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kieffer_melissa
Community Member

Idle time and tracker

If a freelancer is idle (no mouse or keyboard movement) how long before the tracker goes idle and stops tracking?  

22 REPLIES 22
petra_r
Community Member

It tracks any 10 minute segment ( the hour is divided into 6 segments. 10.00 to 10.10, 10.10 to 10.20, 10.20 to 10.30, 10.30 to 10.40, 10.40 to 10.50, 10.50 to 11.00 and so on ) in which there is activity.

 

so if a freelancer leaves the computer at 10.28, the 10.20 to 10.30 segment is tracked (there was activity.)

 

If the freelancer does not return until 11.03, the 10.30 to 10.40, 10.40 to 10.50, 10.50 to 11.00 segments are not tracked, as no activity, but the 11.00 to 11.10 segment is tracked as activity resumed.

Thank you, Petra. I did not know too. It is helpful. 

Shohel

I've noticed that during a skype call, there is very little activity, and I have 1 bar showing in some sections.  Is that enough to get paid for that segment, or am I losing money because I'm not playing with my mouse enough?

 

At what level of activity do I stop earning?  Does it have to be zero for the full 10 minutes?

Hi David,

Please refer to Petra comment above for the first part of your question.
For the second part: you will need to have adequate activity levels in order to qualify for our Hourly Protection for Freelancers.

If you have any additional questions fell free to post them here.

~ Goran
Upwork

Please define "adequate"

Hi David,

When tracking time on an hourly contract, make sure that you spend majority of the time working on relevant tasks if you'd like to benefit from Hourly Protection. If less than half of a selected time period was spent working on the contract, it may not be covered by the hourly protection.

~Nina

I would really like some clarification on 'activity' and 'reasonable', and to know what exactly is being tracked.

 

Typing = Yes

Mouse Movement = ?

Mouse Clicking = Yes

Page scrolling = ?

What else, if anything is tracked as activity?

 

For example:

 

1. I am on a skype call for 3 hours, taking notes on paper.

I am not typing or using my mouse, so activity is low or zero. If low I am not guaranteed payment and if zero I am not tracked. So I end up not being paid for this call and would be better off adding it as manual time?

 

2. I am sent a document to read, so I am slowly scrolling down the page taking notes.

Activity is low, no typing just gentle scrolling. So I end up not being paid to read this document?

 

3. I am running an automated software test and reading the output log as it goes.

I am not typing, no moving my mouse so same as above?

 

 

 

 

Hi David,

 

The Upwork time tracking App logs your activity level. For more information about this, please check this help article. Thank you!

 

~ Joanne
Upwork

Hi,

 

My problem is that I am working on a pencil drawing, which means I use my webcam to record how I draw but that does not involve any movement of mouse or any other movement on my computer. So after ten minutes I go idle and the app does not record my work. 

It would be difficult to remember to move the mouse in every ten minutes and I suppose it is still not guaranteed time if I'm just doing that. 

What can I do? 

 

Thanks!

Hi Anita,

To learn more about our hourly protections and the requirements you need to fulfill in order to be eligible check out our this Help Article.

~ Goran
Upwork


@David M wrote:

1. I am on a skype call for 3 hours, taking notes on paper.

I am not typing or using my mouse, so activity is low or zero. If low I am not guaranteed payment and if zero I am not tracked. So I end up not being paid for this call and would be better off adding it as manual time?

While I'm in the same boat, this is easily rectified by taking notes on the computer.

 

However, something has changed with Skype. Even with no mouse or keyboard activity, my time tracker stays awake as long as a Skype call is connected.

 

But yeah, one doesn't have any protection if the call consists of only "talk time" and the client chooses to dispute the hours logged.

This is also my concern and it's becoming a huge problem for me. Sometimes you just need to do some reading or there were Skype calls and there were little typing involved and you see you are losing money due to skipped 10 mins. It's unfair.

