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Using the desktop timer

Active Member
Dan W Member Since: Aug 9, 2019
1 of 11

Being required or even suggesting to use the desktop timer is not professional.  Here is why.:

 

As professionals, there are times when tasks take longer then we thought. In fact, most of the time, this is the case.  As professionals, it is completely a personal decision on what we should charge the client.  In other words, if a task takes me 4 hours, but I really budgeted 2 for it for charging the client, then perhaps I should charge 2 or maybe 3 hours.  I may not want to charge the 4.

 

We, as professionals, can use our own timers and brains for determining how many hours to charge.   We don't need this service watching us.

Ace Contributor
Julie J Member Since: Jan 28, 2019
2 of 11

If you want to do 4 hours of work and charge for 2 hours, simply stop the timer after 2 hours and continue working.  Not hard.

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
3 of 11

Dan W wrote:

Being required or even suggesting to use the desktop timer is not professional. 


If you don't want to deal with the tracker, simply stick to fixed rate contracts and stay away from hourly ones.

Problem solved.

 

Community Guru
Jonathan H Member Since: Jun 19, 2019
4 of 11

You are not obligated to use the timer as far as im aware - i have only completed one hourly contract (mine tend to be fixed rate) but i did not use the hourly timer and had no problems.

 

It is their for your protection, if upwork are going to offer some kind of protection on your worked hours then its reasonable that they require you to follow their terms - If you are not bothered about the protection Upwork offer then you are free to handle the hours as you wish Smiley Happy

 

Also, if you are concerened about billing 'to many hours' then turn it off when you reach the number of hours you want to bill (though im unsure why you wouldnt want to bill for work done)

Community Leader
Richard S Member Since: Mar 12, 2019
5 of 11

Dan W wrote:

Being required or even suggesting to use the desktop timer is not professional.  Here is why.:

 

As professionals, there are times when tasks take longer then we thought. In fact, most of the time, this is the case.  As professionals, it is completely a personal decision on what we should charge the client.  In other words, if a task takes me 4 hours, but I really budgeted 2 for it for charging the client, then perhaps I should charge 2 or maybe 3 hours.  I may not want to charge the 4.

 

We, as professionals, can use our own timers and brains for determining how many hours to charge.   We don't need this service watching us.

 

Maybe I should put this up as a completely different thread, but does Upwork not have a 'Fishing' emoticon?


 

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
6 of 11

Dan, if you don't want to take advantage of Upwork's payment protection (where they pay you out of their own pocket for the hours you worked if the client does not), then you're free not to use the time tracker. As professionals, we certainly don't need the artificial safety net Upwork's payment protection offers and can manage our own client relationships, including the risk of loss, so there is no reason to use the time tracker at all.

Community Leader
Richard S Member Since: Mar 12, 2019
7 of 11

Tiffany S wrote:

Dan, if you don't want to take advantage of Upwork's payment protection (where they pay you out of their own pocket for the hours you worked if the client does not), then you're free not to use the time tracker. As professionals, we certainly don't need the artificial safety net Upwork's payment protection offers and can manage our own client relationships, including the risk of loss, so there is no reason to use the time tracker at all.

 

It's not an 'artificial' safety net. It 'is' a safety net. I'm really suprised by this response Tiffany, especially when considering people that are new to the site and how it works.

 

I have private clients and also obtain work through other sites, but one of the reasons why I use Upwork is because of this feature -  I will be paid for time that I have worked for someone on an hourly contract because of it. A freelancer may act and behave responsibly, that dosn't mean that the client will.

 

From the client's point of view, they have chosen to employ a freelancer on an hourly basis. They get the evidence that the FL has worked the time that they are asking to be paid for...why wouldn't you use it for the interest of both parties?

 

As a potential client, what I don't want to hear from a FL is 'Hi! I advised you that your project should take about 2 hours work, but unfortunately it's taken 20. Ps, sorry, but I turned the timetracker off'.


 

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
8 of 11

Richard, I think you've misunderstood my point.

 

The safety net is fine for people who feel like they need it. It's especially great for newcomers who don't yet know how to vet clients. Anyone who wants to take advantage of it should, and Upwork makes it known what is required to do so. I have no objection to tracking time (though it's not workable for me personally).

 

But, if the freelancer strongly feels, as OP seemed to, that using the time tracker was beneath his level of professionalism, then the solution is obvious. 

Community Leader
Richard S Member Since: Mar 12, 2019
9 of 11

Tiffany S wrote:

Richard, I think you've misunderstood my point.

 

The safety net is fine for people who feel like they need it. It's especially great for newcomers who don't yet know how to vet clients. Anyone who wants to take advantage of it should, and Upwork makes it known what is required to do so. I have no objection to tracking time (though it's not workable for me personally).

 

But, if the freelancer strongly feels, as OP seemed to, that using the time tracker was beneath his level of professionalism, then the solution is obvious. 

 

Tiffany, I really don't think I have...and are you looking to cover all bases with this? Do use it, don't use it...Your 'solution' for this FL is not to use a feature of the site (one of it's good ones imo), that protects the FL. I don't care what his or thoughts may be about their own professionalism, it's irrelevant. Either someone wants the protection that time tracking provides or they don't. And if they don't, then it comes with many potential (unecessary and avoidable) conseqences.


 

Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
10 of 11

Richard S wrote:

Tiffany S wrote:

Richard, I think you've misunderstood my point.

 

The safety net is fine for people who feel like they need it. It's especially great for newcomers who don't yet know how to vet clients. Anyone who wants to take advantage of it should, and Upwork makes it known what is required to do so. I have no objection to tracking time (though it's not workable for me personally).

 

But, if the freelancer strongly feels, as OP seemed to, that using the time tracker was beneath his level of professionalism, then the solution is obvious. 

 

Tiffany, I really don't think I have...and are you looking to cover all bases with this? Do use it, don't use it...Your 'solution' for this FL is not to use a feature of the site (one of it's good ones imo), that protects the FL. I don't care what his or thoughts may be about their own professionalism, it's irrelevant. Either someone wants the protection that time tracking provides or they don't. And if they don't, then it comes with many potential (unecessary and avoidable) conseqences.


 


UW's payment protection is a safety net and it's not bullet-proof (except on hourly contracts where the FL uses the desktop tracker impeccably and creates meaningful activity memos). Not everybody's work is conducive to using it. Those who can't or choose not to, need to rely on their experience and expertise to vet clients before accepting contracts; establish and sustain mutual trust with the clients; and manage their projects and relationships to ensure successful outcomes. Then again, doing those things is every freelancer's best defense against losing money to flaky or unscrupulous clients. There's no way to risk-proof freelancing.

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