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rafsun_ug
Member

What is "Auto Check-ins"?

I have seen this for the first time. 

Sequence 01.Still001.jpg

Today I had contracted with a new client and the contract is a fixed price contract. After accepting the offer, I can see this notice in my message. Would be helpful, if an expert could share a little more details about this "Auto Check-ins" in the fixed price contract. Thanks in advance. 

161 REPLIES 161
mtngigi
Member


Rafsun S wrote:

I have seen this for the first time. 

Sequence 01.Still001.jpg

Today I had contracted with a new client and the contract is a fixed price contract. After accepting the offer, I can see this notice in my message. Would be helpful, if an expert could share a little more details about this "Auto Check-ins" in the fixed price contract. Thanks in advance. 


OMG. What will you work on next week? Really? Well I guess we'll all have to get out our crystal balls and shine them up, in order to see into the future.

@Virginia F OMG! This made me laugh out loud. hahahaha. You made my day! I've just started a new contract and the client has sent me that so I wanted to look it up and your comment is my first lol

 

Thank you!

wescowley
Member

Oh, please, no, Upwork. We do not need robot babysitters. We're perfectly capable of communicating appropriate status to our clients on our own. This is absurd.

Seriously? I'm quite capable of communicating with my clients without any prompting - I don't need or want a babysitter. 

 

 

Oh, H E double-toothpicks, no!

 

kochubei_valeria
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi All,

 

Auto Check-ins is a feature we're testing. While I won't be able to share a lot of details about the test while it's ongoing, it'd like to confirm that this is something some clients can turn on or choose not to. It is not enabled automatically. If turned on by the client, freelancers will get e-mails and messages like the one Rafsun shared. I appreciate your feedback and will be glad to pass your comments on to the team.

~ Valeria
Upwork


Valeria K wrote:

Hi All,

 

Auto Check-ins is a feature we're testing. While I won't be able to share a lot of details about the test while it's ongoing, it'd like to confirm that this is something some clients can turn on or choose not to. It is not enabled automatically. If turned on by the client, freelancers will get e-mails and messages like the one Rafsun shared. I appreciate your feedback and will be glad to pass your comments on to the team.


This doesn't make any sense. If a client wants to know the status of their project, why not just ask the freelancer? This degree of hand-holding is ridiculous. 

 

I'm sure that some clients do complain that their freelancer is unresponsive or missing deadlines or whatever, and Upwork is trying to address this. But I don't think that sending email prompts will suddenly make unprofessional freelancers behave more professionally.

Rafsun and anyone else testing this, feel free to use these answers.

Requested tasks.
Requested tasks.
Equipment, bodily, or societal malfunction
__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce


Christine A wrote:

Valeria K wrote:

Hi All,

 

Auto Check-ins is a feature we're testing. While I won't be able to share a lot of details about the test while it's ongoing, it'd like to confirm that this is something some clients can turn on or choose not to. It is not enabled automatically. If turned on by the client, freelancers will get e-mails and messages like the one Rafsun shared. I appreciate your feedback and will be glad to pass your comments on to the team.


This doesn't make any sense. If a client wants to know the status of their project, why not just ask the freelancer? This degree of hand-holding is ridiculous. 

 

I'm sure that some clients do complain that their freelancer is unresponsive or missing deadlines or whatever, and Upwork is trying to address this. But I don't think that sending email prompts will suddenly make unprofessional freelancers behave more professionally.


Lots of task management apps automate these types of processes. Team members might be prompted to add a text each week or one person's assignment is triggered when another marks their complete. This is another example of Upwork trying to be everything to everyone to prevent them from using their existing, much better solutions. And, as usual, Upwork got it wrong. Someone in Product must spend all day looking at the landing page of other people's apps and telling their developers "Make us this!" 


Valeria K wrote:

I appreciate your feedback and will be glad to pass your comments on to the team.


No. Just No.

No No No No No No No!

 

I would likely fire any client who uses it.


Petra R wrote:

Valeria K wrote:

I appreciate your feedback and will be glad to pass your comments on to the team.


No. Just No.

No No No No No No No!

 

I would likely fire any client who uses it.


Same. I might give them one chance to turn the thing off. Even if I weren't offended by the concept, it's a fixed-price contract--this adds an extra task that wasn't negotiated. 

Exactly! We have milestones after all, and even if we don't, all requirements are communicated up front. If I need to deliver a first version of a logo by Monday, my client knows on what I work and will be working. Either way, it's a bit offensive and makes no sense. 