I find hourly contracts absurd. They are like social media, I have to care more about what people think about me than what's really important in my life,

Yes, that's true because your focus can be in the wrong place, but Fixed Price contracts run the risk of your client changing their mind, at which point you own the risk of paying for the project unless you have a clear requirements document agreed beforehand, and can manage the changes as they arrive. Setting expectations before you start is vital.

 

Personally I prefer Hourly. I plan the day in small 2 hour increments and have thinking breaks in between. When I'm working I remove all other distractions because I've lost count of the times the screenshot happens at minute 13 as I "just quickly" see who's emailed me ๐Ÿ™‚

Thank you so much, that was very helpful. I am thinking of 1-hour portions, till I make complete 3-5 hours per day.

How if you are waiting for your client to respond and you can't do anything yet and that's taking your time as well? Let's say the client needs to respond on a specific question or concern to proceed with the job however at that time client is not responding. Of course this takes the freelancer's time to wait for the client. Even though it's idle, it's idle because of the client. How to deal with that?


@Bezalel A wrote:
How if you are waiting for your client to respond and you can't do anything yet and that's taking your time as well? Let's say the client needs to respond on a specific question or concern to proceed with the job however at that time client is not responding. Of course this takes the freelancer's time to wait for the client. Even though it's idle, it's idle because of the client. How to deal with that?

I run up the bill and politely remind them at regular intervals the clock is ticking on their dime.

 

If I go see my attorney at $250.00 per hour, he doesn't care if I want to get down to business or talk about the weather. Tick-tock, tick-tock.

 

$30.00 per hour is $.50 per minute. If they keep me waiting 10 minutes it costs them $5.00. 20 minutes is $10.00.

 

As mentioned elsewhere, I don't work with clients who are gonna jam me up over $2 or $3 or $5 or $10. If they do, I'm fully aware I'll lose the dispute / payment protection and also the funds.

 

Immediately thereafter, I will promptly fire them.


Steven E. L wrote:

@Bezalel A wrote:
How if you are waiting for your client to respond and you can't do anything yet and that's taking your time as well? Let's say the client needs to respond on a specific question or concern to proceed with the job however at that time client is not responding. Of course this takes the freelancer's time to wait for the client. Even though it's idle, it's idle because of the client. How to deal with that?

I run up the bill and politely remind them at regular intervals the clock is ticking on their dime.

 

If I go see my attorney at $250.00 per hour, he doesn't care if I want to get down to business or talk about the weather. Tick-tock, tick-tock.

 

$30.00 per hour is $.50 per minute. If they keep me waiting 10 minutes it costs them $5.00. 20 minutes is $10.00.

 

As mentioned elsewhere, I don't work with clients who are gonna jam me up over $2 or $3 or $5 or $10. If they do, I'm fully aware I'll lose the dispute / payment protection and also the funds.

 

Immediately thereafter, I will promptly fire them.


Your attorney doesn't use the Upwork Time Tracker (do they?).

 

You can't fire someone that has hired you.


Richard S wrote:

Your attorney doesn't use the Upwork Time Tracker (do they?).


You're sorely mistaken if you don't think attorneys watch the clock when you're wasting time on their dime.

 


Richard S wrote:

You can't fire someone that has hired you.


You misunderstand how freelancing works.

gmavelasco
Community Member

I am a video editor, and I use After Effects. Renderring huge projects can take up to an hour and even more, up to 4+ hours. The software can already estimate the time that a render process would take, so I'd know when to come back to check on it. It's irritating that I have no other choice but to sit in front of the PC for HOURS, making keyboard presses and mouse clicks to keep the timer on. This is so wrong. I hope the team could find a way to correct this. I mean, the application could clearly be shown as active and running but the timer wouldn't think so. It's like not getting paid to save your work and export to the deliverable format!

jmcatipon1
Community Member

I'm not sure what's happening to my Upwork, but even if I'm doing work, my tracker is idling tried to troubleshoot, but the same issue is happening

Hi Jan, 

 

Please try the troubleshooting tips shared in this help article. If the issue persists, please report it following the ''How do I report a problem?'' section of the previously shared troubleshooting guide, and our team will assist you directly. 

 

~ Nikola
Upwork
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