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rafsun_ug
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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

If a client doesn't trust me enough to do my job and manage my time appropriately, he/she should not hire me. I refuse to deal with any client that feels the need to micromanage me in this capacity. It's one thing to utilize project management tools. It's another to ask such asinine questions. I run a business. I am not an employee of these clients. They can save those questions for employee evaluations. I have NEVER seen a client ask an independent contractor/consultant/freelancer these questions in all of my years on (and off) Upwork. 

1,. Are these the only potential questions included or are others possible? If so, what are they?

 

2. What are the expectations regarding how soon the questions must be answered? Are there penalties for not responding within a specific time, including at weekends?

 

3. How often are these questions sent?

 

4. What effect does not answering these questions have?

 

5. What would be regarded as an 'insufficient' answer and what effect would it have?

 

6. Do responses, lack of responses or quality of responses to these questions play a role in resolving a dispute or in arbitration? If so what role and weighting do they have?

 

7. The wording of the questions implies that information is demanded about work the freelancer is undertaking that is separate to the project. What is the outcome if the questions are interpreted in that way and the freelancer refuses or is unable to answer them?

 

8. How do we know whether these questions are turned on by the client before finalising contract terms as they presumably form part of the contract?

 

9. Where in the documentation are these details and anything else relevant given?

 

10. What are the facilities for freelancers to enact a similar process for clients should they wish to do so?

BRAVA @ Catherine!  I could not agree more.

Hi, Upwork Community!

 

I’m Shreman and part of the team that developed this feature. My fellow colleagues and I are committed to making your experience on Upwork as positive and fruitful as possible. As many of you may have noticed, we recently launched the Auto Check-ins feature. We recognize and understand that users aren’t happy about some of these changes. Let’s talk a little bit about our Auto Check-ins feature and would love to address concerns you’ve expressed here.

 

What are Auto Check-ins?

Auto Check-ins is a feature that only clients can turn on/off during an active contract. This will prompt 1 message on a weekly basis on Friday asking 3 simple questions on the work you are doing. The questions should take just a few minutes once a week. You are encouraged to reply to them. If you are strongly against it, the recommendation would be to speak to your clients about turning it off because they turned on this feature and would expect a timely response. Clients can enable and disable the auto check-ins via a link in the contract Messages room or in the contract terms/setting area.

 

Why did we develop Auto Check-Ins?

We developed this feature because we received feedback from both clients and freelancers that visibility into contracts in a structured manner is something that is lacking on Upwork. Auto Check-ins would keep communication and progress “on the record” on a structured cadence. We believe added visibility on a structured cadence can lead to better contract outcomes for both our clients and talent.

 

What are the benefits for talent?

For talent, timely, concise replies could result in fewer ad-hoc requests from your client for status updates and although this feature does not play a role in dispute or in arbitration, it is helpful to have a paper trail in messages on progress if ever needed to resolve disputes.

 

What is the expectation from talent?

We know that our freelancers are professionals and acknowledge that our growth as a company has been attributed to the quality of our talent. This feature does not intend to be counter to that. As mentioned above, this feature resonated while we conducted client and talent user testing. We decided to test this feature with the belief that it could help add more structure and clarity to ultimately influence more positive outcomes for our clients and talent. The expectation when you receive the Auto Check-ins prompt is to take a few minutes to write a few lines to reply to each of the three questions. When developing this, the idea was that each question would take no more than a few lines to write.

The auto check-ins are sent on Friday so if you do not work on Fridays, letting your client know would help set expectations on your working hours. While there are no penalties for not replying or replying with a delay, it is encouraged that you reply when you have a moment as this feature was turned on at the request of your client. If you cannot, it is encouraged to send them a quick message to help set expectations. If you believe this may not be needed for your circumstances then you can let the client know. The client can switch this feature on or off via a link in the contract Messages room or in the contract terms/setting area.

 

What are the benefits for clients?

For the client, this enables them to have greater understanding and visibility on the project so they can plan accordingly. Auto check-ins and hourly contracts A few of the comments here were specific to hourly contracts. We understand that clients that enable the time tracking functionality can view in details what Upwork talent are working on. Auto check-ins was not developed to replace this functionality but can understand why this may feel like duplicative work. However, we do believe that auto check-ins is a great method to summarize in a few minutes the status of your work in a few lines. If you believe this is unnecessary and takes a significant effort, then a conversation with your client may be best to decide what works best for the both of you. The client can switch this feature on or off via a link in the contract Messages room or in the contract terms/setting area.

 

-- More info on the questions

  1. What did you work on this week?
    The goal is to provide visibility to the client on tasks that would have progressed.

  2. What will you work on next week?
    The goal is to help clients know what you will work on so they can plan accordingly. This also adds visibility to both you and your client.