Valeria K wrote:

Hi All,

 

Auto Check-ins is a feature we're testing. While I won't be able to share a lot of details about the test while it's ongoing, it'd like to confirm that this is something some clients can turn on or choose not to. It is not enabled automatically. If turned on by the client, freelancers will get e-mails and messages like the one Rafsun shared. I appreciate your feedback and will be glad to pass your comments on to the team.


Did y'all run this by corporate counsel? It may be fine for the client to automate the sending of a series of questions to their freelancer, but I'd take that "we" language out right away. Is Upwork now a co-employer? 

Hi Valeria,

Sounds like a ridiculous Friday is coming!

This is the first time, the client is hiring someone. Yes, he enabled this "Auto Check-Ins" option.

He just contacted me for the first time in Upwork yesterday. So what is "What did you work on this week?" 

The task should be finished within tomorrow. I am not getting what does it mean by "What will you work on next week?"

There is no chance to delay if I am alive. 

We can discuss everything in the messages

What this program actually is? Who will be benefited? What is your purpose actually?

An individual or organization that pays half my FICA, contributes to the cost of my health insurance coverage and keeps my W-2 on file is entitled to ask me those questions. To anybody else, including clients who have contracted me on a freelance basis, my answer is, "None of your beeswax." And frankly, I can't imagine it would ever occur to my clients to ask unless UW creates a default mechanism they have to opt out of, or even an opt-in that creates th impression it's something they should do.

 

So, one more thing to remember to discuss with new clients when contracting for the first time, to be sure they have appropriate expectations about how we will work together. It's becoming increasingly tricky (not to mention aggravating) to orient new clients to the ways of UW while not making UW sound like the Keystone Kops of freelance platforms.


Valeria K wrote:

Hi All,

 

Auto Check-ins is a feature we're testing. While I won't be able to share a lot of details about the test while it's ongoing, it'd like to confirm that this is something some clients can turn on or choose not to. It is not enabled automatically. If turned on by the client, freelancers will get e-mails and messages like the one Rafsun shared. I appreciate your feedback and will be glad to pass your comments on to the team.


What is wrong with this company? The last six months have been **Edited for Community Guidelines**.


Steven E. L wrote:

Valeria K wrote:

Hi All,

 

Auto Check-ins is a feature we're testing. While I won't be able to share a lot of details about the test while it's ongoing, it'd like to confirm that this is something some clients can turn on or choose not to. It is not enabled automatically. If turned on by the client, freelancers will get e-mails and messages like the one Rafsun shared. I appreciate your feedback and will be glad to pass your comments on to the team.


What is wrong with this company? The last six months have been **Edited for Community Guidelines**.


Wholeheartedly agree. (I see what you wrote/was edited in my email).

How can the client switch off if it is set by him? Please, share the steps.

Hi Sonia,

 

The client can manage and disable Auto Check-Ins via a link that shows right at the top in the Messages for the contract as seen on this screenshot. Alternatively, they can update it in the Contract room under Terms & Settings like this. In both cases they'll also see pop ups with more information about this option. Feel free to discuss with your client if you'd like it turned off.

~ Valeria
Upwork

Maybe I missed this but what happens if you just ignore these questions?

Untitled


Lena E wrote:
The bottom line is simply to talk to your clients. 

Thanks, Lena, for the endorsement to our objections.


Lena E wrote:
The rationale behind this is for better communication. These prompts help to facilitate that ... 

No. They do not. They are embarrassing, intrusive, rude, juvenile, and unprofessional.

 

I backpack, hike, and rock climb in my spare time. Normally, I'm only breathless on the way up to a summit. I've never been so breathlessly stunned going downhill as with the last six months being forced to tolerate Upwork's silly, misguided attempts at running a business.


Lena E wrote:
The rationale behind this is for better communication. These prompts help to facilitate that,. 

No. They do not "help"

I will fire any client on the spot who enables this and doesn't switch it off when asked.

 


Lena E wrote:
Understand that your expectations and how you communicate are not the same as every other person on Upwork 

Whhhhoooooaaaaa. Now hang on a minute please. Nobody said anything of the sort.

But doesn't the fact that everyone who commented is absolutely horrified by this give you guys any pause for thought?

 

We're the ones actually working on Upwork as freelancers day-in-day-out.

So why are you dismissing our opinion in such a (sorry) quite heavy.handed way as the above?

