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sstefaniuk
Member

Geopolitical tensions around Ukraine

I just got an email from Upwork called "Geopolitical tensions around Ukraine" and one of the phrases gave me a thougt:

We have seen time and again how much clients appreciate hearing pro-active and transparent, communicative information from their business partners - including us. We are actively monitoring the situation and are keeping clients posted with tips on how they can manage their business continuity proactively and with peace of mind.
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How do you think, Upwork provides information to clients that work with Ukrainian freelancers could make harm to their business due to possibility of disrupting working process? That sounds to me this way. 

Usually I get 3-5 job invitations during a day, while last 2 weeks I don't get any at all. Could those letters be a reason of decrease in demand for services? Anyone faced the same problem?

Thanks in advance!


49 REPLIES 49
night_mother
Member

Hello. I received a letter today with Upwork's feelings about the upcoming hostilities. This simply cannot be. In fact, a political game is now being played without the participation of the opinions of the Ukrainians themselves. And you all believe in it. We are kindred peoples. We have many relatives in these countries. Can you attack your loved ones? I think no. No need to worry. That is unnecessary. This can have a negative effect on work.

there is war for 7 years

No, war with Russia.

Firstly. This is not the place for such a dispute. secondly, then enjoy the consequences on the upwork. Faith works miracles.

 

You're right, this is not the place.

But anyway, you shouldn't blame me in this situation. Blame the aggressor.

God forbid someone to blame. God forbid blindly believing everything they say on the news. I prefer to think with my head. Let's end this.

 

stop watching russian propaganda

Please make sure you use a MIX of a few international news outlets for understanding. Putin has invaded a country.  No one blames Russian people. But unless you stop him, the international community must by draining his resources that are being used to kill people everyday. 

axejunker
Member

It is rather cynical of them to write:

First and most importantly, we hope you are safe. You are in our thoughts and we hope the situation de-escalates soon.


And at the same time give some obvious and useless recommendations:

Communicate with your client and provide frequent wellness updates. They might be concerned about your safety and would like to hear from you!


Icing on the cake:

Upwork is committed to supporting you through this trying time and we are here to be a resource in the event your work may be disrupted.


The real supporting can be if Upwork will deduct 20% VAT from an already high commissions rather than applying it on top. At least during this difficult period to show your support and loyalty.

Otherwise it looks like Upwork are freaking afraid of losing top tier clients which are prefer Ukrainian professionals among all on marketplace.

 

exactly

Indeed. Hypocrisy at its finest. 

 

There are some nice memes about this "thoughts and prayers" thing, but I doubt I can post it here ๐Ÿ™‚

night_mother
Member

people stopped writing to me or responding to offers. This is a disaster for Ukrainian freelancers.

mahasitha
Member

I have the same situation.

Usually, I've got response for every third application. But now it's one for every ten. And I dodn't get any invite for a last two weeks.

And the most horrible is that one of my clients stopped our collaboration after the successful sample job. On Friday everything was great and on Tuesday she said they decided not to moving forward with me on this project. 

Now I understand why....

kochubei_valeria
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Svitlana and others,

 

Thank you for sharing your concerns. We'd like to clarify that it is not our intention to discourage clients from hiring freelancers in the region. We are committed to helping our freelancers and clients minimize potential disruptions during this time and are here to be a resource in the event their work is disrupted. Our goal is to make sure all parties feel informed and supported when managing their existing contracts with freelancers located in the region as well as when hiring new freelancers.

~ Valeria
Upwork

Upwork is not personally to blame for this, but your letter helped to find out the bitter truth. We have a problem of reducing the volume of work due to news outside our country (we donโ€™t have such direct news). Our people are working as usual without panic and stops. Therefore, we are at a loss as to what to do in this situation.

Hi Valeria,

Thank you for the response.

 

Well, you know, I don't feel supported after this letter and after knowing that my clients received their own letters like this. I feel betrayed.

When our clients heard the news from TV to newsfeed they saw that something is going on here and they asked us. But after these panic letters from Upwork, they think that all of us are sitting in bunkers without internet. That's not true.

 

I want to let Upwork know that yes it is stressful, but it's not as horrible as in news. 
I'm in Kyiv and all of us are working and there is no big panic here. Our kids are going to schools, cafes, restaurants, theatres, and art galleries are open. Anyway, there is a war with Russia for the last eight years, so we're ready and got used to it.
And we are working.
 
Did Upwork send this kind of letter to clients who work with freelancers from Israel last year when there was an escalation? I don't think so.
For many of us, Upwork is the main freelance platform, and this kind of reaction from Upwork hurts our business.
 
Thank you for your time.

 

Hi Valeria, thank you for your reply,
Upwork wants clients to feel informed about what? We work as usual on a normal schedule. We have a stable internet and we don't sit in bunkers, we have normal life. Nothing changed. Did Upwork inform about these clients? That everything is okay and we work normally without any disterrups?