  3. What might delay your planned work?
    From our research, one of the leading results of a bad contract outcome is when something happens that may impact your planned work such as a dependency for your project. Examples include if you may need something to complete your work such as content or approval from the other party to complete your work. This aims to help resolve this so talent can clearly state what may be unexpected and clients can be kept informed ahead of time and plan accordingly. We envisage there to be delays in a low amount of contracts but believe this is an important question that helps lead to better contract outcomes for both Upwork talent and clients. If there are no delays, a simple answer such as ‘None’ or ‘N/A’ should suffice. --

 

We have learned a lot from feedback and concerns you’ve shared on this thread. A few points that we’ll be considering:

  • We understand that a lot of experienced professional freelancers would like more control over this feature being turned on for their contracts.
  • We also understand that it may not work well with short-term contracts and for some hourly contracts.
  • We know that more can be done to better educate clients around the purpose of this feature so that they only use it when it’s necessary.

Your comments along with feedback we receive from other channels and metrics about how this feature is utilized will inform how we proceed with this feature.

Auto Check-ins is a feature that only clients can turn on/off during an active contract.

 

So although this is a contractual obligation, it is one that won’t be revealed until after the contract begins? This is tantamount to Upwork changing the basis of a contract.

 

We believe added visibility on a structured cadence can lead to better contract outcomes for both our clients and talent.”

 

Lovely. What on earth does that sentence mean? Something along the lines that the practice is to encourage regular updates?  Obfuscation is counter productive.

 

For talent, timely, concise replies could result in fewer ad-hoc requests from your client for status updates and although this feature does not play a role in dispute or in arbitration, it is helpful to have a paper trail in messages on progress if ever needed to resolve disputes.

 

Why are ad hoc requests for updates viewed as problematic? There are numerous reasons for updating at project points rather than calendar points. And the second half of this sentence contradicts the first. It either doesn’t play a role or the content of responses is considered. Which is it? 

 

 


Kim F wrote:

Auto Check-ins is a feature that only clients can turn on/off during an active contract.

 

So although this is a contractual obligation, it is one that won’t be revealed until after the contract begins? This is tantamount to Upwork changing the basis of a contract.

 

We believe added visibility on a structured cadence can lead to better contract outcomes for both our clients and talent.”

 

Lovely. What on earth does that sentence mean? Something along the lines that the practice is to encourage regular updates?  Obfuscation is counter productive.

 

For talent, timely, concise replies could result in fewer ad-hoc requests from your client for status updates and although this feature does not play a role in dispute or in arbitration, it is helpful to have a paper trail in messages on progress if ever needed to resolve disputes.

 

Why are ad hoc requests for updates viewed as problematic? There are numerous reasons for updating at project points rather than calendar points. And the second half of this sentence contradicts the first. It either doesn’t play a role or the content of responses is considered. Which is it? 

 

 


I don't feel like reading all the pages, Kim ... but just wondering if any of your very relevant/informed questions have been answered (in a satisfactory & non-nonsensical way). Have they?

"visibility into contracts"?

 

Not once, in all my years with all my clients, did I ever hear anything about our contracts being "invisible" ... or "unstructered". I'm guessing that's the case for my fellow and very experienced freelancers as well.

If you insist on having this horrible feature that is MAYBE useful to less than 1% of projects, it should at least have to be turned on as part of the contract offer. So that I and other freelancers who aren't children can refuse the contract from any client who wants to babysit us in this way.


Shreman S wrote:

Hi, Upwork Community!

 

I’m Shreman and part of the team that developed this feature. My fellow colleagues and I are committed to making your experience on Upwork as positive and fruitful as possible. As many of you may have noticed, we recently launched the Auto Check-ins feature. We recognize and understand that users aren’t happy about some of these changes. Let’s talk a little bit about our Auto Check-ins feature and would love to address concerns you’ve expressed here.

 

What are Auto Check-ins?

Auto Check-ins is a feature that only clients can turn on/off during an active contract. This will prompt 1 message on a weekly basis on Friday asking 3 simple questions on the work you are doing. The questions should take just a few minutes once a week. You are encouraged to reply to them. If you are strongly against it, the recommendation would be to speak to your clients about turning it off because they turned on this feature and would expect a timely response. Clients can enable and disable the auto check-ins via a link in the contract Messages room or in the contract terms/setting area.

 

Why did we develop Auto Check-Ins?

We developed this feature because we received feedback from both clients and freelancers that visibility into contracts in a structured manner is something that is lacking on Upwork. Auto Check-ins would keep communication and progress “on the record” on a structured cadence. We believe added visibility on a structured cadence can lead to better contract outcomes for both our clients and talent.

 

What are the benefits for talent?

For talent, timely, concise replies could result in fewer ad-hoc requests from your client for status updates and although this feature does not play a role in dispute or in arbitration, it is helpful to have a paper trail in messages on progress if ever needed to resolve disputes.

 

What is the expectation from talent?

