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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

Oh wow! 

So it's bad enough we freelancers are haunted by open contracts the clients (especially new clients who often use our services and then never return to the website ever again) refuse to close and rate, are PENALIZED in our score if we close them ourselves. 

Now we ALSO get to be haunted by these questions every Friday for the end of time.

Wonderful job. You guys just keep knocking out of the park with your website.  Another great decision /eyeroll/

What did you work on this week? Literally nothing, you hired me for a 100$ project a year ago and then never came back after I deliverd.
What will you work on next week? Again, nothing. You probably forgot Upwork exists. Probably because the website is so terrible.
What might delay your planned work? Well I don't have any work for YOU, but my work for my ACTUAL clients might be delayed by receiving this from 20 inactive clients.

 

source.gif

 

Heather, welcome to UW! Here's a little Feedback 101.

 

Either party (FL or client) can close a contract. The one closing it is required to leave fb and the other one is notified of the closure and invited to leave fb. Therefore, it's best when clients close contracts. Often, they don't bother. It's bad form to mention fb to them but perfectly acceptable (and advisable) to send them a quick message along the lines of "If we've wrapped up everything you need on X project, you can close the contract. You can always rehire me with one click in the future." If they don't respond to that within a few weeks, then I may send one more reminder. It's tough when you're starting out and need to stack up some closed contracts in order to establish enough history to get a JSS. But it's better to tolerate a few idle contracts than nag clients. IME some clients just don't like fooling with the UW interface and only log in when they need something (as opposed to when I need something or UW needs something).

 

BTW, idle contracts on which you have earned something do not affect your JSS either way. Closed contracts without client fb can have a negative impact if they represent too big a proportion of your entire base of closed contracts.

 

Public fb is not what steers your fate, private fb does. The calculation is a black box, by design, to keep FLs from hounding clients when their JSS goes up or down. Once you have enough closed jobs to start counting, the most important metric is 'clients who would recommend you' which updates on a different cycle than the JSS number (which updates every second Sunday).

 

The main thing to know about the JSS is that you want to get and keep a score above 90. Once you have 90 for 13 out of 16 weeks, you become Top Rated which entitles you to have one client feedback removed every 10 contracts & three months. That's a nice perk to keep up your sleeve against the inevitable -- but hopefully rare -- situation of a project going sideways or a client running amok. I've never had to use it (yet) but feel better having it. I've been FLing for decades and still, sometimes a project or client gets away from me.

 

Good luck!

 

The problem is clients don't understand any of this. I've had client tell me they are concerned about hiring me because I seem to already be "currently working" on 20 projects. I have to explain they are all completed but I can't close them or I'll hurt my score. It makes the website look bad.

And who knows how many jobs I've lost out on because the client didn't ask me and just assumed I'm too busy or won't make them a priority.

The whole thing is nonsense. 

I've made it a habit any time I close a huge project with a happy client of also closing an old inactive client of a small amount. It often kncoks my rting down 1-2% but it's better than having an infinite number of inactive contracts with out of date clients. I have no idea what to do about the big contracts where the client disappeared. I can't afford to take the hit to my score.

I have NO IDEA why Upwork has decided that clients who leave the website never to return (probably because of their terrible systems and policies) are somehow a measure of how good WE ARE as freelancers. All my clients love me. I just can't exactly force them back to the website to close contracts.

It kind of makes me not want to take a risk on new clients. I don't see how that's beneficial to Upwork.
- Kayla


Kayla B wrote:

 I have to explain they are all completed but I can't close them or I'll hurt my score.


Closing contracts yourself does not hurt your score.

Contracts that had previous earnings don't hurt your JSS if you close them yourself, unless you have an insanely high percentage of such contracts, which you don't.


Heather L wrote:

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

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?

 

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. 


 

Why am I not surprised it doesn't stop after no more activity? LOL Can't wait to wake up every friday to spammed messages on 20 different dead contracts.

It's too bad Upwork doesn't let us vote on things they test on us. We're essentially lab rats to them.

 

Also. My question is...what happened that made Upwork want to do this? I guess since they saw a bunch of lab-rats running around, they were like..."hm, what would make us more money? Let's do some testing!"

lucioric
Member

I have some fixed price contracts, with no active milestones, will that contracts raise the Auto-check-ins?

Hi Lucio Ricardo,

 

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. 

~ Valeria
Upwork

Will it be automatically turned on, or automatically turned off. What is
the default state if a client does not touch the setting?

Wait if this auto cheek-in thing works , then we need a option of auto close contract, if client do not answer question why contract is still open in 7 days , then contract get close by UpWork without negative impact on JSS.

What you think about this?


Slavko A wrote:

 then contract get close by UpWork without negative impact on JSS.


Again... Closing contracts yourself doesn't hurt your JSS.

