program we use, whether it be search engines, desktop apps, etc. I just simply choose to reduce my risk by not using programs that explicitly state that there could be a breach that they will not take responsibility for, when I can avoid them.

Screen Shot 2021-01-25 at 12.41.18 PM.png


Jamie M wrote:

**Edit: I am fully aware that personal data is vulnerable with nearly every program we use, whether it be search engines, desktop apps, etc. 


Exactly.

As there is no protection for manual time, and all a client has to do to make sure you don't get a Cent for the hours you logged manually, is not pay or dispute, I suppose you need to weigh a theoretical disclaimer stating that Upwork won't be liable for any hypothetical breaches against the very real risk of not getting paid.

 


Jamie M wrote:

I just simply choose to reduce my risk by not using programs that explicitly state that there could be a breach that they will not take responsibility for.


If you go through the fine print of all the other stuff you use you'll find the same or similar. It is standard. You just haven't seen it elsewhere.

 

 

As I stated, I'm well aware that this is the case with other programs. However, this program is unique from any other that I use, in the sense that I need to consent to having my activity recorded. Therefore, I disagree with your statement that there is 'no valid reason' for not using the time tracker. This is the valid reason. The risks one person accepts can be different from another. Personally, I have more faith in a person that I have communicated with extensively and have trusted enough to decide to work with, than in a program that has already told me that I should be wary to trust it and that there is no guarantee of my information being safe.

It is totally your choice.

 

If you have faith in the clients you work for and trust them to pay you, then there's nothing to worry about.

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