We know that our freelancers are professionals and acknowledge that our growth as a company has been attributed to the quality of our talent. This feature does not intend to be counter to that. As mentioned above, this feature resonated while we conducted client and talent user testing. We decided to test this feature with the belief that it could help add more structure and clarity to ultimately influence more positive outcomes for our clients and talent. The expectation when you receive the Auto Check-ins prompt is to take a few minutes to write a few lines to reply to each of the three questions. When developing this, the idea was that each question would take no more than a few lines to write.

The auto check-ins are sent on Friday so if you do not work on Fridays, letting your client know would help set expectations on your working hours. While there are no penalties for not replying or replying with a delay, it is encouraged that you reply when you have a moment as this feature was turned on at the request of your client. If you cannot, it is encouraged to send them a quick message to help set expectations. If you believe this may not be needed for your circumstances then you can let the client know. The client can switch this feature on or off via a link in the contract Messages room or in the contract terms/setting area.

 

What are the benefits for clients?

For the client, this enables them to have greater understanding and visibility on the project so they can plan accordingly. Auto check-ins and hourly contracts A few of the comments here were specific to hourly contracts. We understand that clients that enable the time tracking functionality can view in details what Upwork talent are working on. Auto check-ins was not developed to replace this functionality but can understand why this may feel like duplicative work. However, we do believe that auto check-ins is a great method to summarize in a few minutes the status of your work in a few lines. If you believe this is unnecessary and takes a significant effort, then a conversation with your client may be best to decide what works best for the both of you. The client can switch this feature on or off via a link in the contract Messages room or in the contract terms/setting area.

 

-- More info on the questions

  1. What did you work on this week?
    The goal is to provide visibility to the client on tasks that would have progressed.

  2. What will you work on next week?
    The goal is to help clients know what you will work on so they can plan accordingly. This also adds visibility to both you and your client.

  3. What might delay your planned work?
    From our research, one of the leading results of a bad contract outcome is when something happens that may impact your planned work such as a dependency for your project. Examples include if you may need something to complete your work such as content or approval from the other party to complete your work. This aims to help resolve this so talent can clearly state what may be unexpected and clients can be kept informed ahead of time and plan accordingly. We envisage there to be delays in a low amount of contracts but believe this is an important question that helps lead to better contract outcomes for both Upwork talent and clients. If there are no delays, a simple answer such as ‘None’ or ‘N/A’ should suffice. --

 

We have learned a lot from feedback and concerns you’ve shared on this thread. A few points that we’ll be considering:

  • We understand that a lot of experienced professional freelancers would like more control over this feature being turned on for their contracts.
  • We also understand that it may not work well with short-term contracts and for some hourly contracts.
  • We know that more can be done to better educate clients around the purpose of this feature so that they only use it when it’s necessary.

Your comments along with feedback we receive from other channels and metrics about how this feature is utilized will inform how we proceed with this feature.


Thanks for responding. However, I don't understand how, after reading through this thread, you still think this is a good idea? I think the message we are trying to tell you is that we are all adults and having some automated check in, that is likely to show up at a time when it's not needed or wanted, is severely problematic. We want Upwork to connect us to clients and then let us do our jobs.

 

If you must continue with this, why not have this feature on standby for a client to automatically send in a message, at the exact point they want to send it (IF they choose to do so.)  For example, a client hasn't heard from their freelancer in a few days and is curious as to what is going on. Maybe they want to save some time in asking, so they can click a box that might be titled "request project update" to send the message - which really only should say "Can you please give me an update to this project?"  (but throw your 3 questions in there if you are hopelessly sold on them). And it should be sent using the CLIENT'S name and not appear as a random automated message.  

 

I do want to add though - it shouldn't even be an OPTION for short term jobs.. espeically those with just one milestone.

 

Otherwise, please trust that freelancers and clients can manage this themselves. If they can't, the project will most certainly be doomed in many other ways than just the project status updates.


Jessica S wrote:

If you must continue with this, why not have this feature on standby for a client to automatically send in a message, at the exact point they want to send it (IF they choose to do so.)  For example, a client hasn't heard from their freelancer in a few days and is curious as to what is going on. Maybe they want to save some time in asking, so they can click a box that might be titled "request project update" to send the message - which really only should say "Can you please give me an update to this project?"  (but throw your 3 questions in there if you are hopelessly sold on them). And it should be sent using the CLIENT'S name and not appear as a random automated message.  

 

I do want to add though - it shouldn't even be an OPTION for short term jobs.. espeically those with just one milestone.

 

Otherwise, please trust that freelancers and clients can manage this themselves. If they can't, the project will most certainly be doomed in many other ways than just the project status updates.


I couldn't agree more.

 

I update my clients at appropriate times and don't want to be prompted to do so just because it's Friday. Also, answering these questions would definitely mean repeating things that I already would have told them. It's imbecilic. I agree with Jessica that clients should only be encouraged to deploy this feature if they're actually having problems communicating with their freelancers; they shouldn't be asked whether they want to activate it at the beginning of a project.