 

Kayla B wrote:
Will it be automatically turned on, or automatically turned off. What is
the default state if a client does not touch the setting?

It seems to be off by default. Otherwise I'd have had them from long dormant contracts.

I'd say it's about 30-40% of contracts that just disappear never to come back. They are happy, the job is done, so they stop coming to the website.  Anytime I close one on the next score date it goes down by 1-2%, so I'm pretty sure it DOES effect it.

As for the auto-turn on, I know from the client side for EXISTING contracts it wasn't automatically turned on (it kept trying to ask me to, the pop-up happened 5 times before it stopped!). But I'm wondering for new contracts if they are going to automatically turn it on. 

I haven't started a new contract as a client or a freelancer since the new "feature"



Petra R wrote:

Slavko A wrote:

 then contract get close by UpWork without negative impact on JSS.


Again... Closing contracts yourself doesn't hurt your JSS.

How this can be possible closing contract without feedback , have no impact on JSS?


Slavko A wrote:

Petra R wrote:

Slavko A wrote:

 then contract get close by UpWork without negative impact on JSS.


Again... Closing contracts yourself doesn't hurt your JSS.

How this can be possible closing contract without feedback , have no impact on JSS?


As long as money has been paid it doesn't, provided you don't close loads at once or have an insane percentage of such contracts. There are people with 100% JSS and way over half having no feedback.


I've never had my JSS drop when closing a contract either.

 

do not affect.png

Petra, what would be a job that lacked earnings but had a positive outcome? A client no longer needing the work done?


Sarah B wrote:

Petra, what would be a job that lacked earnings but had a positive outcome?


A contract closed by the client with positive private feedback. Changes of contract type, a mistake made while hiring and not caught before accepting etc.

Thank you ,I was misinformed about this.Screenshot_2020-10-04 Job Success Score.png

 

Excellent feedback from professional freelancers, too many to quote.

 

I've observed some other random features and changes. I can see Upwork is making an effort, to "improve" the platform for freelancers and clients, I'm just not sure where the strategy or direction is coming from. Obviously I have no direct access to the data, only my experience and what I read on this forum. It would appear in Upworks' best interest to rid itself of freelancers who perform poorly (and I see they are trying - but as others have said, DO NOT LET THEM ON IN THE FIRST PLACE) and clients seeking very low $$ work. 

 

The bottom line for me - is Upwork needs to decide what its core function is:

1) Lead generation site for freelancers

2) "Labor" sourcing for clients

3) "Labor" management for clients

4) Escrow payment company for both?

 

It's quite to easy to see how Upwork is where it is, and I am grateful to have located the site and some amazing clients.  But it's time for Upwork to "pick a lane."  Since Covid, I see remote work becoming more the norm and a real move toward project work (my preception, nothing to back it up). I, for one, would prefer to see Upwork reconfigure toward a high end service for freelancers and clients who DO NOT REQUIRE a "Friday nanny" to check work status. 


Slavko A wrote:

Wait if this auto cheek-in thing works , then we need a option of auto close contract, if client do not answer question why contract is still open in 7 days , then contract get close by UpWork without negative impact on JSS.

What you think about this?


No, bad idea.


Slavko A wrote:

Wait if this auto cheek-in thing works , then we need a option of auto close contract, if client do not answer question why contract is still open in 7 days , then contract get close by UpWork without negative impact on JSS.

What you think about this?


No no no no no. I, and I'm sure many others here, have contracts that are open for a very long time with sporadic work. We don't need weekly prompts asking if it should stay open, just like we don't need weekly prompts asking how it's going. 

jorgensons
Member

So far this month, I've been hired for two jobs -- and they've both enabled this asinine auto-check in feature. One is an hourly job, so fine, I'll do it and get paid for the 5 minutes I spend providing information I've already provided in the course of normal professional communication. If that's what the client wants, I'll begrudgingly do it since I'm being compensated.

But the fixed price one? Where I'm not getting paid? No thanks. I will be ignoring those emails since they weren't part of the contract discussion, there's no additional compensation, and my client will already have the information because...you know...I'm a professional who communicates with my clients. My understanding is that there's no penalty for refusing to participate. Someone please let me know if I'm wrong.

On Upwork, the bulk of my jobs consist of writing or updating resumes and LinkedIn profiles. These are small jobs, which means I often have 5 or more active projects at a time, plus a dozen or so inactive contracts for ongoing jobs. (And for clients who, despite multiple promptings, have not closed contracts on their own.) If auto check-in becomes the norm -- and it seems like it will be based on my recent experience -- this means I'll have 17+ pointless, redundant progress reports to write each Friday. At 5 minutes each, that's almost an hour and a half of my time being wasted. About half of these jobs are flat fee, so that's about 45 minutes of wasted time that's also unpaid. On a Friday afternoon. When I just want to finish my work and start my weekend. Hell no.