 
Actually I don't understand at all why Upwork informs about anything clients. There is nothing to say about it. Nothing changed in our workflow. If someone has technical problems he/she will inform their clients themselves.

Lots of Ukrainians live abroad and their clients also got some letters. Why? For what?

That doesn't look like a support at all.  

I have read here. I re-read your words .... but the rest are absolutely right. from your words it turns out that you also informed clients. What for? At the moment we have no problems with deadlines or communication. There are no global hostilities that interfere with ordinary life. Besides, this is our task. And in the end, upwork created a panic. In my opinion, it would be better for upwork to correct this situation.

 

Valeria, thank you for your reply. To be honest - it looks like betraying. I woke up at 5 am yesterday from my current customer with a question "What is going on. Are you going to stay at XXX or migrate to YYYY?" It is not OK. 

 

Upwork didn't help here neither to customers, nor freelancers. It looks more like president Zelenskiy speech that made more panic than was before. Truly terrible 

Same here, customers are worried and asking in regards of situation in the country. What the heck is going on..

And this happened at same time with email receive.


Viktor D wrote:

Valeria, thank you for your reply. To be honest - it looks like betraying. I woke up at 5 am yesterday from my current customer with a question "What is going on. Are you going to stay at XXX or migrate to YYYY?" It is not OK. 

 

Upwork didn't help here neither to customers, nor freelancers. It looks more like president Zelenskiy speech that made more panic than was before. Truly terrible 


Did you ask the clients if their worries are related to the email sent by Upwork?


Just yesterday there were news about the US sending 500 tonnes of defensive equipment to Ukraine, and deploying thousands of soldiers to Eastern European countries.


I know Upwork communication is often criticized. Think of it, it was meant to help, you should use it to your advantage ... say whatever you think it's appropriate to say to the client, be prepared to have such conversations with clients ....  mention that in the worst case scenario Upwork is committed to help freelancers and clients to minimize potential disruptions. 

 


Claudia Z wrote:

Viktor D wrote:

Valeria, thank you for your reply. To be honest - it looks like betraying. I woke up at 5 am yesterday from my current customer with a question "What is going on. Are you going to stay at XXX or migrate to YYYY?" It is not OK. 

 

Upwork didn't help here neither to customers, nor freelancers. It looks more like president Zelenskiy speech that made more panic than was before. Truly terrible 


Did you ask the clients if their worries are related to the email sent by Upwork?


Just yesterday there were news about the US sending 500 tonnes of defensive equipment to Ukraine, and deploying thousands of soldiers to Eastern European countries.


I know Upwork communication is often criticized. Think of it, it was meant to help, you should use it to your advantage ... say whatever you think it's appropriate to say to the client, be prepared to have such conversations with clients ....  mention that in the worst case scenario Upwork is committed to help freelancers and clients to minimize potential disruptions. 

 


These FLs have no choice now but to have these awkward and difficult conversations with their clients...if, that is, the clients don't simply cut and run in alarm. As for new prospective clients, they don't get the chance to offer reassurances when the clients are put off to start with. It's too easy for those of us in more secure parts of the world to sit back and offer facile advice. IMO we should keep our mouths shut here except for urging UW to also sit down and be quiet and certainly refrain from any further ham-fisted communications.

 


Phyllis G wrote:


These FLs have no choice now but to have these awkward and difficult conversations with their clients...if, that is, the clients don't simply cut and run in alarm. As for new prospective clients, they don't get the chance to offer reassurances when the clients are put off to start with. It's too easy for those of us in more secure parts of the world to sit back and offer facile advice. IMO we should keep our mouths shut here except for urging UW to also sit down and be quiet and certainly refrain from any further ham-fisted communications.

 


It was said that some clients were asking about the situation or the freelancers noticed less interactions from clients even prior to the emails sent by Upwork. Whether Upwork sent an email or not it wouldn't prevent such conversations. 


We probably read these forums more often than some of those who posted in this thread. It's not unusual to see freelancers from different countries posting about not getting invites anymore, or not getting any job or responses to their proposals.

 

Claudia, I got these questions before, and we discussed them. But before Upwork letter, nobody tried to call me from California at 5-6 am my local time asking about what is really going on and do I need to help to migrate to EU.

 

"Just yesterday there were news about the US sending 500 tonnes of defensive equipment to Ukraine, and deploying thousands of soldiers to Eastern European countries." - it is great news because only this way prevent Russian**Edited for Community Guidelines**

to attack Ukraine. And while we have it the situation in Ukraine will be stable. 

 

The main problem now is that I need to assure all the customers again that it is OK and even might need to shift to Poland to keep the current long-term contracts open. Anyway - Upwork message made a lot of harm 

What about Russian freelancers? Have such letters been sent to them and their clients?

