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afb6830e
Community Member

To Track or Not!

Hello everyone,

First, this community has been extremely helpful through my journey working as a freelancer on Upwork. So thanks to all of you!

 

Second, I mostly charge my clients on an hourly rate instead of a fixed one. As an executive assistant, I have been tracking my time whenever I carry out any work. Recently, I have almost a full-time job for one client who still charges me by the hour. I have been tracking my time as long as I am doing work for them, however, they always expect me to be available right at the moment during their working hours (9-5). The issue is, I end up staying on standby for them the whole day in case they would request any work while the task may only take from few minutes to few hours.

The client is a company who is allowing me no limit for my weekly hours and are planning to pay for Upwork the necessary charges and give me a permanent job instead. Until then, should I track the idle time I am at standby state waiting for them as I am not allowed to carry out my life normally at those times (for instance handling another client, eating, going out, etc.) or should I keep tracking the way I am already am, or should I speak to them in this regard?

I eagerly look forward to your advice. 

Kind regards

10 REPLIES 10
petra_r
Community Member


Nadin A wrote:

Until then, should I track the idle time I am at standby state waiting for them as I am not allowed to carry out my life normally at those times (for instance handling another client, eating, going out, etc.) or should I keep tracking the way I am already am, or should I speak to them in this regard?


You speak to the client!

ashrafkhan81
Community Member

Tracking time just being on stand by with no activity is also not protected by hourly protection. 

 

I suggest you fix a weekly fee to be on stand by, and ask the client to make it a fixed weekly payment, in addition to the hours tracked. 

 

The weekly fixed payment in addition to the hours logged can be set under advance setting of hourly payment. 

 

I also heard about fixing a retainer that the client pays, not sure if this is the setting it refers to or something else. 


Ashraf K wrote:

The weekly fixed payment in addition to the hours logged can be set under advance setting of hourly payment. 

 

I also heard about fixing a retainer that the client pays, not sure if this is the setting it refers to or something else. 


I have checked the contract details but could not find something similar that would allow the client to give a fixed amount while on an hourly charge. Could you kindly elaborate more on this point?

petra_r
Community Member


Nadin A wrote:

I have checked the contract details but could not find something similar that would allow the client to give a fixed amount while on an hourly charge. Could you kindly elaborate more on this point?

It would have to be done while setting up the contract and because it is always charged to the client in full in addition to the hours tracked, this wouldn't work very well at all.

A retainer is exactly the same thing.

 

Please spek to the client and find a mutually agreeable solution, such as adding manual time for any hours you were "at work" but not busy. Those would not be protected, but neither is a retainer or weekly payment,

 

I am not sure if the current contract can be edited to include the weekly payment. Please ask the client to contact the support or you can contact support to confirm this. 

 

But there is a setting for new contracts that allow you to include weekly payment. It is between Contract Terms & Work Description -> Advanced Options. 

 

Weekly_retainer.png

 


Ashraf K wrote:

I am not sure if the current contract can be edited to include the weekly payment. Please ask the client to contact the support or you can contact support to confirm this. 

 

But there is a setting for new contracts that allow you to include weekly payment. It is between Contract Terms & Work Description -> Advanced Options. 

 

Weekly_retainer.png

 


Does this only show on the clients portal I suppose?


Ashraf K wrote:

I am not sure if the current contract can be edited to include the weekly payment.


It can't. I already said that. Also, this is NOT a suitable solution, as it would result in the client being overcharged. BAD idea.

 

I am not sure which part of "the salary/weekly payment will be paid IN ADDITION TO the tracked hours" hasn't quite registered?

 

Nadin A wrote:

Does this only show on the clients portal I suppose?

Yes, and it is NOT the solution for you, and CAN'T be added to an existing contract, and isn't protected. In your case, it is not a suitable option.

afb6830e
Community Member


Petra R wrote:

Ashraf K wrote:

I am not sure if the current contract can be edited to include the weekly payment.


It can't. I already said that. Also, this is NOT a suitable solution, as it would result in the client being overcharged. BAD idea.

 

I am not sure which part of "the salary/weekly payment will be paid IN ADDITION TO" the tracked hours hasn't quite registered?

 

Nadin A wrote:

Does this only show on the clients portal I suppose?

Yes, and it is NOT the solution for you, and CAN'T be added to an existing contract, and isn't protected. In your case, it is not a suitable option.


So the most applicable solution so far is to reach an agreement with the client to log manual time for the time I am at work but not busy.

Petra, she want to bill in addition to the logged hours! 

For being available and being on stand by for the client. Also the client does not mind engaging her full time. 

 

So they may agree on a stand-by weekly payment! 

 

Sure, this is not protected but nor is manually logged hours. 


Ashraf K wrote:

Petra, she want to bill in addition to the logged hours! 

For being available and being on stand by for the client. 

So they may agree on a stand-by weekly payment!  


But the number of tracked hours will vary from week to week, the weekly payment is fixed.  It is charged every week as long as the contract is active. There is nothing "stand-by" about it! And it can't be altered without ending the contract. It is a plump, unsafe, unsuitable non-solution to a problem that can be sorted easily in more flexible ways.

 

What she wants to do is flexibly make up the varying shortfall between time actually worked and hours reserved for the contract. 

 


Ashraf K wrote:

Also the client does not mind engaging her full time. 


This wouldn't be "full time" - this would be one or the other overpaying or being underpaid, in the most inflexible, non-adjustable manner that will only lead to misunderstandings.


What she wants is to "top up" the varying numbers of hours she works per week to the agreed number of hours. She does not want something that simply adds $XXX every week, because that would result in the client being overcharged or her being underpaid every single week.

 

Which is why this is a really bad idea in this case.

 

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