re: "would probably want their full-time workers to resign professionally with at-least a curtious letter and after submitting all the work related files"
Work files are important. A contractor not providing you with the work product you paid her to do already is a problem, but is a somewhat different matter from whether a freelancer can simply walk away from a contract at any time.
I am a contractor. I do a lot of work that is important to my clients. I am not going to walk away from a contract without notice, but what if I died suddenly? Would my clients be deprived of any of my work?
No. They would not.
Because all the work I do is available to my clients in real time, as soon as I produce it.
None of my work is saved only on any local computer. All of it is is on an online server that my clients have full access to. Each client has their own private server account. So they have full access to everything I do for them, all the time.
Why? Because I am a professional.
If the work your contractors do for you is valuable and/or important, such that you don't want to risk losing it, then you should insist that they use similar practices, or you should set up your infrastructure likewise.
I don't think we are talking about "unintentional reasoning" here so "death" or "winning the lottery" do not add anything substancial to this discussion. I don't think I will be posting it here if I found that the worker I had hired had passed away (god forbid). Rather, I would be sending my condolences to his/her family members.
This discussion is about "What can be done if a freelancer disappears with your sensitive data, right before a crucial deadline"?
This is a big concern as I speak with other employers and clients every day but I am by no means blaming Upwork for it - just trying to dig into this to find something substancial.
I like your response and the way you have explained it.
I am not blaming Upwork at all; the sole intention of this post was to see if there are other options offered by Upwork. However, I am now completely clear that all the clients hiring full-time freelancers on any freelancing platform should have their own back/legal coverage, before they decide to offer a key position to a freelancer; Because there are more chances of the freelancer disappearing with their sensitive data then getting hit by a bus or winning a lottery!
Appreciate your response Petra and I agree with what you are saying: I have been following the same practice with over 2500+ hires on Upwork
I don't blame Upwork for this at all but I do think that there is room to dig into these issues to create a better freelancing market-place.
Right now, it is like saying "We do not know who is joining our platform, we can't guarantee how they will act, we will not be able to do anything outside of our platform so please be careful in transfering any files, sharing any business ideas and sending any client detail to anyone you hire on this platform because if they just steal everything and run off, that is how it is does in the "freelancing world".
OR we should only associate the term "FREElancing" for projects which do not involve the above.
As far as mixing up employees and freelancers is concerned, I know the difference - trust me. Independent contractors (freelancers) do have the freedom to control their own time and schedule but they still have to follow basic work ethics unless there is a different set of work ethics for them?
re: "But, when I hire someone I don't want to educate her/him. I want the best people that my money can buy. Period."
This is a critical point.
Except in very rare cases, time and resources spent training freelancers should be minimal because:
a) clients are hiring qualified individuals who are extremely familiar with the work that needs to be done and can do so with little guidance
b) entry-level work performed by lower-skilled workers is done using software and information systems which are designed to be as easy to use as possible, and which require little training to use.
I am sorry but I disagree with you. Just because the world isn't fair, does not mean we should not raise our voice against unprofessional and unfair policies or practices. That is like saying "stealing is unfair but it happens in this unfair world so what......."
What do you mean?
@Shahzad Y wrote:
Exactly - so the contractor did not just disappear (unprofessional work ethic) but also stole some of our data (illegal and immoral)!
When you say he "stole" data, what do you mean? He "somehow" aquired data you did not hand to him?
From what I can gather this is a freelancer under your agency, NOT a freelancer you hired as a client. Would that be accurate?