If not, then this is a deliberate discrediting of Ukrainian freelancers. Words about help and support sound false. After all, with this letter you are scaring off customers from Ukrainian performers. It seems that this is a custom political action. And this plays, first of all, to increase tension and worsen the financial situation in Ukraine.

Hi, Valeria, 
I would like to ask you to pass to the headquarters or higher management:
Dear Upwork management,
Please, don't send such letters/emails. 
It was very-very surprising to get such a message. 
We live and do our business and service as usual. And such letters decrease the trust to the UA region.
And we understand that our clients get also some warnings from Upwork and I assume we may also get ranked lower now in Upwork search if your management thinks that the Ukrainian market may have service problems. 
We do our service on a high level, as always. 

Thank you!

I confirm everything said by my Ukrainian colleagues. All my previous and current clients ask about the situation. It's just trouble, I spent all my connects buy a lot more BUT I can not take a new project! Just silence!

viktordmt
Member

I didn't see much decrease in requests but definitely lost 30% of proposals. UpWork definitely makes a panic and does some weird thing that affects Ukrainian Freelancers' income and possibilities. That is terrible 

claudiacezy
Member

I don't think it's uncommon for Upwork to send a communication if there is some situation in an area. Last year I received one of these related to a situation in the US, in a state where one of the clients I had a contract open resided.

 

Most likely the e-mails were sent only to people residing in Ukraine and to clients who have open contracts with freelancers residing in Ukraine.

The problem is that this message 1) Doesn't reflect the real case in Ukraine. 2) If people are working professionally via Upwork with 30+ Hours /week that approach seriously affects their income and customers relations. 

colettelewis
Member

From an outsider's perspective (my only knowledge from the news on various channels - French/UK/US), it does seem  strange that Upwork should send such a pre-emptive message to Ukranian freelancers working from this site.  I wonder if the same message was sent to Russian freelancers. 

 

The sad thing about war is that, historically, world "leaders" do not care whether families and friends end up being on different sides, or that they sometimes are forced to kill each other, and it does not  only apply to present circumstances.  I think it is inappropriate for Upwork to take any political stance at all, until it is forced to do so. 

this is real support. Thank you

This is real support. Thank you.

Nichola, thanks for your interest in the Ukrainian situation. I really appreciate this.

 

But in my opinion, it is not an Upwork job to make such statements. We, Ukrainian freelancers, can communicate with our clients by ourselves. 

There is a war with Russia here in Ukraine for the last eight years. We really get used to this situation.

We are working, as usual, Internet here is stable, and most of us have a plan for what to do if the escalation will begin. But for now, we have a life here.

These panic letters from Upwork to our clients really hurt our business. It's really not fair.

 

And yes, it is very interesting for me too, if Russian freelancers who are living near our borders got the same messages.

 

Thanks again

 

I doubt that the Russian freelancers/ clients got the same message.  I'm shaking my head over Upwork's pre-emptory message which can only cause problems, not solve them.  What could they have been thinking?

olenal
Member

Yes, it really hurt Ukrainian freelancers' reputations. I see the same situation with invitations and answers on my bids. I do not want to say that the problem does not exist. Yes, we have war for the last 7 years, yes it is possible that situation will be more serious. But here and now such an announcement is meaningless because for most freelancers and projects it can't be a problem if it wasn't a problem before. Especially my typical projects continue about 1 week, I provide results at least twice a week and it excludes unpredictable situations for clients. But it happens everywhere. Unfortunately, we can say a Big Thank You in this situation to Upwork. 

 

alexdyn
Member

I have the same concerns. Working on Upwork over two years. Have perfect account history, over 100 jobs successfully completed. But last month I have no invites and nobody answer to my proposals. That's funny

sstefaniuk
Member

  Yeap, the main problem is that no one will help us. The only thing we can do is to wait until the situation gets a bit better.   

project4u4me
Member

I read and I can't believe my eyes. I do not know who and why advises the UpWork Team on such stupid activities.

I am a PHP developer and I do not know much about other fields, but in IT Ukrainian programmers are the best and the most hardworking I have ever met. I work with over a dozen programmers from Ukraine every day and I really know what I'm talking about.

If UpWork in any way contributes to reducing the interest in Ukrainian freelancers, it does harm to both freelancers and their potential employers.

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Dear UpWork Team, if you really want to estimate the risk associated with cooperation between freelancers and clients, you should to start to check how many cigaretes freelancer smokes, or how much alcohol drinks, eventually you should warn clients against cooperation with freelancers who are over 60 years old.

Personally, I work with a computer more than 10 hours a day. I am almost 50 years old. I'm surprised now that my clients haven't gotten the the letter yet "Hey hey. Be carrefuly until he brings the examines results from the cardiologist. The risk of sudden termination of contract is high and increases every day."