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Does Upwork identify/show the time zone of the client/freelancer?

I have experienced several times that client's contact persons (and freelancers as well) are in a different time zone than than shown on the company's profile, for example client from Thailand (however the actual time is in my time zone) or client in the US (actual time zone = India). I would not say that all those are bogus clients/freelancers, however, at least this looks shady. How does Upwork verify the client's/freelancer's location? How can these discrepancies occur (apart from the fact that some clients have project managers in other time zones)? And does the time shown on the contact profile reflect the actual time zone?

ACCEPTED SOLUTION

"An accurate time zone is very important to me.  While I do work with international clients, I want accurate information available to me at all times so that I may make the best choices with regard to who I contract with"

 

That's the best thing I've read on this thread so far...

 

I work mainly at night. I have clients from around the world. Right now I'm actively by the day working with three clients: at UCT +1, -5  and +10. My own timezone is as irrelevant to them as it is to me. We don't need one-on-ones; but if we ever need real-time messaging there's always a time window. All I know is I've done it for three years and it obviously works.

 

So, does that mean that misrepresenting, or giving conflicting, timezone information is irrelevant to me? NO - because it's all about trust. At the start of a job I double-check the timezone - but mainly to be sure of meeting, and being clear about, deadlines. If there's a discrepancy I'll ask about it. A good client will give a good answer. But if a client is shifty or dubious about the zone they're in, then your level of trust shifts downward accordingly - to the extent that you have to make a gut decision about what's going on...

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19 REPLIES 19
vladag
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Margarete,

 

We do check to ensure the location reported by our users upon registration is true but I'm not able to provide more details about the exact process, in order to prevent abuse. You can report a user's profile directly to Support, so we could review before determining if a user has violated our policy by registering a false location. As you noted, there are legitimate reasons for temporarily having a different location (including a business trip, backpackin' adventure, vacation etc.), so we need to review each case separately.

 

We'll continue to work on ways to ensure the truthfulness of information being reported by all users.

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@Vladimir G wrote:

Hi Margarete,

 

We do check to ensure the location reported by our users upon registration is true but I'm not able to provide more details about the exact process, in order to prevent abuse. You can report a user's profile directly to Support, so we could review before determining if a user has violated our policy by registering a false location. As you noted, there are legitimate reasons for temporarily having a different location (including a business trip, backpackin' adventure, vacation etc.), so we need to review each case separately.

 

We'll continue to work on ways to ensure the truthfulness of information being reported by all users.


Hi Vladimir, I understand. However, I do not want to report clients or freelancers if I see a discrepancy. As data can be changed in the settings, I have become to the conclusion that place of residence shown in the profile as well as time zone can be wrong and discrepancies are an alarm signal for me.


@Margarete M wrote:


Hi Vladimir, I understand. However, I do not want to report clients or freelancers if I see a discrepancy. As data can be changed in the settings, I have become to the conclusion that place of residence shown in the profile as well as time zone can be wrong and discrepancies are an alarm signal for me.


 Possibly those users are reporting their locations accurately, but listing the time zone they work in rather than their local time zone. 

 

I've had two different periods of my life wherein my primary work occurred in a different time zone, and I essentially lived on the schedule associated with that zone.

"An accurate time zone is very important to me.  While I do work with international clients, I want accurate information available to me at all times so that I may make the best choices with regard to who I contract with"

 

That's the best thing I've read on this thread so far...

 

I work mainly at night. I have clients from around the world. Right now I'm actively by the day working with three clients: at UCT +1, -5  and +10. My own timezone is as irrelevant to them as it is to me. We don't need one-on-ones; but if we ever need real-time messaging there's always a time window. All I know is I've done it for three years and it obviously works.

 

So, does that mean that misrepresenting, or giving conflicting, timezone information is irrelevant to me? NO - because it's all about trust. At the start of a job I double-check the timezone - but mainly to be sure of meeting, and being clear about, deadlines. If there's a discrepancy I'll ask about it. A good client will give a good answer. But if a client is shifty or dubious about the zone they're in, then your level of trust shifts downward accordingly - to the extent that you have to make a gut decision about what's going on...

princessjad
Member

@Margarete, Client is in different location but works a different time zone.

Those are two different upwork settings.

For example you can be based in US but working with Australia's Timezone for work related schedules.

Regards.

 

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@Joy D wrote:

@Margarete, Client is in different location but works a different time zone.