 

But really, I don't think that this will solve anything. If people aren't good at communicating, then they're not going to be good at responding to these questions, either. 

 

@ Christine's comment.

 

"But really, I don't think that this will solve anything. If people aren't good at communicating, then they're not going to be good at responding to these questions, either"

 

Exactly. This initiative will do absolutely nothing to improve the clients and freelancers who are inexperienced and/or uncommunicative/unprofessional as a general rule.

I'm just gonna answer them all with "yes." I don't know if that fits, but "yes" is my goto answer. That's why men love me u c.

To reiterate everything that has been said by freelancers with a history of earnings > this is deplorable, infantile, ineffective, and a major headache for clients and freelancers alike.

 

STOP trying to justify a grossly inappropriate move on Upwork's part and just cancel the entire mess!

This is horrible, and infantilizes both freelancers and clients. 

 

We already know how to check in with each other without annoying pop up reminders and being spoon-fed third grade level questions. 

 

Welcome to another downside of quarantine -- thousands of useless apps, tools and other so-called "improvements" being developed by bored IT experts stuck at home with too much free time on their hands. 

 

 

How do you turn off auto check-in? I couldn't find it anywhere.

 

Thanks

It's no longer available. You need to ask Support to switch it off now, as
the control to manage them has been removed.

Chris





Shreman S wrote:

Hi, Upwork Community!

 

I’m Shreman and part of the team that developed this feature. My fellow colleagues and I are committed to making your experience on Upwork as positive and fruitful as possible. As many of you may have noticed, we recently launched the Auto Check-ins feature. We recognize and understand that users aren’t happy about some of these changes. Let’s talk a little bit about our Auto Check-ins feature and would love to address concerns you’ve expressed here.

 

No, you are not committed to making our experience as "positive and as fruitful" as possible, you certainly don't care and we are fully aware of same. But thank you, let's move on.

 

What are Auto Check-ins?

Auto Check-ins is a feature that only clients can turn on/off during an active contract. This will prompt 1 message on a weekly basis on Friday asking 3 simple questions on the work you are doing. The questions should take just a few minutes once a week. You are encouraged to reply to them. If you are strongly against it, the recommendation would be to speak to your clients about turning it off because they turned on this feature and would expect a timely response. Clients can enable and disable the auto check-ins via a link in the contract Messages room or in the contract terms/setting area.

 

Again, you don't seem to understand, or maybe you do, but I'd like to point out that this puts us in an INCREDIBLY uncomfortable situation with a new client. 

 

Why did we develop Auto Check-Ins?

We developed this feature because we received feedback from both clients and freelancers that visibility into contracts in a structured manner is something that is lacking on Upwork. Auto Check-ins would keep communication and progress “on the record” on a structured cadence. We believe added visibility on a structured cadence can lead to better contract outcomes for both our clients and talent.

 

Apparently you didn't check with us. It's pretty obvious the group you pulled from...

 

What are the benefits for talent?

For talent, timely, concise replies could result in fewer ad-hoc requests from your client for status updates and although this feature does not play a role in dispute or in arbitration, it is helpful to have a paper trail in messages on progress if ever needed to resolve disputes.

 

Benefits???  Ha ha!!!!

 

What is the expectation from talent?

We know that our freelancers are professionals and acknowledge that our growth as a company has been attributed to the quality of our talent. This feature does not intend to be counter to that. As mentioned above, this feature resonated while we conducted client and talent user testing. We decided to test this feature with the belief that it could help add more structure and clarity to ultimately influence more positive outcomes for our clients and talent. The expectation when you receive the Auto Check-ins prompt is to take a few minutes to write a few lines to reply to each of the three questions. When developing this, the idea was that each question would take no more than a few lines to write.

The auto check-ins are sent on Friday so if you do not work on Fridays, letting your client know would help set expectations on your working hours. While there are no penalties for not replying or replying with a delay, it is encouraged that you reply when you have a moment as this feature was turned on at the request of your client. If you cannot, it is encouraged to send them a quick message to help set expectations. If you believe this may not be needed for your circumstances then you can let the client know. The client can switch this feature on or off via a link in the contract Messages room or in the contract terms/setting area.

 

Why don't you allow us to shut if off on our end? I don't want you to contact me if you feel the need to babysit me....

 

What are the benefits for clients?

For the client, this enables them to have greater understanding and visibility on the project so they can plan accordingly. Auto check-ins and hourly contracts A few of the comments here were specific to hourly contracts. We understand that clients that enable the time tracking functionality can view in details what Upwork talent are working on. Auto check-ins was not developed to replace this functionality but can understand why this may feel like duplicative work. However, we do believe that auto check-ins is a great method to summarize in a few minutes the status of your work in a few lines. If you believe this is unnecessary and takes a significant effort, then a conversation with your client may be best to decide what works best for the both of you. The client can switch this feature on or off via a link in the contract Messages room or in the contract terms/setting area.

