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Should I 'charge' time for weekly phone conferences with Client?


I recently started a part-time hourly gig (8 hrs/wk) and the Client has stated that we will likely have two phone calls a week to stay in sync.


Should I log my time in the oDesk Team app during those phone conferences? It won't show me doing any work (typing, etc.) just having a conversation in GoToMeeting with my Client. (I log into the conference call with my personal cell phone.)


We had a phone conference last week to get things started, and I did not log my time into the time-tracking app for that. Just wondering going forward...


I did ask the Client last week about this but she said we wouldn't use oDesk for the call, just GoToMeeting. So I don't think she understood what I was asking.




Community Guru


Hi Marta,


If your client wishes to occupy your time regularly they should pay for it.


It's really at your discretion, but make sure that your client agrees to this arrangement beforehand as you don't want them to raise a dispute later on.


Instead of sitting in a meeting with the client, you could be working on another assignment or something else. You have to let the client know that your time is precious.


How long do the conversations last? This is what it comes down to.


Also, phoning into an online meeting is chargeable to your landline. You have to ask yourself if you mind paying extra for the phone bill.

Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Marta,


You can ask your client to allow Manual Time on your contract. That way you will be able to enter the hours you spend working for this client but away from your computer into your Work Diary and be paid according to the payment schedule. Note however, that Manual Time does not qualify for the oDesk Guarantee.

~ Valeria

Ok, Valeria, I just came out of the phone call. It was an hour and a half long.


She definitely wants to pay me for my time for these phone calls and she will figure out best way to compensate. Last week, our call was 1 hour long and neither one of us is sure how to add to the logged hours for last week (now under review).


She wants me to keep a log of my 'phone call' time but I would prefer a guaranteed form of payment through oDesk.


Can I simply, from now on, turn on oDesk Team (is that what everyone's calling the time tracker?) for the call and type up notes while listening? I am at my desk for the phone call and taking notes by hand but just as easily can type them up. She's showing me her screen (via GoToMeeting) while we're talking so I can adjust the window pane to view both windows side-by-side.


Is this what most people do for phone conferences?




Hi Marta,


Yes, you can definitely track your time using the Team App while on the phone and taking notes on your computer. As for the last week's time that wasn't logged, you can ask your client to issue a bonus to pay you for it. The client can easily do it from the contract overview.


I hope it helps.

~ Valeria
Community Guru
How long are the meetings? It may not require logging any time, and also a way to foster good relations.
---- easy like Sunday morning ----
Ace Contributor

Marta, if it is work-related, log your time. Take notes during the meeting so the tracker knows you are not idle.


Think about it as the meetings in a regular office: nobody schedules coordination meetings "after work".


I wanted to thank everyone for pitching in with ideas and good questions. Today's phone conference lasted an hour and a half and the client definitely wants to pay for this time. She assumed I was "logging" my hours somehow but will make sure that I get paid for this week's 1.5hr call and last week's 1hr call.


Not sure how, but here's hoping!


I think the best way to log/track future (phone call) hours is to use the oDesk Team app. Is that what everyone's calling the time tracker?  I'll just type up notes during the call; hopefully that will count as sufficient 'activity' to qualify for earnings.



That sounds like a good plan Marta. Using the oDesk Team app will legitimately log the time spent and in that way is covered (guaranteed) for payment.

Remember though that if the app senses long periods of inactivity, it will not log that period.
---- easy like Sunday morning ----

it will be sufficient to qualify unless the client is very sneaky,because the client aready knows what you were doing during that time - you were talking to him/her


Hi Marta,


For an hour and a half of your time, you definitely should use the oDesk team app.


I mean, even if it was for a short 10 min meeting I would still bill them as they're occupying my time and it relates to the role.


Most reasonable clients shouldn't mind, just always make sure that you discuss this at the interview stage.

Community Guru

I have a couple of policies in place for this kind of thing, and during my post-hire discussion with a client, it's stated up front that meetings are billed. It's a meeting. Doesn't matter that it's a virtual meeting.


I also bill my time when attending webinars that a client wants me to be part of.


I usually record all meetings, webinars and such and send the recordings to my clients. This means if the oDesk tracking DIDN'T track the time for some reason, I have proof of the events in question.


I can then add any manual time needed. (Manual time being part of my post-hire discussion with all clients, because sometimes I can't run the oDesk Tracker when doing complex tasks such as creating video training materials.)


I've yet to have a client who was un-comfortable being billed for meeting time. If a new client does not automatically give me permission to charge for manual time, they usually give it to me once trust has been extablished, because they know how buggey the oDesk Tracker is.