Those are two different upwork settings.

For example you can be based in US but working with Australia's Timezone for work related schedules.

Regards.

 


15 - 18 hours time difference, your time zone is always linked to your location. However, you can feel free working in the night in order to comply with a schedule.

Margarete, at the moment there is no such binding policy which says that " your time zone must be always linked to your location".

TimeZone can also be interpreted as "when you are available on upwork" especially for those with day jobs or those who have made special provisions for that particular time zone.

 

What we all know is that your location must be your actual location.

There are more pressing issues to deal with and not this.

Regards.


@Joy D wrote:

Margarete, at the moment there is no such binding policy which says that " your time zone must be always linked to your location".

TimeZone can also be interpreted as "when you are available on upwork" especially for those with day jobs or those who have made special provisions for that particular time zone.

 

What we all know is that your location must be your actual location.

There are more pressing issues to deal with and not this.

Regards.


True it doesn't have to be linked to your location if you are on vacation or a business trip, but it does need to be your physical place where you reside.  Actually location plays a big part of whether or not I apply to certain projects because I don't want to get emails in the middle of the night and be expected to get up and answer them, and get dinged on availability in feedback.  

"Fairness is giving all people the treatment they earn and deserve. It doesn't mean treating everyone alike-Coach John Wooden"

Joy, it would be wise to remove your skype ID from your title. As for your interpretation of timezone... I strongly disagree. If I were a client based in the US and had a proposal sent by you to one of my jobs, I would feel inclined to not trust you, because I wouldn't be able to understand why you say you're in Ghana while at the same time saying that you are in my timezone.

@Olga, that is time for which i use upwork and is prospecting for.

In my time zone- I keep a day job.

 

You will only feel inclined to not trust me, if you had sent the proposal and i say that am unavailable to work the timezone listed on my profile.

Not necessarily.  For me, that is a red flag.

 

An accurate time zone is very important to me.  While I do work with international clients, I want accurate information available to me at all times so that I may make the best choices with regard to who I contract with.


@Joy D wrote:

@Olga, that is time for which i use upwork and is prospecting for.

In my time zone- I keep a day job.

 

You will only feel inclined to not trust me, if you had sent the proposal and i say that am unavailable to work the timezone listed on my profile.


 

 

 


 

@Christy,

Whether "green flag", "white flag", or "red flag" i think we still need to make reference to any active binding policy that justifies it all.....that will be more informative.

P.S: Our different opinions will only prolong the debate.

Regards


@Joy D wrote:

@Olga, that is time for which i use upwork and is prospecting for.

In my time zone- I keep a day job.

 

[…]

 Joy, it's really up to you to decide whatever you think works best for you, but, at the end of the day, there's a discrepancy that some clients may find strange. Furthermore, if you keep a day job, I find it hard to understand how you can be open to full-time jobs, and why you chose 'more than 30 hours/week' on 'Availability'. So, basically, you're giving all sorts of conflicting info... A HUGE red flag, really.

@Olga Q.

I'm freelancing outside upwork and that is my day job so why can't I can quit my day job if i get hired at 30 hours/week at a more better rate???.

 

Please focus on the topic and do not make me or my profile your subject matter.

Regards.


@Joy D wrote:

@Olga Q.

I'm freelancing outside upwork and that is my day job so why can't I can quite my day job if i get hired at 30 hours/week at a more better rate???.

 

Please focus on the topic and do not make me or my profile your subject matter.

Regards.


 

Sure. Good luck, Joy.

I'm late to this discussion but the reason that it is important to be consistent and upfront about timezones is for billing reasons and it's known that some freelancers play disappearing acts. People feel the need to work with others that are responsible, can build a relationship with, and potentially work with again in the future. Some, not all may be trying to avoid paying certain taxes but there are all sorts of reasons for not being upfront. That's really their problem but when a working relationships exists people want to trust you because money is involved and no one wants to be scammed. Unfortunately, scams happen more often than not.

 

It is ultimately up to the individual to choose who they work with and they have the option to not work with someone they feel is giving them red flags.

I once had a lovely client who was living for a time in Thailand.  He did, however, work west coast US hours.  So, while he appeared in Thailand, he worked essentially the same hours as the US.  Hard on him, great for me.

@Mary, Thank you.

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Anyway, there is clearly defined what a time zone is, it is related to the geographical location. If I am in Germany I cannot claim that I am in the time zone of New York.