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Activity Level needs improvement

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Active Member
Talal B Member Since: Jan 13, 2020
1 of 27

Hello!

 

I've noticed that the way the Activity Level is calculated/displayed can be potentially hugely misleading to my clients. It is calculating it in 10-minute chunks regardless of whether you have stopped the tracking or not, so if I take a break at like 2:12 pm and STOP the tracking client, the Activity Level will actually show me having a 2/10 activity on that 10-minute chunk - certainly giving the impression that I was doing nothing for 8 minutes while billing for it (which is definitely not the case).

 

The way I'm working around it right now is I'm trying to only take breaks at the ends of the 10-minute chunks - so I would wait until 2:20 pm for example. But as everyone knows, sometimes you get a phone call or something urgent come up in the middle of the work that you simply have no choice but to stop the tracker. And that will show up in my work diary as a low activity level when in fact I am stopping the tracker whenever I'm not actually working.

 

This really needs an overhaul IMHO and I know if I were a client I would have question marks about my freelancer having a bunch of 2/10 Activity Levels.

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Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
2 of 27

Talal B wrote:

Hello!

 

I've noticed that the way the Activity Level is calculated/displayed can be potentially hugely misleading to my clients. It is calculating it in 10-minute chunks regardless of whether you have stopped the tracking or not, so if I take a break at like 2:12 pm and STOP the tracking client, the Activity Level will actually show me having a 2/10 activity on that 10-minute chunk - certainly giving the impression that I was doing nothing for 8 minutes while billing for it (which is definitely not the case).

 

The way I'm working around it right now is I'm trying to only take breaks at the ends of the 10-minute chunks - so I would wait until 2:20 pm for example. But as everyone knows, sometimes you get a phone call or something urgent come up in the middle of the work that you simply have no choice but to stop the tracker. And that will show up in my work diary as a low activity level when in fact I am stopping the tracker whenever I'm not actually working.

 

This really needs an overhaul IMHO and I know if I were a client I would have question marks about my freelancer having a bunch of 2/10 Activity Levels.


Nah, it's fine. I don't answer phone calls while on tracker but even if I do (like an important call I don't want to miss), if I run the clock and it's 2 minute charge, you can delete it. I just stop it like you said at the end of the segment, so this way the activity is high for the last segment. If it happens after 6 minutes of work, then I believe 6 minutes of activity is what Upwork has defined as "active." So then you can just leave it.

 

If you want to stop at the 2 minute mark and a snapshot was already taken, just work 8 more minutes. It's not that big of a deal.

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Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
3 of 27

It is what it is.

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Community Guru
Joynul A Member Since: Jun 27, 2015
4 of 27

I trust the Upwork desktop robotically adjusts the time. Sometimes the app takes screenshots after twenty min.

Joynul Abedin
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Active Member
Talal B Member Since: Jan 13, 2020
5 of 27
That's the thing. I've trusted the tracker for too long before having to figure it out myself (and I consider myself on the more tech-savvy side of things). It is not straightforward to figure out because I've not always had such extreme examples as 2/10 and so I had brushed off those 6/10 or 7/10 segments as meaning I had just perhaps missed something or it would rectify itself.

If this is the case then the tracker should either be CLEAR that it is tracking in 10-minute segments and perhaps even disable our ability to stop tracking in the middle of it. At the very least give us a pop-up warning that we'd probably want to check and possibly delete this segment.

Surely this would only make things vastly better for both the clients and freelancers?
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Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
6 of 27

Talal B wrote:
That's the thing. I've trusted the tracker for too long before having to figure it out myself (and I consider myself on the more tech-savvy side of things). It is not straightforward to figure out because I've not always had such extreme examples as 2/10 and so I had brushed off those 6/10 or 7/10 segments as meaning I had just perhaps missed something or it would rectify itself.

If this is the case then the tracker should either be CLEAR that it is tracking in 10-minute segments and perhaps even disable our ability to stop tracking in the middle of it. At the very least give us a pop-up warning that we'd probably want to check and possibly delete this segment.

Surely this would only make things vastly better for both the clients and freelancers?

You have 200 hours. It seems you haven't figure it out just yet. It's very clear how it works once you understand it. It has all the info you need when you're about to log off. It has the total hours for the week, total hours for the session, and it shows you when the last snapshot was taken so that you know if you can sign off or not, but I don't usually sign off until the 9 minute mark anyway. 

 

And since you're kinda new to the Tracker, make sure you have meaning memos on your snapshots.

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Talal B Member Since: Jan 13, 2020
7 of 27

Jennifer M wrote:

and it shows you when the last snapshot was taken so that you know if you can sign off or not, but I don't usually sign off until the 9 minute mark anyway. 

Well there is no info or guidelines about when to sign off or not this in the help page: https://support.upwork.com/hc/en-us/articles/211064098-Log-Time-with-the-Desktop-App

 

Everything about the app gives the impression that it is like any regular time tracker that can be trusted - such as Grindstone which I've started using in conjunction and which has actually helped me spot this issue (and other issues like the app sometimes reporting 10 or 20 minutes MORE than I have actually worked for some reason). 

 

I appreciate that you have it perfectly figured out as a long-time user, but surely you can't be opposed to making it even better with no down sides I can think of?

 

 

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Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
8 of 27

Talal B wrote:


Well there is no info or guidelines about when to sign off or not this in the help page: https://support.upwork.com/hc/en-us/articles/211064098-Log-Time-with-the-Desktop-App

 

Everything about the app gives the impression that it is like any regular time tracker that can be trusted - such as Grindstone which I've started using in conjunction and which has actually helped me spot this issue (and other issues like the app sometimes reporting 10 or 20 minutes MORE than I have actually worked for some reason). 

 

I appreciate that you have it perfectly figured out as a long-time user, but surely you can't be opposed to making it even better with no down sides I can think of?

 

 


I know it takes time to figure out and Upwork's documentation can be confusing at times, but it really makes sense once you figure out what's going on. I'm fine with it as it is, but I've logged hundreds of hours (not sure where I'm at in hours) and I just know how it works and it works fine to me.

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Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
9 of 27

Joynul A wrote:

I trust the Upwork desktop robotically adjusts the time. Sometimes the app takes screenshots after twenty min.


Well yeah, everyone complains about it taking snapshots early, but there can be times when it takes a snapshot at the 0 minute and then not until the 9 minute mark on the second segment. It's true when Upwork says it balances out. I've had plenty of times where I want to pack it in for the day and I have to wait for the snapshot and it doesn't happen until the 9 minute mark.

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Community Guru
Richard W Member Since: Jun 22, 2017
10 of 27

Jennifer M wrote:
It's true when Upwork says it balances out. 

Actually it isn't, because of an error in the algorithm. It works correctly for segments where you stop working, but not for segments where you start working. When you stop working the probability of getting a snapshot is equal to the % of the 10 minutes that you worked (exception: see below). But when you start working during a segment and continue to the end of the segment, you get a snapshot 100% of the time!

 

I've had plenty of times where I want to pack it in for the day and I have to wait for the snapshot and it doesn't happen until the 9 minute mark.

If you wait for the snapshot and then stop tracking, you bias the result in your favour, since you're making the probability of a snapshot 100% even though you're not working the whole segment. So that's another reason it doesn't balance out (if you do that).

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