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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


Lena E wrote:
Hi Jennifer, if you're asking if anything happens to your account or stats, then the answer is "no." But your client may, however, follow up with you if they would still like to receive answers to those questions.
 
The rationale behind this is for better communication. These prompts help to facilitate that, and are turned on by the client. If you decide not to respond that's on you, but if the client is expressing the need for more communication it would be in your benefit to either respond to the questions (which should only take a minute) or talk to your client about the questions/updates/expectations. As Valeria mentioned, this is easily turned on, and easily turned off.  It is to be used as an added functionality and it may not be useful for some of you. Maybe you already set expectations and update your clients on a regular basis. If that's the case, and they have enabled it, discuss it with them. Understand that your expectations and how you communicate are not the same as every other person on Upwork, a feature beneficial for one, may not be beneficial for you. The bottom line is simply to talk to your clients. 

Thanks, Lena. Yeah, I was wondering if something happened on Upwork's end if we didn't answer (stats, contract pause, etc).

Others have said it well, I'm just chiming in for emphasis: Freelancers who need this level of supervision and handholding have no business on the platform. Automated prompts to try and ensure they communicate adequately with their clients are not going to resolve the numerous other ways in which their inexperience/cluelessness will manifest. 


Lena E wrote:
The rationale behind this is for better communication. These prompts help to facilitate that, and are turned on by the client.

Well whoever designed this apparently forgot to check the definition for communication, because between humans it requires two parties consciously and intentionally exchanging information and meanings. A bot dropping me an automated cookie-cutter line that may not be relevant at all to my process, and me being expectedd to answer it does not constitute communication. Otherwise I could be communing with Data the Help Bot and have all my social needs met (alas...). 

 

This is the same thinking that decided questions like 'What past project or job have you had that is most like this one and why?'  and 'Which part of this project do you think will take the most time?' slapped on a two-line vague job post would help me write a better proposal, or would help the client in some way. In practice, we all just have to find work-arounds to apply by typing in things like 'described in proposal' or 'addressed above'. 

 

A novel idea: how about Upwork lets us deal with clients as the (supposed) adult professionals we are and stop the hand-holding and trying to babyproof everything on the platform. 

 

I don't see that option anymore. Has the option to disable been removed?

Hi Alvin,

 

Weโ€™ll have one of our agents reach out to you via a support ticket to assist you with your request. 

 

Thank you for reaching out to us. 

~ Bojan
Upwork

This feature serves no purpose:

- Waste of time

- No additional info (I enter one-word responses)
- Annoys freelancers

 

Clients turn it on without realizing that this doesn't do anything for them. I will be asking my clients to turn it off. What a waste of my time.


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.


So does Upwork typically TEST things on their users without their consent?


Garrek R wrote:


So does Upwork typically TEST things on their users without their consent?


Yes. And without their knowledge.

as a client, how do I turn "auto check in" off?

Hi Chris,

 

Currently, as long as the contract, fixed-price or hourly, is open the client can enable and disable the Auto Check-ins in the Message room or in the Terms & Settings area of the contract page. Thank you.

~ Goran
Upwork


Goran V wrote:

Hi Chris,

 

Currently, as long as the contract, fixed-price or hourly, is open the client can enable and disable the Auto Check-ins in the Message room or in the Terms & Settings area of the contract page. Thank you.


Yeah, things aren't confusing enough for clients, let's give them one more thing to wonder about.

Hi Valeria,
Thank you for passing comments to the team. First, as most others have posted, us freelancers don't like this added feature. We don't need a babysitter and are perfectly capable of communicating with our clients what our progress is on a project.
Second, a notice to freelancers about the newly added feature would be nice, so we're prepared when we get a message from a client saying they've enabled auto check-in. I got my first two today. One from a fixed price client with a 24- hour turnaround. The other from a client who is new to Upwork and the job was completed. He asked me how he should pay me, I explained the process in detail, and he then sent a message saying he enabled auto check-in. Really?? Clients and freelancers don't need this added confusion.
My biggest frustration with this platform is the lack of communication to freelancers regarding changes.
Thank you,
Krista

Today, when I accepted the offer I saw this Auto Check-in feature enabled by my client in the chat. I didn't know what it was until today after reading all other threads regarding Auto check-in. Now I'll have a constant headache on Thursday nights what reply I have to give to my clients.

