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IMPORTANT! - Time tracker calculation costing clients extra $$$ ?

snette
Community Leader
Sebastian N Member Since: Sep 22, 2015
11 of 47

Hi Tony,

 

Petra explained that to me some time ago. 

 

The tracker works in 10 minute segments, starting at XX:X0.

Your first segment would be 11:20 - 11:29 with a low activity level because you only worked 3 out of the 10 minutes.

 

Also, a segment only counts if there is a screenshot taken.

If you start working at 11:30 and turn it off at 11:38 and no screenshot was yet taken for that interval, the client is not charged for the work you have done in that segment.

 

It evens out. Sometimes you start working at X:X5 and it takes a screenshot, sometimes you stop working at XX:X5 and no screenshot was yet taken.

 

I prefer to only work in full 10 minute segments so I make sure to always start at XX:X0.

 

setumonroe
Community Guru
Setu M Member Since: Jan 26, 2014
12 of 47
Like many other threads before, Tony is correct.

It will only even out over long periods of time. But the client will suffer for short timespans.

The point however, is not if it evens out. The point is that the tracker system is inefficient as it is. Someone loses - the client or the freelancer.

Neither of these outcomes is necessary.
---- easy like Sunday morning ----
t-hall
Community Guru
Tony H Member Since: Nov 10, 2011
13 of 47

Sebastian,

 

I replied before you submitted your post. View my images above.

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
14 of 47

Tony, the tracker bills any 10 minute segment which had a) activity and b) a screenshot.

 

You have billed nearly 900 hours, the tracker has worked this way for every one of them.

 

To make sure your clients are getting their full 10 minutes for every 10 minutes billed start working at the BEGINNING of a 10 minute segment, not at XX.X9 which WILL bill the client for 10 minutes even though only one was worked.

 

To make sure you get paid for the last segment during which you worked make sure a screenshot was taken during that 10 minute segment.

 

There is nothing weird going on. It's just working exactly as it always did.

 

This has ALWAYS been like this.

setumonroe
Community Guru
Setu M Member Since: Jan 26, 2014
15 of 47

@Petra R wrote:

 

 

To make sure your clients are getting their full 10 minutes for every 10 minutes billed start working at the BEGINNING of a 10 minute segment, not at XX.X9 which WILL bill the client for 10 minutes even though only one was worked.

 

To make sure you get paid for the last segment during which you worked make sure a screenshot was taken during that 10 minute segment.

 

There is nothing weird going on. It's just working exactly as it always did.

 

This has ALWAYS been like this.


A 10 minute segment does no begin at XX:X1, its is an arbitrary time frame. Hence it does not matter where you start the clock in real time.

 

The clock can run up to 19:59 without a screenshot, if the previous screenshot was taken at the start of the segment (which happens).

 

The point that "this is how it has always been is irrelevant" if a system is not efficient or correct. What you are suggesting is an Upwork solution to an Upwork problem. The tracker can run like a 'normal' tracker and function properly (independent) of screenshots.

 

In other words, the random screenshots does not have to (and should not) be linked to payment segments. It is flawed, and there is always room for improvement.

---- easy like Sunday morning ----
petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
16 of 47

@Setu M wrote:

 

This has ALWAYS been like this.


1) A 10 minute segment does no begin at XX:X1, its is an arbitrary time frame. Hence it does not matter where you start the clock in real time.

 

2) The clock can run up to 19:59 without a screenshot, if the previous screenshot was taken at the start of the segment (which happens).


 1) On the Upwork tracker / billing system it starts at XX.X0 and ends 10minutes later.  Provided the tracker is on and  screenshot is taken that 10 minute time-segment is billed to the client.

 

2) I don't undrstand what you mean, can you clarify?

setumonroe
Community Guru
Setu M Member Since: Jan 26, 2014
17 of 47

@Petra R wrote:

 1) On the Upwork tracker / billing system it starts at XX.X0 and ends 10minutes later.  Provided the tracker is on and  screenshot is taken that 10 minute time-segment is billed to the client.

 

2) I don't undrstand what you mean, can you clarify?


  1. If I start the tracker at 10:32, the 10 minute segment starts at 10:32. The screenshot can be taken at any time in that 10 minute period (so at 10:33 / 10:34 / 10:35 etc. If I start the tracker at 10:30 or 10:39, the same principle applies. Because the tracker works irrespective of actual time (real time), but in relative time - 1 minute ago, 2 minutes ago, 3 minutes ago etc.
  2. If I start at 10:32 and the first screenshot is taken at 10:34 (which is usually the case), 10 minutes is billed although I have worked 2 minutes. Now the tracker must snap once within a 10 minute period so it can literally snap again at 10:35, which covers 20 minutes of logged time but only 3 minutes of work. The tracker will now have to wait 17 more minutes before it can snap again (3 mins + 17 mins = 20 mins). But of course I could have finished working at 10:40 - there lies the problem. Edit: The first snapshot is the most difficult to understand because it behaves different from the rest. It covers 10 minutes worked exclusive of all other time frames.
  3. On the flip side. The tracker starts at 10:32 and snaps at 10:34, it bills 10 minutes work for 2 actual minutes worked. I continue to work until 10:51 and there is no snapshot (19 minutes), I stop the tracker and lose 10 minutes of pay. This is possible because the tracker must snap once in every 10 minute period (not every 10 minutes). The first snap at 10:34 covered the period 10:32 - 10:42, the second snap covers the period 10:42 - 10:52 but came at 10:52 (within the specified 10 minute period) but I stopped the clock at 10:51 without checking if the tracker had snapped.
---- easy like Sunday morning ----
petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
18 of 47

