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working on multiple contracts at the same time?

Ace Contributor
George J Member Since: Nov 9, 2014
1 of 23

I have several contracts at the moment. There have been times in the past where I need to work on two or three at the same time. To do this, I have several desktops and a pair of laptops that I work from as well as virtual machines on one desktop and one laptop. Once in a while the screenshot is taken where I happen to have a file open with sensitive information displayed (usually passwords), and later I'll go in and remove that block of time to get rid of the screenshot and add manual time. If that time overlaps with time recorded for another contract, it will tell me that I can't add time in that slot because time was already recorded for the other contract, so I have to tack it on at the end of the day or earlier in the day.

 

Is there a way around this? Because two of my clients are in the same time zone there's going to be times where they both need me around the same time and the type of work I do allows for the ability to handle multiple tasks at the same time (i.e. adding a firewall rule for one client while rebooting a server for another).

Community Guru
Scott E Member Since: Jul 26, 2015
2 of 23

Just do fixed rate projects rather than hourly. If you're only working on hourly projects, you charge $100 an hour, and you work 50 hours a week... in my opinion, you shouldn't really be earning any more than $5000 a week. If you're doing fixed rate projects, then the sky's the limit!

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Ace Contributor
George J Member Since: Nov 9, 2014
3 of 23

@Scott E wrote:

Just do fixed rate projects rather than hourly. If you're only working on hourly projects, you charge $100 an hour, and you work 50 hours a week... in my opinion, you shouldn't really be earning any more than $5000 a week. If you're doing fixed rate projects, then the sky's the limit!


 

Nah, I've tried the fixed project route and I never land the contracts. Bad enough that I have to compete with overseas freelancers charging a fraction of my hourly rate but most fixed rate gigs with my skillset start out at ridiculously low pay for a given project. Plus I'm guaranteed payment for hourly gigs, and that's definitely something I need.

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
4 of 23

@George J wrote:

@Scott E wrote:

Just do fixed rate projects rather than hourly. If you're only working on hourly projects, you charge $100 an hour, and you work 50 hours a week... in my opinion, you shouldn't really be earning any more than $5000 a week. If you're doing fixed rate projects, then the sky's the limit!


 

Nah, I've tried the fixed project route and I never land the contracts. Bad enough that I have to compete with overseas freelancers charging a fraction of my hourly rate but most fixed rate gigs with my skillset start out at ridiculously low pay for a given project. Plus I'm guaranteed payment for hourly gigs, and that's definitely something I need.


I believe that a key reason the guaranteed payment associated with hourly jobs requires use of the tracker is to prevent precisely what you are describing, generally termed "double billing". 

Ace Contributor
George J Member Since: Nov 9, 2014
5 of 23

@Tiffany S wrote:

@George J wrote:

@Scott E wrote:

Just do fixed rate projects rather than hourly. If you're only working on hourly projects, you charge $100 an hour, and you work 50 hours a week... in my opinion, you shouldn't really be earning any more than $5000 a week. If you're doing fixed rate projects, then the sky's the limit!


 

Nah, I've tried the fixed project route and I never land the contracts. Bad enough that I have to compete with overseas freelancers charging a fraction of my hourly rate but most fixed rate gigs with my skillset start out at ridiculously low pay for a given project. Plus I'm guaranteed payment for hourly gigs, and that's definitely something I need.


I believe that a key reason the guaranteed payment associated with hourly jobs requires use of the tracker is to prevent precisely what you are describing, generally termed "double billing". 


 

Double billing would be billing a client for the same work twice. What I'm describing it billing two separate clients for work done for both of them simultaneously. For example:

 

Client 1 wants me to help build Docker instances for their project.

Client 2 calls me to tell me that they need a site to site vpn set up between a new remote site and their office and it needs to be done ASAP.

 

In my environment, I can do both of these simultaneously on different PCs, and that's what I currently do.

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
6 of 23

@George J wrote:

@Tiffany S wrote:

@George J wrote:

@Scott E wrote:

Just do fixed rate projects rather than hourly. If you're only working on hourly projects, you charge $100 an hour, and you work 50 hours a week... in my opinion, you shouldn't really be earning any more than $5000 a week. If you're doing fixed rate projects, then the sky's the limit!


 

Nah, I've tried the fixed project route and I never land the contracts. Bad enough that I have to compete with overseas freelancers charging a fraction of my hourly rate but most fixed rate gigs with my skillset start out at ridiculously low pay for a given project. Plus I'm guaranteed payment for hourly gigs, and that's definitely something I need.


I believe that a key reason the guaranteed payment associated with hourly jobs requires use of the tracker is to prevent precisely what you are describing, generally termed "double billing". 