As usual, Upwork has no idea what kind of burden it's actually placing on freelancers with its supposedly helpful innovations. This helps NO ONE, not even the freelancers who are so unprofessional that they don't know how to communicate. Getting an email isn't going to change their behavior; they're already ignoring emails/messages from clients. Why does Upwork think they'll do anything but ignore these emails as well? Meanwhile, the good freelancers -- the professionals who make the bulk of the money on this site -- are punished. It makes no sense.


Signe J wrote:

So far this month, I've been hired for two jobs -- and they've both enabled this asinine auto-check in feature. One is an hourly job, so fine, I'll do it and get paid for the 5 minutes I spend providing information I've already provided in the course of normal professional communication. If that's what the client wants, I'll begrudgingly do it since I'm being compensated.

But the fixed price one? Where I'm not getting paid? No thanks. I will be ignoring those emails since they weren't part of the contract discussion, there's no additional compensation, and my client will already have the information because...you know...I'm a professional who communicates with my clients. My understanding is that there's no penalty for refusing to participate. Someone please let me know if I'm wrong.

On Upwork, the bulk of my jobs consist of writing or updating resumes and LinkedIn profiles. These are small jobs, which means I often have 5 or more active projects at a time, plus a dozen or so inactive contracts for ongoing jobs. (And for clients who, despite multiple promptings, have not closed contracts on their own.) If auto check-in becomes the norm -- and it seems like it will be based on my recent experience -- this means I'll have 17+ pointless, redundant progress reports to write each Friday. At 5 minutes each, that's almost an hour and a half of my time being wasted. About half of these jobs are flat fee, so that's about 45 minutes of wasted time that's also unpaid. On a Friday afternoon. When I just want to finish my work and start my weekend. Hell no.

As usual, Upwork has no idea what kind of burden it's actually placing on freelancers with its supposedly helpful innovations. This helps NO ONE, not even the freelancers who are so unprofessional that they don't know how to communicate. Getting an email isn't going to change their behavior; they're already ignoring emails/messages from clients. Why does Upwork think they'll do anything but ignore these emails as well? Meanwhile, the good freelancers -- the professionals who make the bulk of the money on this site -- are punished. It makes no sense.


I also understand that there will be no penalty from Upwork if questions are not answered.
But I have the doubt. What about the customer? Client has activated the questions, so I assume that client will want to receive an answer.
If I do not answer, it is possible that the client takes that wrong, and the one who will penalize me may be the client.



I also understand that there will be no penalty from Upwork if questions are not answered.
But I have the doubt. What about the customer? Client has activated the questions, so I assume that client will want to receive an answer.
If I do not answer, it is possible that the client takes that wrong, and the one who will penalize me may be the client.


I'm optimistic -- perhaps too optimistic -- that strong communication and building good relationships with my clients will overcome not responding to an auto-message. I guess we'll see. 

penngrp
Member

I have done numerous projects over the years, andI have seen older comments regarding the topic of auto check-ins, but never experienced it; that is until now. My last two projects all of a sudden have stated "auto check-in enabled"...Seriously? I think I am fully capable of communicating with my clients, 

There are many other areas that Upwork could improve; such as the order and time in which proposals are shown to clients, (Hint Hint).

wlyonsatl
Member

Whose great idea was it to initiate this new "feature"?

 

I have 12 - 14 open projects at any given time. Will an algorithm-driven nanny see that I receive these oh-so-useful questions for every project every Friday?

 

If you insist on wasting my time on these unhelpful questions every Friday, you are not going to like my answers.

 

QUOTE
Upwork
3:52 PM EST, 24 Nov 2020
Auto Check-ins help keep everyone on the same page. Every Friday, weโ€™ll ask Will to answer three key questions that help keep the project on track:

>What did you work on this week?
What will you work on next week?
What might delay your planned work?

 

UNQUOTE

 

Or maybe I should just tell you my answers now:

 

1) Improving my golf game

2) Improving my golf game

3) Not improving my golf game as much as I'd like to.

 

wlyonsatl
Member

Yesterday I accepted a contract from a new client. He then signed us up for the new Auto-Check-Ins โ€œfeature.โ€

 

This is how our conversation went in regards to that choice:

 

Me: You're my first client to use the Auto Check-in feature. I've never had a complaint from a client that I don't communicate regularly and well during a project, but I'll be happy to answer these three questions each week. This will probably take me about 15 - 20 minutes each week, which you'll see detailed in my weekly work hours report from Upwork.

 

Client: Oh, I didn't know if that was something that was common. Can I change it?

 

Me: I don't know. It's a new "feature" Upwork has recently introduced. Please let me know if you can't find a way to make that change.