@Setu M wrote:

@Petra R wrote:

 1) On the Upwork tracker / billing system it starts at XX.X0 and ends 10minutes later.  Provided the tracker is on and  screenshot is taken that 10 minute time-segment is billed to the client.

 

2) I don't undrstand what you mean, can you clarify?


  1. If I start the tracker at 10:32, the 10 minute segment starts at 10:32. The screenshot can be taken at any time in that 10 minute period (so at 10:33 / 10:34 / 10:35 etc. If I start the tracker at 10:30 or 10:39, the same principle applies. Because the tracker works irrespective of actual time (real time), but in relative time - 1 minute ago, 2 minutes ago, 3 minutes ago etc.

 Not true. What you describe above is absolutely NOT how the tracker works at all.

 

The 10 minute segments are from XX.X0 to XX.X0 ten minutes later. ALWAYS.

 

If there is any activity AND a screenshot between say, 10.30 and 10.40 that segment will get billed and a new segment begins at 10.40 lasting to 10.50 and so on and soon.

 

If you log in at 10.36 and work then there WILL be a screenshot BEFORE 10.40 and that segment gets billed with 4 minutes activity showing on the diary.

 

If you log in at 10.33 a screenshot will be taken BEFORE 10.40 as that is the time segment.

 

"

  • If I start at 10:32 and the first screenshot is taken at 10:34 (which is usually the case), 10 minutes is billed although I have worked 2 minutes. Now the tracker must snap once within a 10 minute period so it can literally snap again at 10:35, ."

that is absolute nonsense. There will NEVER be two screenshots in any one 10.30 to 10.40 time segment. You don't understand how the tracker works.

 

" The tracker will now have to wait 17 more minutes before it can snap again (3 mins + 17 mins = 20 mins). "

 

NO! Nononononono!  if there was a snapshot at 10.34 there will be another one between 10.40 and 10.50. It could be at 10.41, 0.42, 10.43 and so on.

 

It is possible that there is less than 1 minute between screenshots, I had one at X.39 and the next at X.40 for the next segment. But the segments are always XX.X0 to XX.X0 (10 minutes later)

 

 

 Say you work from 10 to 11

 

There will be one screeshot between 10.00 and 10.10

One between 10.10 and 10.20

One between 10.20 and 10.30

One between 10.30and 10.40

One between 10.40 and 10.50

One between 10.50 and 11.00

 

Those are the time segments. Look at the work diary. It's pretty clear what the time segments are, they arefrom XX.X0 to XX.X0 I am stunned how this seems to be such a difficult concept to understand.

 

If people don't want their clients to pay for time not worked and don't want to not be working without it being tracked they can just start at the beginning of a segment - for example at 10.20 and work to the end of one, like 11.50 - That way 1 hour 30 minutes was worked, 10 hour 30 minutes was tracked, 1 hour 30 minutes gets billed, and 1 hour 30 minutes gets paid.

 

I am not saying it's the best system to do it this way, but if we're criticising it it helps to know what actually DOES happen to understand how it could be improved.

 

 

 

 

 

oquintela
Community Guru
Olga Q Member Since: Sep 5, 2012
19 of 47

This happened a while ago.

 

I started logging time at 2:30. The first screenshot was taken at 2:33 [14:33] - it shows that 10 minutes have been logged, while I've worked 2 minutes.

 

 

Started working at 2.30 - 1st screenshot at 2.33.png

 

At 3:22 it had logged 1 hour, while I have worked 51 minutes.

 

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 15.21.56.png

 

 

Total logged time on my work diary: 1 hour.

 

 

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 15.44.11.png

 

setumonroe
Community Guru
Setu M Member Since: Jan 26, 2014
20 of 47

@Petra,

 

This is a know issue. In straight blocks (several hours worked) you or the client will always lose 10 minutes of money, if you are not correcting for the tracker (ie. waiting on screenshots or deleting screenshots).

 

In stop starts (disjointed blocks) the client suffers 10 minutes loss per block easily.

 

Upwork is just unwilling to change anything, like with s many other things. And this one is a simple fix - uncouple screenshots from time logged, increase screenshots, or just track time by the minute (like a regular clock).

 

You can refer to this post.

https://community.upwork.com/t5/Freelancers/Snapshots-Activity-level-and-EPM-Inconsistencies/m-p/109...

---- easy like Sunday morning ----
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