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Time Tracker 10 minutes interval

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Community Leader
Sebastian N Member Since: Sep 22, 2015
1 of 40

Hi Guys,

 

I'm using the Time Tracker for the first time today. I started working at 11:29 am (my local time) and stopped at 11:48 am.

Currently there are 3 screenshots taken.

 

1. 11:29

2. 11:37 (8 minutes later)

3. 11:48 (11 minutes later).

 

Even though I only worked 19-20 minutes, the auto tracker says I worked 30 minutes.

I don't want to bill my client for 30 minutes when I did not. 

 

Maybe I misunderstood how the tracker works but I assumed that from the moment I click the "On" button, it would capture in 10 minute intervals. (In my case 11:29-11:39, 11:39-11:49).

 

If I continue working now, will the next 10 minutes still fall under the currently tracked 30 minutes or will the tracker jump to 40 minutes?

 

Anyways I think this doesn't make much sense and a client shouldn't be billed for 10 minutes when there was only 1 minute of work in that interval.

I guess I can just tick the little checkbox and delete that 1 minute? I'd rather lose 1 minute than putting this on my client.

 

Cheers,

Sebastian

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
BEST ANSWER
2 of 40

Sebastian,

 

The tracker "fires" once per 10 minute segment. That means once in each segment between X.X0 and X.XO - but at a random time.

 

It would be pointless if the user knew exactly WHEN it fires, as they could play on facebook for 9 minutes and just return to work at the time they know the tracker to fire.

 

The client is not charged per minute worked, but per 10 minute segment where there is any actictivity and a screenshot was taken.

 

If your hourly rate is $ 24.00 for example, each 10 minute timeslot with activity and a snapshot bills the client $ 4.00. This means losing a timeslot with 1 minute of activity costs you not 1 minute, but 10. A timeslot with 4 minutes activity bills the client $ 4.00 just the same as a timeslot with 10 minutes activity or 2 minutes activity.

 

The "tidiest way" to work (for me) is to always start working at the beginning of a 10 minute time segment, for example at 10.20 so the activity in the first time segment isn't low.

 

For example: If you start at 10.08 your client gets charged for the whole 10.00 to 10.10 segmen, showing 2 bars activity (as there was ony activity in 2 of those 10 minutes)

 

Never turn your tracker off until the screenshot in a time-slot has been taken, as that 10 minute segment will otherwise not count, not be charged, and the previous one only counts up to the time the last screenshot was taken.

 

The tracker is not well suited for working short stretches (under half an hour) as it always tends to look untidy.

 

If you don't want your client to be charged for one of the screenshots, just go into your work diary, tick the screenshot, and remove it.

 

Let me know if you still have questions, the poor tracker is much misunderstood Smiley Wink

 

 

Community Leader
Sebastian N Member Since: Sep 22, 2015
3 of 40

Thanks Petra,

 

that helps me a lot Smiley Very Happy

 

I intentionally kept the timeframe short since it's the first time that I am using the tracker and I didn't want to make any huge mistakes.

 

Guess that the segments start at X.X0 won't be a huge issue now unless I keep turning the tracker on and off.

 

Thanks again.

 

Active Member
Celine L Member Since: Aug 17, 2017
4 of 40

I don't like this behavior at all. The problem you mentioned "not being suited for short working periods" is a big issue for me. I have several different projects / different clients, and might need to answer to messages for each of them in a 10 minute window. With the timer, basically this 10 minute period is wasted for me, even though I worked.

 

I don't understand why 10 minute intervals are necessary, why not 2 or 5 minutes?

Even if for some reasons, 10 minute intervals are important, why not make them start with the timer, rather than at a specific time?

I should waste 2- 5 minutes, just waiting for the time to pass, so I only start working at xx:x0?

 

These don't look like much, but over a month of switching between projects, these add up to a lot of wasted time.

Active Member
Kamil R Member Since: Oct 15, 2015
5 of 40

I had the same problem with my previous time tracking software, so I just decided to try another one to avoid those situations in the future. Computer will never replace human's mind, but choosing the best of  the bests let you forget about wasting time.**edited for Community Guidelines**

Community Guru
Stephen B Member Since: Dec 4, 2012
6 of 40

"Why don't you try **edited for Community Guidelines"

 

Uuhh.. because it isn't linked to Upwork's utomatic payment system?

Community Manager
Garnor M Community Manager Member Since: Oct 29, 2014
7 of 40

Hi Kamil,

Stephen's right. While you may find other systems out there for tracking time, it's important to note that by using them you won't qualify for payment protection. We strongly advise against using other tracking systems for hourly jobs.

Active Member
Marlene B Member Since: Apr 15, 2019
8 of 40

Then fix the problem, Upwork . . .

 

Upwork states the work diary is only to show work being done (3 reps have told me this in tech support calls on this issue) - that it is NOT a time tracker - yet Upwork uses this non-time-tracker to bill contractors (me).

 

Example - we had a FL put in 90 hours of time that we paid for.  as we evaluated her actual clocking in and out (she was being honest in every way), we noticed many minutes at the log in and log out point that were unworked time.  when we totaled them up it totalled 10 hours of the 90 hours worked!  We are in a battle at this point with Upwork.  We can't confirm that they paid the freelancer for all the time or if they kept the difference for itself.  there is no transparency here.  