Petra you and several others who have commented on this thread I would say have a lot of experience because you have been using the Upwork platform for a long time. You have established relationships with your clients, and even with new clients, you probably have a routine and know-how on communicating effectively and running your business. At the same time, understand there are others who use the Upwork platform that do not have the same experience and expectations that you have. They may lack that structured cadence. They may struggle with communicating and providing updates. They may not see the need to communicate and update their client or not realize the client may be waiting for updates. New freelancers and clients for example may have different expectations as they get acclimated to the platform or to remote work in general. Communication is important for a project's success. For those who NEED a structured approach this a tool could be useful for them. 

Untitled

Lena, a silly question. Is this enabled by default?

It's not turned on by default, but if you don't turn it on you are given really annoying pop-ups every time you login trying to convince you to turn it on. So I could see a lot of clients turning it on just to make those pop-ups go away. (I use the website as both a client and a freelancer.)


Kayla B wrote:

It's not turned on by default, but if you don't turn it on you are given really annoying pop-ups every time you login trying to convince you to turn it on. So I could see a lot of clients turning it on just to make those pop-ups go away. (I use the website as both a client and a freelancer.)


oh jeez. -_-


Kayla B wrote:

It's not turned on by default, but if you don't turn it on you are given really annoying pop-ups every time you login trying to convince you to turn it on. So I could see a lot of clients turning it on just to make those pop-ups go away. (I use the website as both a client and a freelancer.)


Is it really so? I can't believe that once again they are doing it wrong, very wrong 


Kayla B wrote:

It's not turned on by default, but if you don't turn it on you are given really annoying pop-ups every time you login trying to convince you to turn it on. So I could see a lot of clients turning it on just to make those pop-ups go away. (I use the website as both a client and a freelancer.)


At the risk of repeating myself, oh please no, Upwork.

 

You're implementing an ineffective and intrusive method of gathering statuses and then annoying clients who don't want to use it. 

 

Lena, I get that newer freelancers and clients may need help in learning how to effectively communicate status. This isn't how to do it. The answer is educating them on the need to effectively and appropriately communicate expectations and progress.

 

And I get that some freelancers may need more structure. A weekly prompted check-in is not going to give that to them. For someone who needs the structure that is missing from remote, unsupervised work like freelancing, they need daily (or more frequent) communication until they gain experience and self-discipline (and no, I'm not suggesting you increase the frequency of the check-in messages). Again, education will help with that, but mainly it's experienceโ€”and to be blunt, it's probably experience that should have been gained before trying to freelance. A weekly prompted check-in won't help. By that point, it's probably far too late.

No one is saying there isn't a potential need for some sort of project management tool to automate checkins. There might be a system that would actually be useful.

What we are saying, unanimously, is that this isn't it.

There are no user cases that this helps rather than just annoys. Because for hourly contracts you already communicate what you are working on in the work diary, and for milestones the tasks are delineated. Also having the feature on short contracts is even more ridiculous because there is no previous week and there is no next week.

You might keep trying to state that the client can elect not to use it, but you have to understand that the bulk of clients do not understand Upwork's complicated platform to begin with. You do not do nearly enough to onboard clients, instead making it your freelancer's problem. (So in addition to paying 20% to you, I'm also forced to work as your ambassador, onboarding every new client and teaching them how to use the platform.)

Adding new features they barely understand causes me extra work. Because they assume incorrectly that these features are there to help them and assume they should use them. Because they assume Upwork knows what it's doing. 

This feature isn't any more useful to new freelancers than established ones, especially because they won't feel capable/emboldened to push back against it. So instead now they'll be wasting time every week trying to answer questions that at best duplicate information that already exists elsewhere or at worst aren't even answerable.

You say it's a test feature well, HERE IS YOUR FEEDBACK.

We hate it.


Lena E wrote:

 They may lack that structured cadence. They may struggle with communicating and providing updates. They may not see the need to communicate and update their client or not realize the client may be waiting for updates. New freelancers and clients for example may have different expectations as they get acclimated to the platform or to remote work in general. Communication is important for a project's success. For those who NEED a structured approach this a tool could be useful for them. 


Right. So does Upwork assume that clients are idiots and unable to simply ask for an Update?

 

And you are saying that because of an incompetent minority the competent majority are harassed by Upwork with frankly asinine claptrap?

 

Clients are harassed by reminders to turn this nonsense on and freelancers are infuriated by such inappropriate nonsense.

 

What is wrong with a client asking for an update and freelancer replying?

 

And kindly stop asking me to "understand"

I understand just fine.