 

Client: I removed it.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


I suggest freelancers now ask potential clients if they will want weekly Auto-Check-Ins and inform these clients that theyโ€™ll be happy to spend the time on answering the three questions each week, which will add $ ____ to the total cost of the project.

 

Itโ€™s only fair that each client should fully understand the total cost of their project.

Good call. So far, no clients have asked me for that (thankfully), and I don't want anything to do with it, even if they do pay for my time. If somebody does request it, I plan to say something to the effect that I will give them regular updates and if they feel like there's anything lacking in my communication, they can then go ahead and enable this [stupid and unnecessary] feature. (Which is the message that Upwork ought to be giving clients, but... whatever.)

I've only had one turn it on and I just ignored it.

97fb76d3
Member

This thread began almost three months ago and still has no positive comments. This feature is still active today, annoying clients (like mine) and freelancers (like me).

 

I didn't even know it existed a week ago and briefly considered dropping the client who activated it. Fortunately, it occurred to me that UW may have nudged her to it. Good thing I know how UW conducts business, because she turned out to be a great client who's just new to the platform.

 

Like one of the previous commenters, she clicked the "helpful" popup and didn't know how to turn it off. I searched the forum for the answer and - what a surprise - found a 14-page thread of negative feedback.

 

Why burden the system and its users to continue a test that has already failed? Who benefits from it besides its developers?

One of my clients is using it and he's just so nice I don't want to make
him feel bad asking him to turn it off. He also seems to have been nudged
into it and barely knows what it does. This is going to happen a lot with
new clients.

Some weeks I just ignore it and he doesn't seem to mind/care.

When it's relevant I answer it.

It's still not a feature bringing ANY value.

I just sent a final print final to a client yesterday, for a project that I've been working on since October. TODAY she turned on the auto check in feature. It's nonsensical, and after reading this thread I can only imagine she got tired of seeing the prompt and finally just clicked okay. I haven't asked her yet.

 

I have not seen it suggested yet but TOP RATED and TOP RATED PLUS freelancers should be exempted from this babysitting as a perk. We've proven (I should hope) that we know how to communicate with clients as necessary. I won't repeat what other smart freelancers have said other than to reiterate that it's COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY, annoying, and a waste of our time.

No response to my last post and this morning I had two more check-in requests waiting, from clients who don't even know how it got activated, and have no interest in my canned response to the canned questions. Can we please opt out of this if we are top rated or top rated plus?

6a0fd198
Member

Hi there.

I have a contract with a client where he has enabled the auto-check in feature.

I completed all the milestones in the first week and he said he would have more work for me after another two weeks(This is an ongoing contract). Since currently I have no new milestones, I haven't responded to the auto-check in questions for the last 2 weeks. Would this affect my response time or have any other negative impacts? My client and I are on the same page.


Muhammad U wrote:

I haven't responded to the auto-check in questions for the last 2 weeks. Would this affect my response time or have any other negative impacts?


No, it won't affect anything. You may want to ask the client to turn it off.

Hi Muhammad,

 

I would like to clarify that ignoring these questions won't have any effect on your account or stats. 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 or talk to your client about the questions/updates/expectations.

Thank you,

~ Nikola
Upwork


Nikola S wrote:

Hi Muhammad,

 

I would like to clarify that ignoring these questions won't have any effect on your account or stats. 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 or talk to your client about the questions/updates/expectations.

Thank you,


The rationale behind this is absurd, and the prompts do absolutely nothing to facilitate "better" communication. There has got to be an option for top-rated or top-rated plus freelancers to opt out of this. New clients don't even know what it is but they feel compelled to turn it on after multiple unsolicited prompts from Upwork. It's completely annoying and unhelpful.

 

Please let top rated freelancers opt out of this babysitting. I shouldn't have to ask clients to turn it off either; that's awkward.

I'm so thankful that out of maybe 10-25 contracts opened since they introduced this dumb thing, I've only had 1 client turn it on and I just ignored it. Funny enough, it was the one contract that didn't go so well too lol

I want to leave my negative feedback on this as well. 

 

1. It looks like clients are clicking on it without wanting to turn it on. This is very bad UX and annoying for the clients and freelancers alike

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

 

2. Some clients activated it and after the job was done (and fully paid), they are no longer responding to messages. 

 

I can't close my job, since it will negatively affect Job success score, and I can't turn off this automatic check-in feature either. So, it keeps pinging me every Friday on an inactive job. 


Just imagine the chaos, if you have several open jobs like this (which is a very likely scenario), Upwork needs to do something about this

 


David B wrote:

I can't close my job, since it will negatively affect Job success score, 

 No, it will do no such thing. Just close the contract and be done with it. Unless the client actually comes back and leaves back feedback, there will be no effect on your JSS of any sort.