 

Again, benefits?  Most of us would run as fast as we would away from a client who would enable this. So sadly, they will not have top talent. But since we don't know UNTIL the job is in place, we then need to school these clients on same...again AWKWARD and NOT CONDUCIVE!

 

-- More info on the questions

  1. What did you work on this week?
    The goal is to provide visibility to the client on tasks that would have progressed.

  2. What will you work on next week?
    The goal is to help clients know what you will work on so they can plan accordingly. This also adds visibility to both you and your client.

  3. What might delay your planned work?
    From our research, one of the leading results of a bad contract outcome is when something happens that may impact your planned work such as a dependency for your project. Examples include if you may need something to complete your work such as content or approval from the other party to complete your work. This aims to help resolve this so talent can clearly state what may be unexpected and clients can be kept informed ahead of time and plan accordingly. We envisage there to be delays in a low amount of contracts but believe this is an important question that helps lead to better contract outcomes for both Upwork talent and clients. If there are no delays, a simple answer such as ‘None’ or ‘N/A’ should suffice. --

I don't think I ever in a million years would have thought that as a "freelancer" I would be asked these types of questions. Because I (and the rest of us in this post) take the initiative and actually do this little thing called communicating with our clients...not something that needed to be taught and if it needs to be they don't belong here. That would HELP your clients out. Well, the ones we would hope you'd like to hang onto.

 

We have learned a lot from feedback and concerns you’ve shared on this thread. A few points that we’ll be considering:

  • We understand that a lot of experienced professional freelancers would like more control over this feature being turned on for their contracts.
  • We also understand that it may not work well with short-term contracts and for some hourly contracts.
  • We know that more can be done to better educate clients around the purpose of this feature so that they only use it when it’s necessary.

Your comments along with feedback we receive from other channels and metrics about how this feature is utilized will inform how we proceed with this feature.


That's something we've heard a million times. "We have learned a lot".  Blah blah blahbety blah blah blah, We get it. Your post and your ridiculous new features do not seem to say this (actions speak louder than words) and trust me, we get it! In other words, too bad, this is what we're doing, just wanted to throw some more confetti onto 2020 for y'all. Thanks Upwork!

Hi Shreman...

 

Thanks for posting those details behind this feature. And I appreciate that you and your team are trying to improve freelancer and client experience here. But, your note really doesn't do anything to change my opinion that Upwork has widely missed that mark here.

 

First, you've said in a few places that clients can easily turn this off. However, someone who has experienced this from the client perspective posted early in this thread that they are prompted on every log in to turn this on. That has to stop. If a client has already made the decision to not turn this on, they shouldn't be continually harassed to do so. Annoying our clients does not help make our experience a positive one. I have around a dozen open contracts for ad hoc work in addition to one-off and repeat contracts. In addition to the annoyance factor, it means that I will have to explain to many of them what this means, and it will lead to more conversations about why I can't move their contracts off Upwork yet, because some of them are already annoyed enough with Upwork that I've had to have that discussion more than once with them. And, if even half of those turn this feature on just to stop the annoyance, then I'm dealing with several unnecessary status requests a week, most from people I probably don't even have work for that week.

 

But the feature itself won't even achieve what you're looking for. Structured weekly statuses are a tool from the corporate world whose purpose is to be filled out and ignored (been there, done that from both sides). They don't promote discussion around progress and status, they actively hinder it because they give the illusion of communication.

 

I totally get that the people in this thread who have been objecting strenuously to this feature are successful experienced freelancers, and in some cases clients, who know how to communicate status and queries appropriately. And I get that there are inexperienced freelancers and clients who do not know how to do that. I can't stress this enough: This feature will not help them. It will hurt them because it will train them to use this check-in rather than actually talking to each other, and it will lead to more unpleasant experiences, because clients' unasked questions won't be answered with the responses to these generic questions. What we need for these inexperienced freelancers and clients is education on how to communicate with each other and encouragement to do so. And I'll say it again: this feature does not do this; it actively hinders it.

 

Your note touts the benefit of avoiding ad hoc questions from clients. But those are precisely the kind of questions that we need to tune our understanding of the clients' needs and our communications with them. If a client has a question about what I'm working on or where I am with something, I want them to ask that right then and there because 1) I can address their concerns quickly 2) I can use that discussion as input to my priorities and future updates to them if needed and 3) It may spark something that needs to be tweaked in my approach to the project. If I wait until Friday to answer those three questions, chances are real good I'm not going to address what they've been holding off asking.

 

There's more I can say here, but this is already long, it's late, and I'm tired. To summarize: 1) The repeated prompting to turn this on is annoying to clients. Stop that now. 2) Upwork's efforts are better spent on educating new clients and freelancers on the importance of active communication to their project's success, not on implementing features that actively discourage that communication. So, if I haven't been clear enough already, this feature needs to go away.


Wes C wrote:

Hi Shreman...

