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Should I use manual time or time tracking?

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Active Member
Ardit S Member Since: Jan 31, 2013
1 of 10

I have been here in Upwork for a while now, but I still don't know how clients prefer freelancers to record their working time.

I just had a contract with an experienced client who has spent more than $50 thousand dollars in Upwork. We started a hourly based contract for a small project, and discussed the technical details, but didn't discussed how much hours will I need to complete the project, or how I am going to record my time. The client has enabled manual time.

 

Now, I am not sure how I should record my time. Should I use Upwork team app to record the time and the screencasts or should I just enter manual hours?

 

The client didn't mention anything about this - does that mean he took it for granted that I will use the team app?

 

Please let me know your opinion?

Community Guru
Aleksandra K Member Since: Mar 31, 2015
2 of 10

Hi Ardit,

 

Even though your client has enabled manual hours you should avoid that as much as possible. UpWork guarantees payment for hourly contracts only if the time was recorded by the tracker. They don’t quarantine payment for manual hours.

I would suggest you use the tracker to record your time, have high activity and always work on the task assigned by the client.

 

I hope this information was helpful.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
3 of 10
Do not use manual time unless you are doing something that can not be recorded using the time-tracking software. For example, if you cook food and photograph it for a recipe book, use manual time.
Active Member
Paromita B Member Since: Sep 4, 2015
4 of 10

Hi

 

This is actually a very good question from Ardit.

 

I am an account manager of a company and I am responsible for discussing with a client about his project and also submit timesheet.

 

Recently, we started working with a client and the client has approved for manual entry of timesheet.

 

I have a large development team who is working on different areas of the project.  My development team is not allowed to directly interact with the client(which is quite true for any other companies as well).

 

What is your strategy here to deal with these kind of situations.

 

Can the time sheet be more designed in more simpler way like it was in elance.

 

If we miss timesheet of a week, we are unable to go back and fill it. I think the restrctions to timesheet & work diary can be avoided by designing it in more simpler way.

 

Thanks

Sourendro

Community Guru
Natasa R Member Since: Feb 2, 2012
5 of 10

Off topic... is your name Sourendro or Paromita?

Community Guru
Natasa R Member Since: Feb 2, 2012
BEST ANSWER
6 of 10

Ardit wrote:

 

"The client didn't mention anything about this - does that mean he took it for granted that I will use the team app?"

 

Ardit, always assume this: if you entered an hourly contract and the client didn't ask you to add manual time, then keep using the Team App.

 

Manual time is usually used for offline tasks that can't be tracked by the Team App. 

 

 

Active Member
Todd S Member Since: Aug 11, 2015
7 of 10

This thread was helpful for me, because I will be hiring work using the Team Tracker for the first time.


However, for benefit of the original poster and anyone ever having a question like "what do you think my client would want me to do?" ... isn't it easier just to ask the client directly what they want you to do? 

 

Why would you not want to communicate directly with your client?  There is nothing to be ashamed about by asking for clarification.  The best way to know that you are doing what your customer wants is simply to communicate and ask them. 

 

Anytime you ask someone "other" than the "only" person who can give you a 100% for sure answer, you always run the risk of being wrong.

Community Guru
Pandora H Member Since: May 11, 2010
8 of 10

@Todd S wrote:

This thread was helpful for me, because I will be hiring work using the Team Tracker for the first time.


However, for benefit of the original poster and anyone ever having a question like "what do you think my client would want me to do?" ... isn't it easier just to ask the client directly what they want you to do?

 

<snip>


 A very good point. The problem is, some freelancers don't like to ask "edgy" questions like that. I can ALMOST get the OP's concern. He's been around a while, and maybe didn't want to come off as un-savvy to the client.

 

I resolved this little problem early when I started freelancing by developing a spiel I gave every new client (I work hourly, btw).  I pass this along during my post hire Skype talk with the client. The spiel involves me describing my official hours, letting the client know what I bill time for (and threrefore run the Upwork Team App), and what I don't bill time for. Along with some other small facts.

 

This info also gets emailed to them in their welcome package, so that they always have a copy.  I've found this cuts down on possible confusion in a huge way. I've had 0 client dispute cases, and part of the reason for that is being really clear up front.

 

Manual time isn't the "scary" thing some people make it out to be. I aways ask (or the client gives it to me without me having to ask for it), because there is always a time when I am not moving my mouse around, but do bill my time. Watching recorded training Webinars is a good example. I don't go hog wild with it however.  It comes down to trust. If the client trusts you, I think it's fine to do a couple of hours a week. Unless there was a specific reason to do more then 2 hours. I know Upwork is leary of massive amounts of manual time, so some discretion is required.

Active Member
Judy H Member Since: Jun 2, 2019
9 of 10

Hi Pandora - how do you determine what you would bill the client for and what you wouldn't bill for? I have a client that has specific topics that gets resurfaced and I want to refresh myself as well as get the latest scoop on the topic. Should those general research be considered billable or non-billable hours? Part of me thinks it should be billable as it'll allow me to do the job better but part of me thinks that I shouldn't since it could also be considered self-education. 

 

Appreciate any advice you can offer.

 

Thanks.

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
10 of 10

Judy H wrote:

 Part of me thinks it should be billable as it'll allow me to do the job better but part of me thinks that I shouldn't since it could also be considered self-education. 


Discuss it with the client and agree on one, the other, or a compromise.

Neither is right, or wrong. All that matters is that both the client and the freelancer are on the same page.

 

And the thread you resurrected is several years old, by the way.

 

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