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Freelancer refuses to run the "timer", because he already has it running on another machine

Active Member
Adam G Member Since: Jul 13, 2017
1 of 8

I've hired a freelancer to do some mobile development, and the expectation was that he would be working in OSX, since he said he had an OSX machine in the interview, and it's a mobile job.


Except, he's actually setup some silly system where he edits his code on his Windows machine, and tests/debugs all his work on the OSX machine.

He has the timer running on his Windows machine, where his editor is.  So the timer screenshots are only capturing part of his work, not anything he does on the other machine.

I've asked him to do all his work on OSX, as it makes no sense to me to work like that.  And that way I get a complete picture of what he's spending his time on via the screenshots.


He's refusing to install it on his OSX machine, claiming his account is at risk, as he'll get banned for using Upwork on two machines at once.



I keep explaining to him, it should be fine to install the Upwork timer on two machines at once.  Just don't run both machines at the same time!  He doesn't need to run the Windows machine at all when he's working for me, so there shouldn't be an issue.

But he keeps insisting that there is some potential risk to run the timer on his OSX machine, when it's already on his Windows machine, and I'm not following at all.

I'm wondering whether there is something dodgy going on here.  It's very strange.

What do you think?

Vladimir G Moderator Member Since: Oct 31, 2014
2 of 8

Hi Adam,


I can confirm there are no issues with installing the Desktop app on two different computers and logging time on one at a time. You can communicate with your freelancer regarding the concern you have and explore other options if you're not able to agree on how the work should be carried out and time logged.

Active Member
Cedrick A Member Since: Oct 26, 2015
3 of 8

My 2 cents, if it's mutual understanding and is stated that he'll be working on an OSX machine, he should work on the OSX machine. If he has to work on his current setup (coding = windows, testing = OSX), it should have been discussed beforehand since he knows that Upwork won't run on 2 different machines at the same time.


I'm not suspecting anyone of anything. As a freelancer, I believe in proper communication on both ends for efficient work. 

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
4 of 8

Adam, though Vlad has confirmed that the freelancer is not at risk by running the tracker on two machines and so you should be able to resolve this issue with the freelancer, I wanted to say that you should not assume anything shady based on the freelancer's fear of taking that step. Quite a few freelancers have been abruptly suspended from Upwork when some unexpected behavior such as logging in from different locations or people with different accounts logging in from the same location has triggered Upwork's algorithms. Since nobody quite understands what's causing those suspensions, many freelancers are ultra-cautious, and there are often questions in the freelancer forum about whether some innocuous action or other will put the account at risk.

Community Guru
Kholleras I Member Since: Nov 24, 2015
5 of 8

Logging into the website from two different computers led to a captcha security check, but running the tracker on two different computers (at different times) was never a problem for me.

Active Member
Adam G Member Since: Jul 13, 2017
6 of 8

Thanks for the responses everyone.

Yes, I think he is legitimately concerned about his account being suspended, and is not nessesarily a case of any wrong doing.


I have contacted Upwork Support too, to see what their view on it is, and they said there should not be any issue, which confirms what people have said here.


Still, even with these reassurances, the freelancer was not wanting to work that way, so I've paused the contract for now whilst I work out what I want to do.


(I have some legitimate concerns about how he was spending his time, so without the timer screenshots, it's too hard for me to manage at the moment)


I think it's dissapointing that Upwork can close a developers account just like that.

As I said to the freelancer, even if that somehow was to happen (which it shouldn't), surely as a client, I could ask Upwork to reinstate his account.

I mean, in that situation that's effecting my project, which I'm paying Upwork for, so I'm sure it would be sorted out as long as there was no actual wrong doing.

Anyway, thanks again for letting me know more about the situation.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
7 of 8

Hey, Adam... I wish you well with this project...


Are you absolutely certain that there is not anybody available who could do this work and take over?


Because this freelancer is trying my patience, and I'm not even the one who hired him.

Active Member
Adam G Member Since: Jul 13, 2017
8 of 8

Hi Preston,

Thank you.  At least I'm dealing with it early in the project and not later.

Yes, I did interview a few other developers for this position. I'm talking with one of the other interviewees now, and I'll hand over to them next week.


I wasted quite a few hours arguing about the timer yesterday with him. Such situations I'll get better at dealing with, as I get more experience as a manager.