 

Thanks for posting those details behind this feature. And I appreciate that you and your team are trying to improve freelancer and client experience here. But, your note really doesn't do anything to change my opinion that Upwork has widely missed that mark here.

 

First, you've said in a few places that clients can easily turn this off. However, someone who has experienced this from the client perspective posted early in this thread that they are prompted on every log in to turn this on. That has to stop. If a client has already made the decision to not turn this on, they shouldn't be continually harassed to do so. Annoying our clients does not help make our experience a positive one. I have around a dozen open contracts for ad hoc work in addition to one-off and repeat contracts. In addition to the annoyance factor, it means that I will have to explain to many of them what this means, and it will lead to more conversations about why I can't move their contracts off Upwork yet, because some of them are already annoyed enough with Upwork that I've had to have that discussion more than once with them. And, if even half of those turn this feature on just to stop the annoyance, then I'm dealing with several unnecessary status requests a week, most from people I probably don't even have work for that week.

 

But the feature itself won't even achieve what you're looking for. Structured weekly statuses are a tool from the corporate world whose purpose is to be filled out and ignored (been there, done that from both sides). They don't promote discussion around progress and status, they actively hinder it because they give the illusion of communication.

 

I totally get that the people in this thread who have been objecting strenuously to this feature are successful experienced freelancers, and in some cases clients, who know how to communicate status and queries appropriately. And I get that there are inexperienced freelancers and clients who do not know how to do that. I can't stress this enough: This feature will not help them. It will hurt them because it will train them to use this check-in rather than actually talking to each other, and it will lead to more unpleasant experiences, because clients' unasked questions won't be answered with the responses to these generic questions. What we need for these inexperienced freelancers and clients is education on how to communicate with each other and encouragement to do so. And I'll say it again: this feature does not do this; it actively hinders it.

 

Your note touts the benefit of avoiding ad hoc questions from clients. But those are precisely the kind of questions that we need to tune our understanding of the clients' needs and our communications with them. If a client has a question about what I'm working on or where I am with something, I want them to ask that right then and there because 1) I can address their concerns quickly 2) I can use that discussion as input to my priorities and future updates to them if needed and 3) It may spark something that needs to be tweaked in my approach to the project. If I wait until Friday to answer those three questions, chances are real good I'm not going to address what they've been holding off asking.

 

There's more I can say here, but this is already long, it's late, and I'm tired. To summarize: 1) The repeated prompting to turn this on is annoying to clients. Stop that now. 2) Upwork's efforts are better spent on educating new clients and freelancers on the importance of active communication to their project's success, not on implementing features that actively discourage that communication. So, if I haven't been clear enough already, this feature needs to go away.


Please Upwork, read, then reread this. We're not a bunch of whiners stiffening at a "few minutes" of extra work (which many of us already put in many times over in good communication practices with our clients). This scheme has real negatives you are not listening to that are going to anger and likely drive away a lot of freelancers and CLIENTS (besides the ones it already has, of course).

I couldn't agree with Wes more!

 

1000 kudos!


Wes C wrote:

Your note touts the benefit of avoiding ad hoc questions from clients. But those are precisely the kind of questions that we need to tune our understanding of the clients' needs and our communications with them. If a client has a question about what I'm working on or where I am with something, I want them to ask that right then and there because 1) I can address their concerns quickly 2) I can use that discussion as input to my priorities and future updates to them if needed and 3) It may spark something that needs to be tweaked in my approach to the project. If I wait until Friday to answer those three questions, chances are real good I'm not going to address what they've been holding off asking.


This is stated much more eloquently than I'm capable of; however, the importance must not be lost in the shuffle. I want, need, give, and expect timely, effective communication. Not annoying Mario Kart checkpoints so I don't have to put another quarter in the machine.

 

If I'm working on a project that has changed course, or the client's vision doesn't match the vision in my imagination, I need to know NOW. Not on Friday when I've spent a week heading down the wrong path and no one spoke up because "it wasn't time for a regularly scheduled check-in."


Wes C wrote:

 

However, someone who has experienced this from the client perspective posted early in this thread that they are prompted on every log in to turn this on.


Blimey.

What thought processes occurred for somebody (some people) to agree that was a good idea? Irritating freelancers is one thing, irritating clients is another. Surely the best approach would be to avoid as many pain points for clients as possible - not needlessly create more. I want clients to keep on putting as much money into the system as possible. We all do, right? Right, Upwork? 

I've not much more to say as I think it's already been said. Every time I open this I'm just shaking my head in disbelief at being made to feel so patronized. 

Eugh! 

In fairness, I often get their notifications multiple times (Like when I
became top rated, or when they allowed us to bring clients for 0% fee) , so
it might not be *intended* that it popped up about 5 times before finally
going away for me. But that doesn't change how annoying it is nor the fact
that many clients will likely turn on the feature just to make the pop-ups
stop.

- Kayla

7 pages of comments, many from community gurus, and not a single positive thing to say about that feature.