I didn't just float into Upwork on a bowl of corn flakes.

Thank you.

 

I really don't want to shoot the messenger and I know this nonsense wasn't your idea. But it is a bad idea as implemented. The people who use the platform as clients and freelancers are telling Upwork that it is a bad idea. You do not use the platform as a freelancer or a client.

 

LISTEN to those who do.

 

"understand there are others who use the Upwork platform that do not have the same experience and expectations that you have"

 

Yes Lena, those "others" are the people signing up every day, being automatically accepted by Upwork, with some of the worse profiles ever. People with zero experience  freelancing and working with clients. These people are using Upwork to learn, and in doing so are creating unhappy clients who'll never come back. This bears out in client posts daily.

 

As Kayla stated, Upwork does not do nearly enough (really, not anything) to onboard/educate new users, be it client or freelancer. Of all the things that need fixing, Upwork's priorities are pretty messed up. Give new profiles at least a passing glance. Add a pop-up for all clients posting a job, explaining the new "no communicating pre-contract" nonsense, so they know what to expect. And yes, please stop putting the onus on your freelancers ... training is not part of our job description.

 

"What will you work on next week?". Are we supposed to share information about other jobs and clients (and newly awarded jobs) whose projects we're planning to work on "next week"? What about extremely non-communititive clients who have not held up their part of good communicaton?  "Well, since I haven't heard from you regarding feedback in two weeks, I'm not sure what I'll be working on" So snap to it, will you?

 

Petra states it perfectly - "โ€ฆ because of an incompetent minority the competent majority are harassed by Upwork with frankly asinine claptrap?" Stop punishing your good freelancers simply because you allow anybody who has a pulse to sign up

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is why the last job on my profile is from Oct/Nov of 2019. **Edited for Community Guidelines** and started interferring with my business โ€ฆ I threw my hands up. They're still up.

I just read a post in the Freelancer forum that perfectly illustrates our complaints. I wish I could post a link ... this post is a perfect example of someone whose profile should not have been accepted.


Lena E wrote:

(...)
At the same time, understand there are others who use the Upwork platform that do not have the same experience and expectations that you have. They may lack that structured cadence. They may struggle with communicating and providing updates. 


You cannot implement something that will bother all those who earn you the most money just because a subset of your users have no clue about how to freelance. People can communicate without you interfering and the ones who can't without an automated nudge are not bringing you any revenue.

 

You're focusing on the symptoms of a bigger problem.

 

 

 

 

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   โ€”William Ashbless


Steven E. L wrote:

Lena E wrote:

At the same time, understand there are others who use the Upwork platform that do not have the same experience and expectations that you have. They may lack that structured cadence. They may struggle with communicating and providing updates. They may not see the need to communicate and update their client or not realize the client may be waiting for updates. New freelancers and clients for example may have different expectations as they get acclimated to the platform or to remote work in general. Communication is important for a project's success. For those who NEED a structured approach this a tool could be useful for them. 


**Edited for Community Guidelines**


Aren't these the freelancers who cost us all the most because they end up disputing $20 and taking up the limited CS resources? 

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

Aren't these the freelancers who cost us all the most because they end up disputing $20 and taking up the limited CS resources? 


A couple of years ago they purged 10ks or 100ks of these trainees and everything was fine for a while. Now, they're purposefully rebuilding the platform as an in-house daycare center.


Lena E wrote:

Petra you and several others who have commented on this thread I would say have a lot of experience because you have been using the Upwork platform for a long time. You have established relationships with your clients, and even with new clients, you probably have a routine and know-how on communicating effectively and running your business. At the same time, understand there are others who use the Upwork platform that do not have the same experience and expectations that you have. They may lack that structured cadence. They may struggle with communicating and providing updates. They may not see the need to communicate and update their client or not realize the client may be waiting for updates. New freelancers and clients for example may have different expectations as they get acclimated to the platform or to remote work in general. Communication is important for a project's success. For those who NEED a structured approach this a tool could be useful for them. 


So instead of letting new people learn how to run their business through experience, you will force us all to use the same "tools". That's absurd. You want to bring everyone down to the same level?

Problem is that, as usual, you release features without any testing whatsoever. Any competent UX specialist could tell you all teh mistakes even before launch, as well as to tell you what to do in order to solve the problem you mention. This is a nonsensical feature. You could even implement it with proper questions rather than kindergarten ones, but no, it's teh same nonsense time and time again because Upwork hates UX with a passion

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