 

Since this seems to be beyond Upwork's ability to comprehend:  The time clock and the accountability camera need to be two separate things ( if you are going to bill us based upon them).  When the freelancer logs in, the clock starts, the screen shot happens whenever it happens, but both freelancer and contractor are treated fairly - the freelancer gets paid based upon the minutes they work and the contractor only pays for minutes logged in.  

 

Upwork's answer to this - tell the freelancer to sit there for 9 minutes waiting for the top of the 10-minutes to start. and to sit there pretending to work in order to log out at the end of 10 minutes.  THIS IS A FLAWED SCREWED UP SYSTEM AND SINCE IT IS SUPPOSEDLY GUARANTEED PAYMENT PROTECTION, I WANT PROOF YOU ACTUALLY PAID THE FREELANCER FOR ALL THOSE UNWORKED MINUTES - I ALSO WANT A REFUND FOR ALL THE MINUTES THAT WE HAVE BEEN BILLED THAT THE FREELANCER WASN'T EVEN LOGGED INTO THE SYSTEM.  This adds up very quickly and is extraordinarily dishonest and lacking in transparency on Upworks part.  I too am looking into an outside timeclock product - since this gaurantee is totally bogus anyway. Every contractor and freelancer on here is being cheated using the hourly timeclock system.  Either freelancers are having to delete blocks in which they are only working a few minutes or they are wasting time sitting for the 10 minutes to start so they can log in.  On my end I am paying for many many minutes that the freelancer isn't even logged in.  

 

I have tried everything possible to be moved up the leadership list in this company to talk to someone that can actually fix this problem and have been stonewalled at every step of the way.  I'm always told I can't talk to this manager or that supervisor - that they have no contact information available for clients like me to speak to them.  I'm here Upwork leaders, feel free to contact me for an honest and fair resolution.

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
9 of 40

Marlene B wrote:

 

 We can't confirm that they paid the freelancer for all the time or if they kept the difference for itself.  there is no transparency here.  

 

How is there no transparency? You can look at the freelancer's profile to see exactly how much she has been paid on your contract, and you can easily confirm the amount received with the freelancer.

 

Upwork's answer to this - tell the freelancer to sit there for 9 minutes waiting for the top of the 10-minutes to start. and to sit there pretending to work in order to log out at the end of 10 minutes. 

 

Is that Upwork's answer? I have only ever seen this answer proposed by freelancers, and certainly not in the way you describe (for instance, it's hard to imagine that anyone competent enough to do even the simplest of freelancing work would be so hopelessly stupid as to go sit down at the computer 9 minutes before starting working and just sit there. And, I certainly hope most of use aren't dishonest enough to "pretend to work" to round out the segment.)

 

Your points about the necessary fixes are very good ones. I wish you'd taken the effective approach of concisely suggesting them instead of burying them in all this drama.

Active Member
Marlene B Member Since: Apr 15, 2019
10 of 40

Yes, Tiffany S, that actually is Upworks answer to the problem.  We have directly been told by three different members and supervisors of their support team that If we do not want to pay for 9 minutes of non-logged time when the FL logs in at 9 minutes into the 10 minute window (or any other increment), that the only solution is for them to sit and wait for a 10 minute increment to start and since it is regulated by the screen shot, they have to sit there until whatever time the screen shot happens before beginning work, otherwise they lose income for the minutes prior to that. 

 

And, no, Tiffany S, we cannot actually confirm what the freelancer was paid, there are fees on both sides and foreign exchanges that make it very difficult to verify anything. Just because Upwork says something doesn't make it true. Our screen shows our contractor logged 9 hours and we were billed 9 hours, yet they only logged 8, so there is just one example of something Upwork is claiming that isn't true.  We've also been told by a supervisor that Upwork rolls minutes from one log off to the next log on to keep it "fair" - this is obviously BS also, so that's not true. We've been billed exactly what is showing on the work diary which has no relationship to how many minutes the FL worked or when they logged on/off. 

 

And, Tiffany S, if wishes were horses then beggers would ride. The only drama is the 5 hours we have wasted talking and email with Upwork trying to get a resolution - including a refund. And by the way, our FL are more than willing to credit back the overbilled time - the problem with that?  Upwork informed me that if the FL refunds time it negatively impacts their overall score on the site. Our only recourse at this time is to dispute the FL work diary - and that also negatively affects the FL score according to the supervisor we spoke to.  We are not disputing anything our FL have done; we are only disputing how Upwork calculates it - so why would we punish the FL for Upwork's problem? 

 

Upwork doesn't want us using outside timekeeping systems but we have no other choice because they won't fix the system they have.  Upwork has no motivation to fix this issue or to listen to the clients that are paying their fees - they get paid regardless.  It is the contractors and freelancers that are having to deal with its issues.  So if I have to create some drama to get this company to fix what is assuredly costing other businesses besides ours thousands and possibly tens of thousands of dollars per year, I'm ok with that.  If you're not, don't read my post.

 

Again, if any leadership in this company are willing to actually address this, feel free to contact me.

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