I think your userbase has been pretty clear how they feel about this "feature"

But I'm sure you'll ignore us like usual. One day a competitor is going to actually listen to all the feedback you ignore.

WIthout having gone through this entire thread.... I had a client turn this on recently on a super small job that should be done shortly. What happens, if anything, if I don't check in? Does it impact me in a negative way or just give my client ammunition if they have a bad experience?




One day a competitor is going to actually listen to all the feedback you ignore.

Hear, Hear! 

Prepare for the day when Microsoft launches the LinkedIn freelancing platform and corrects all the terrible mistakes here. Upwork will become the new MySpace.

Hmm, why don't you bug the client instead?

 

- Did you give proper directions to your Freelancer for this weeks work?

- Did you end up your contract?

- Did you communicate properly this week?

- Did you surprise the freelancer with demands that you didn't mention during contract phase this week?

- Name a few things the Freelancer did that made you think good/bad about the job's progress.

- What do you think you could have done better for this job to be a success?

 

etc.

 

Client goes dark, it's Freelancers burden to find them and try to end the contract or they feel it on their stats.

Clients do not know how to do stuff, it's Freelancers job to explain.

Clients get offended when they are reminded of ToS, Freelancer loses the job.

 

and now you expect the freelancer to report?

 

Meh. N/A would suffice for all answers.

I've always believed that there should be a couple questions a freelancer should be able to direct at clients, which the freelancer himself/herself be able to phrase. 

For example, I do video editing here mainly. So, I should be able to set up a question for a freelancer when an offer is sent, which says:
1) Do you already have stills and logos or do you expect me to do graphic design as well?
2) Do you already have music sourced or do you want me to do the selection and consequent music edit?

Just some examples but similar thing is done by other freelancing platforms and this way freelancers can choose to throw in questions when an offer is sent without clear instructions. This kind of question-answer setup makes sense in such a scenario but what is being done here as pointed out by the OP is just bad and a waste of both the client's and freelancer's time. 


dsmgdesign
Member

Oh, Upwork, ever hear of labor misclassification? It's a real thing in the U.S.  I hear Uber is battling this. You may want to "check-in" with your legal team again on how the US federal government views check-ins and oversight. 

 

This is just another reason why I'm broadening my income streams, looking for clients elsewhere, and doing less and less on the Upwork platform. Soon, perhaps a year or two from now, I really hope I've put my Upwork days behind me because of ridiculousness like this. 

 

 


David S M wrote:

Oh, Upwork, ever hear of labor misclassification? It's a real thing in the U.S. I hear Uber is battling this. You may want to "check-in" with your legal team again on how the US federal [sic] government views check-ins and oversight.


oh, btw, it's so soooper sweet Upwork is incorporated and headquartered in the State of California. I can't wait for this and the basic accounting reports which are hidden behind the discriminatory disability paywall to see the light of day. Of all the jurisdictions to find these sketchy practices, it will be the Pioneer Gold Rush State of Predatory Internet Capitalism. This probably isn't covered on Day 1 of Freelancer Daycare.

I did a quick search and found this. It was turned on for me today. I tried not to be offended, but I had clearly stated just a moment before, as I always do, that I check in every few days. I have multiple jobs going on right now, at least 6 I can think of, if EVERY PERSON turned this on, I'd spend ages each Friday filling out the darn thing, instead of my usual, Hey, just checking in. I'm at such and such point. If you've got any questions, let me know. I'm not looking forward to all these Friday check ins and the time it's going to take. Yikes. 


Sarah L wrote:

I did a quick search and found this. It was turned on for me today. I tried not to be offended, but I had clearly stated just a moment before, as I always do, that I check in every few days. I have multiple jobs going on right now, at least 6 I can think of, if EVERY PERSON turned this on, I'd spend ages each Friday filling out the darn thing, instead of my usual, Hey, just checking in. I'm at such and such point. If you've got any questions, let me know. I'm not looking forward to all these Friday check ins and the time it's going to take. Yikes. 


So ... nine pages of a resounding NO, with issues/problems such as Sarah just pointed out, as well as input from some of your best and brightest ... and it's a done deal?

 

Upwork, why do you have pop-ups asking us what we think, when you've proven many times over that you don't actually care about our opinions. I hope, just this once ... that with this auto check-in thing you give some consideration to the feedback you've received in this forum. As Rene pointed out a few pages back ... you are not dealing with the reasons why something like this is  needed. Upwork, it's time to purge again.


Virginia F wrote:

Upwork, why do you have pop-ups asking us what we think, when you've proven many times over that you don't actually care about our opinions. I hope, just this once ... that with this auto check-in thing you give some consideration to the feedback you've received in this forum. As Rene pointed out a few pages back ... you are not dealing with the reasons why something like this is  needed. Upwork, it's time to purge again.