I find it quite interesting that clients have this feature to themselves but not the other way around. Because as a freelancer I have faced many clients now who are very unresponsive in communicating, some take even several weeks to acknowledge that they have got my submission. One of my clients, who at the initial call discussed with me that she'll be very responsive with her feedbacks but turned to be utterly wrong, now I have to message her constantly to remind her that I need your feedback or give me the requirements for the next milestone. So, I'd like to know from other freelancers, don't you think we should also have a similar feature in which we can have a few questions. If so, what do you guys think should be our questions?

I ask my client why he opens this "Auto Check-ins" he said I mistakenly clicked on it so I ask him can you turn it off because we don't need any middle man he said yes we don't need so he turns off and now everything is perfect.

I have two questions about this new feature:

On a recent contract, I would get the following questions every two or three days:

Hi Bill, itโ€™s time to check in on this project. Please take a moment to answer these questions:
What did you work on this week?
What will you work on next week?
What might delay your planned work?

My two questions are:
- Is this an "Auto Check-in"?
- If so, can the client turn it off once they have activated it on the contract?

Thanks...Bill!

Hi Bill,

 

Yes, these are Auto Check-ins! Your client can turn it off at any time from the contract room, on the Terms and Settings tab.

 

Thanks!

~Andrea
Upwork

Andrea,

 

Thanks.

 

And just FYI, if I get any of these from a client in the future, I'm going to ask them to turn them off. If they don't, I'm going to cancel my contract with them.

 

...Bill

How can I turn OFF Auto checkins?

I've looked everywhere such as Terms and Conditions.

I think it's an ok feature, but more for lower pay work. Smarter quality staff will be annoyed, but lower grade workers can be ok for this prompt I think.

 

But I want to turn it off for one contract now. How?!

Hi Chris,

 

One of our team members will reach out to you via ticket as soon as possible and assist you further with your auto check-ins. Thank you.

~ Goran
Upwork

I can't find the option to turn it off either. 

sjbercot
Member

Oh, my. This is not an effective way for clients to manage freelancers, and it will annoy those who don't need it. I feel like this is a band-aid for real project management and hiring issues clients need solutions for that bots can't do (and aren't really in Upwork's purview). Clients can ask about the progress of a job any time they want. How many resources is this initiative eating up?

*How many resources is this initiative eating up?*

This. Maybe they could fix the message notifications before testing new things to break the system?


Amanda L wrote:
*How many resources is this initiative eating up?*

This. Maybe they could fix the message notifications before testing new things to break the system?

Adding my angry voice to the chorus here. Upwork, are you crazy??

 

And glad to know I'm not the only one facing the message notification bug. I didn't even bother to go to customer support this time because last time they flatly denied there was any problem.

 

Can this company please fix existing problems before introducing new ones??


Sarah B wrote:

Oh, my. This is not an effective way for clients to manage freelancers, and it will annoy those who don't need it. I feel like this is a band-aid for real project management and hiring issues clients need solutions for that bots can't do (and aren't really in Upwork's purview). Clients can ask about the progress of a job any time they want. How many resources is this initiative eating up?


Maybe the system should send an email reminder to clients to check-up on the status of their projects.

Of course, none of this will matter if the messaging system keeps glitching out.  

HOURLY CONTRACT:

 

Q: What did you work on this week?

A: What you hired me to work on. What else would you expect me to have worked on last week?

Q: What will you work on next week?

A: What you hired me to work on. What else would you expect me to work on next week?

Q: What might delay your planned work?

A: Having to take time out of my schedule to answer nonsensical questions like this, which, by the way, I am charging you for. The tracker is running. Tick Tock, Tick Tock. 

 

FIXED RATE CONTRACT:

 

"Thank you for your questions. Please set up a new milestone for anwereing them. Upwork's terms of sevice forbid clients asking freelancers to work for free. Im willing to complete the above weekly at a rate of $ XX per week."

Q: What might delay your planned work?

 

Assuming potential failure from the outset really instills confidence... 

The "Auto Check-ins" feature is already available.

 

It is called an Hourly Contract.

 

When I hire a freelancer using an hourly contract, then I can see in near-realtime screenshots of the freelancer's work, and I can read memos describing what it is that she is working on.

 

Also: I (or my project manager) can ask the freelancer questions at any time, and she knows that she is being paid for any time that she spends answering those questions.

 

I COMPLETELY AGREE that some sort of check-in is necessary for many freelancers.
For those freelancers, it will be appropriate to hire them using an hourly contract, or it will be appropriate to have them work with a project manager. Or both.


