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studioconstantin
Community Member

Hourly rate/time tracking advice

Hello

I am an architect and i am used to work on a flat fee. There are now some opportunities for hourly rate contracts and i am not sure how to manage the fee and the workflow. I understand the Upwork Time Tracker even takes snapshots of your screen. The way i work is not that strict, i take breaks, i might watch something on youtube or just chat with someone while still thinking about the project or might even get a brilliant ideea during that. A creative job is hard to time-track.     

 

My question is what is the best way to use the Time Traker considering the above? Can i stop it everytime i dont do a job related task? Can i keep it going if i browse the internet or open my facebook while iam still working? Will the client see a snapshot of my private desktop?

 

Thanks !

3 REPLIES 3

I am not sure if is possible already but there should be more options in using the Time Tracker. I prefer to estimate a  time cap and manage my workflow however i want. The snapshot is really intrusive. At least to have the option to capture only specific windows/programs.

petra_r
Community Member


Constantin Eugen C wrote:

Hello

I am an architect and i am used to work on a flat fee. There are now some opportunities for hourly rate contracts and i am not sure how to manage the fee and the workflow. I understand the Upwork Time Tracker even takes snapshots of your screen. The way i work is not that strict, i take breaks, i might watch something on youtube or just chat with someone while still thinking about the project or might even get a brilliant ideea during that. A creative job is hard to time-track.     


To be honest, I don't think the hourly contract model really lends itself to your work and it would be better to go for fixed rate contracts. The tracker only counts while there are keyboard and mouseclick activity, so drawing etc will not count. It also does not lend itself to "stop-starting" - It is really best for working in blocks of an hour at a time with keyboard and mouse activity.

 


Constantin Eugen C wrote:

 

My question is what is the best way to use the Time Traker considering the above? Can i stop it everytime i dont do a job related task? Can i keep it going if i browse the internet or open my facebook while iam still working? Will the client see a snapshot of my private desktop?


That's the problem. On hourly contracts you are meant to be working only on the client's stuff. Not track time while on Facebook or YouTube. Yes, the client will see your desktop and likely won't apreciate seeing you doing private stuff on the clock.

 

But you also can't do little "stop-start" work sections as that completely messes up your work diary.

 


Noureldin Y wrote:

+1, beside, the minimum count is 10 minutes?

What happens when the electric go down suddenly the spent minutes in the last 10 will be counted or as it's not 10 minutes accurately will be ignored?


Every hour is divided into 6 segments of 10 minutes each.

In each segment with activity (!!!) there will be a screenshot at a random point but there will be one. As soon as a screenshot has been taken, the segment "counts" and is billed.

So if you close it before the screenshot has been taken, the segment does NOT count and is NOT billed. If you close it after the screenshot has been taken, the segment counts and gets billed.

 

The same if your Electricity goes out. Whether a segment counts or does not count is decided by there being activity and whether there was a screenshot in that segment or not.

 


Constantin Eugen C wrote:

I am not sure if is possible already but there should be more options in using the Time Tracker. I prefer to estimate a  time cap and manage my workflow however i want. The snapshot is really intrusive. At least to have the option to capture only specific windows/programs.


Then either do manual time if the client is happy with that (NO protection, if the client disputes or defaults on payment, you don't get paid, but that has never happened to me and I must have done 1000+ manual hours) or go for fixed price contracts.

 

The tracker is COMPLETELY unsuitable for "stop-start" working,

 


Petra R wrote:

 

The tracker is COMPLETELY unsuitable for "stop-start" working,

 


I don't entirely agree. I do quite a lot of starting and stopping while using the tracker. (And I don't make a point of starting just after the start of a 10-minute segment, as you do.)

 

In principle, the tracker should record an appropriate amount of time ON AVERAGE, however much you stop and start, though it may overcharge or undercharge on individual segments.

 

However, as we've agreed before, there's a design fault which causes it to consistently overcharge on the first 10-minute segment of a session (what I call a "start-segment"). So a lot of starting and stopping will overcharge the client if you don't correct for it. But I just delete some of the surplus start-segments, so it works out about right overall. (If you start your sessions at what amounts to a random time, then on average it should work out right if you delete any start-segments where you tracked less than 5 minutes.)

 

For me, the biggest problem with stopping and starting is that I sometimes forget to start the tracker when I start work again!

 

Anyway, you're right that the tracker probably wouldn't be suitable for Constantin's way of working.

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