Stop admitting any "freelancer" who can fog a mirror. Institute some meaningful screening mechanisms to ensure new freelancers possess not only marketable skill sets but also minimal levels of common sense, business acumen and enough personal initiative to educate and orient themselves to the platform before they plunge in and create havoc and grief for themselves and their clients. Do this, and you won't need to worry about installing structural handholding and other such protocols because your lowest common denominator will pass minimal muster. At the same time, I promise you'll reduce the overall proportion of accounts that earn the least (if anything) while consuming the most CS resources (either directly by demanding constant handholding or indirectly by creating problems for clients which you then have to address). And, of course, there will be less need to erect this kind of hurdle that has a real obstructive impact on the FLs who are actually earning money for themselves and for UW.

 


Virginia F wrote:

Sarah L wrote:

I did a quick search and found this. It was turned on for me today. I tried not to be offended, but I had clearly stated just a moment before, as I always do, that I check in every few days. I have multiple jobs going on right now, at least 6 I can think of, if EVERY PERSON turned this on, I'd spend ages each Friday filling out the darn thing, instead of my usual, Hey, just checking in. I'm at such and such point. If you've got any questions, let me know. I'm not looking forward to all these Friday check ins and the time it's going to take. Yikes. 


So ... nine pages of a resounding NO, with issues/problems such as Sarah just pointed out, as well as input from some of your best and brightest ... and it's a done deal?

 

Upwork, why do you have pop-ups asking us what we think, when you've proven many times over that you don't actually care about our opinions. I hope, just this once ... that with this auto check-in thing you give some consideration to the feedback you've received in this forum. As Rene pointed out a few pages back ... you are not dealing with the reasons why something like this is  needed. Upwork, it's time to purge again.


I've asked this question a number of times, but have never received an answer (no surprise). We tell you what we think, and then what? What happens after that? You print the complaints out and use them for target practice? Tape them to the walls of your R & D room and laugh at them. Maybe our feedback ends up in the circular file? Everyone in this thread has told you what they think ... to no avail. It would be best if Upwork stopped pretending to care about our feedback.

 

uw popup.png


Sarah L wrote:

I did a quick search and found this. It was turned on for me today. I tried not to be offended, but I had clearly stated just a moment before, as I always do, that I check in every few days. I have multiple jobs going on right now, at least 6 I can think of, if EVERY PERSON turned this on, I'd spend ages each Friday filling out the darn thing, instead of my usual, Hey, just checking in. I'm at such and such point. If you've got any questions, let me know. I'm not looking forward to all these Friday check ins and the time it's going to take. Yikes. 


 

This is my concern as well.  I have a lot of jobs. And a good part of my jobs is ME waiting for the client to submit additional content before I can even start on the job.  This very OFTEN goes over Fridays/weekends. How awkward would it be if the message pops up on Friday when I am still waiting for a client to submit additional content to me?  What do I say?  "uhhh... just waiting for your content...."    And what about the question about what will prevent me from getting the work done next week?   "uhhh... if you still haven't submitted the content back to me..."   I would guess that 95% of the time it will show up a time that isn't appropriate and just creates incredibly awkward moments. 

ugh...  

Absolutely. I look forward to the day when working on badly designed and managed platforms is the thing of the past. 

jorgensons
Member

I just got my first "auto check-in." Thoughts:

 

1. I am a professional. Therefore, I do not need a baby-sitter.

2. If my client has questions, he can (and should) ask me directly.

3. I already provide this information to my clients in the course of general conversation about the project, so I resent being asked to waste my time doing it twice.

4. I am billing the client for time wasted on this process. (Sadly, this won't be an option for fixed-price jobs.)

5. Upwork, please for the love of god DO NOT make this a permanent feature.

heather_lusk
Member

I completed a project for a client this week. She set up the "Check in on a Project" feature:

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?

 

She's new to Upwork and mentioned that she didn't intend to do that. Now that the project is completed and I've been paid why is this still showing up? Does she need to remove it or can I do something on my end? There's no reason to answer the questions, yet I don't want my (currently non-existent) score to be impacted because I ignore this message. 

 

Also I still have no feedback that's appeared for either of my jobs. They both verbally told me I did great work - are they required or encouraged to leave feedback? Or can I leave it for them first and that will prompt them? 

 

I understand I need at least 6-7 different people to provide feedback before my score will increase, which I need to happen in order to apply for more jobs that fit my skill set. 

Hi Heather,

 

First of all, I'd like to congratulate you on another job great done! Seeing you're recently started using Upwork, I'd also like to note that while you're correct that the job you have been hired for has been completed and you've been paid, the contract itself is still open. That's the reason why you received the check-in questions. Please note that your client can enable and disable the auto check-ins via a link in the contract Message room or in the contract terms/setting area. If you're not looking to continue working on new tasks via this contract, you can ask your client to close it, which will enable them to leave feedback for you.

I moved your post to a thread discussing Auto Check-ins, if you'd like to find more information about this feature. Feel free also to follow up in the Community if you have any questions or assistance. have a great day! 💚

~ Vladimir
Upwork