Kim F wrote:

Q: What might delay your planned work?

 

Assuming potential failure from the outset really instills confidence... 


You have the opportunity to mention if you die things might get delayed. Maybe get hit by a bus. That might affect things.

It depends on the size of the bus AND its speed.

It's more than a bit difficult to mesh Upwork selling their (our) services as professional while instituting such gimmicks.

 

What was it Upwork was saying about TRUST and Transparency?

leapesl
Member

As both a freelancer AND a client on the website, I can't at all see who this feature would possibly benefit.

For hourly contracts we already have to state what we worked on in the diary and/or there are literal photos of our screen.

As for what we will work on next week, we literally are only allowed to work on exactly what we are told to work on.

For milestone/fixed price projects, what we will be working on is right there in the milestone, including a due date.

Who is this for? It's just another annoying thing I have to try to explain to clients, who are already miffed at me when I won't give them my phone call for an interview now that Upwork changed THAT policy.

Honestly, these days it seems like I LOSE more clients to Upworks assinine new policies than I actually gain new clients. Because often when *I* refuse to break the rules, the next freelancer is mre than willing.

SERIOUSLY??????????

Phyliis wins the internet for Upwork is becomming more and more the "Keystone Kops of freelance platforms"

 

If a client tried this nonsense with me ... fired. 

vstuart
Member

This one...has worn me down. I don't get it Upwork. What on earth are you thinking? Or are you? 

pandoraharper
Member


Rafsun S wrote:

 

Sequence 01.Still001.jpg

 


It's obvious that most of us have no need or desire for this kind of thing and for many of us, it's insulting. However, there is a swath of freelancer who really don't understand "business" and how "communication" works. Personally, I drop Upwork like a hot potatoe as soon as I am hired.

 

Pity the client who has to drop in and deal with financials. Everything we do together is done either in another tool or in meetings. In fact, I have a meeting once a week where we actually go over a small list a bit like this, because it's a great thing to do. But to be "reminded" this should be done? <scoffs>.

jessicasimko
Member

This is just SO AWKWARD.  I have a client who enacted it for a short term job (all my jobs are short term jobs). I should mention.. she is brand new to Upwork so probably had no idea what she did when she enacted it.  So i got the automated message today to answer these questions but we were in the final editing stages of the job. I didn't know what to do with it - luckily, the automated message showed up in the middle of the night. I saw it but the client shared her feedback on the project shortly after it was posted so she was the first one chatting in the messages after that intrusive message showed up. She didn't even acknowledge the automated message so I was able to just respond to her (and also ignore it) but wow... it's just wrong on so many levels. It didn't apply at all to the stage we were in for this job. She knew exactly what I was working on - it was "her turn" to respond to me and there is no "next week" for this job so what I would even say to respond to this?

 

PLEASE JUST STOP.  Upwork's purpose is to connect clients and freelancers - not to intrude on the progress of the job. If a client wants to know where the project stands, the client can ask that him/herself.  


Jessica S wrote:

 

PLEASE JUST STOP.  Upwork's purpose is to connect clients and freelancers - not to intrude on the progress of the job. If a client wants to know where the project stands, the client can ask that him/herself.  


THIS 


Jessica S wrote:

 

PLEASE JUST STOP.  Upwork's purpose is to connect clients and freelancers - not to intrude on the progress of the job. If a client wants to know where the project stands, the client can ask that him/herself.  


I'm also going to quote this, because it bears repeating.

 

People become freelancers because they want to have autonomy and run their own businesses. (And if they don't, they shouldn't be here.) I find it extraordinary that anyone would have to be told something so basic as "you should communicate with your client", or that any client would be incapable of sending a message saying, "hey, any updates on your progress?" This is an embarrassing degree of handholding. Upwork shouldn't have to serve as a training ground or prop up anyone who's incapable of dealing with other adults in a professional manner. 

firescue17
Member

Hi Upwork, it's time to check in on this project. Please take a moment to answer these questions:

  • What did YOU work on this week?
  • What will YOU work on next week?
  • What might delay YOUR planned work?

This is so completely, utterly, outrageously offensive. I thought one had to be 18 to work on or with Upwork. Why are there no adults in the room?

JUST THIS!

 

Jessica S wrote:

"PLEASE JUST STOP. Upwork's purpose is to connect clients and freelancers - not to intrude on the progress of the job. If a client wants to know where the project stands, the client can ask that him/herself."

 

Upwork, if we repeat this enough times will it sink in?