 

Double billing would be billing a client for the same work twice. What I'm describing it billing two separate clients for work done for both of them simultaneously. For example:

 

Client 1 wants me to help build Docker instances for their project.

Client 2 calls me to tell me that they need a site to site vpn set up between a new remote site and their office and it needs to be done ASAP.

 

In my environment, I can do both of these simultaneously on different PCs, and that's what I currently do.


You can't simultaneously DO two different things on different PCs. You may have a process running on one PC while you're actually working on another, but you cannot be giving each of those clients an hour of your attention during that hour. 

 

 

Ace Contributor
George J Member Since: Nov 9, 2014
7 of 23

@Tiffany S wrote:

@George J wrote:

@Tiffany S wrote:

@George J wrote:

@Scott E wrote:

Just do fixed rate projects rather than hourly. If you're only working on hourly projects, you charge $100 an hour, and you work 50 hours a week... in my opinion, you shouldn't really be earning any more than $5000 a week. If you're doing fixed rate projects, then the sky's the limit!


 

Nah, I've tried the fixed project route and I never land the contracts. Bad enough that I have to compete with overseas freelancers charging a fraction of my hourly rate but most fixed rate gigs with my skillset start out at ridiculously low pay for a given project. Plus I'm guaranteed payment for hourly gigs, and that's definitely something I need.


I believe that a key reason the guaranteed payment associated with hourly jobs requires use of the tracker is to prevent precisely what you are describing, generally termed "double billing". 


 

Double billing would be billing a client for the same work twice. What I'm describing it billing two separate clients for work done for both of them simultaneously. For example:

 

Client 1 wants me to help build Docker instances for their project.

Client 2 calls me to tell me that they need a site to site vpn set up between a new remote site and their office and it needs to be done ASAP.

 

In my environment, I can do both of these simultaneously on different PCs, and that's what I currently do.


You can't simultaneously DO two different things on different PCs. You may have a process running on one PC while you're actually working on another, but you cannot be giving each of those clients an hour of your attention during that hour. 

 

 


 It's really not that hard to do, honestly, especially in the scenario I just provided. I'm used to it having worked in environments where heavy multi-tasking was the norm for many years. I'm used to building out a small datacenter's servers (40+ Windows/10 Sun Solaris) in a single 8hr shift by myself every other week because development rolled out new code for us to test. Multitasking has been a part of my professional career for over 16 years.

 

 

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
8 of 23

@George J wrote:

@Tiffany S wrote:

@George J wrote:

@Tiffany S wrote:

@George J wrote:

@Scott E wrote:

Just do fixed rate projects rather than hourly. If you're only working on hourly projects, you charge $100 an hour, and you work 50 hours a week... in my opinion, you shouldn't really be earning any more than $5000 a week. If you're doing fixed rate projects, then the sky's the limit!


 

Nah, I've tried the fixed project route and I never land the contracts. Bad enough that I have to compete with overseas freelancers charging a fraction of my hourly rate but most fixed rate gigs with my skillset start out at ridiculously low pay for a given project. Plus I'm guaranteed payment for hourly gigs, and that's definitely something I need.


I believe that a key reason the guaranteed payment associated with hourly jobs requires use of the tracker is to prevent precisely what you are describing, generally termed "double billing". 


 

Double billing would be billing a client for the same work twice. What I'm describing it billing two separate clients for work done for both of them simultaneously. For example:

 

Client 1 wants me to help build Docker instances for their project.

Client 2 calls me to tell me that they need a site to site vpn set up between a new remote site and their office and it needs to be done ASAP.

 

In my environment, I can do both of these simultaneously on different PCs, and that's what I currently do.


You can't simultaneously DO two different things on different PCs. You may have a process running on one PC while you're actually working on another, but you cannot be giving each of those clients an hour of your attention during that hour. 

 

 


 It's really not that hard to do, honestly, especially in the scenario I just provided. I'm used to it having worked in environments where heavy multi-tasking was the norm for many years. I'm used to building out a small datacenter's servers (40+ Windows/10 Sun Solaris) in a single 8hr shift by myself every other week because development rolled out new code for us to test. Multitasking has been a part of my professional career for over 16 years.

 

 


I'm not questioning whether you can get the work done. I'm questioning whether you are devoting 60 minutes of time to each of your two or three clients during that time. Actually, I'm not questioning it--I'm saying that it's impossible.

 

I am also a multi-tasker. I work on a fixed price basis for the vast majority of my jobs, and on the rare occasion that a client strongly prefers an hourly basis then I either work on one project at a time or I split the billing, since I am obviously not 100% focused on each client's project during the same moment. 

Active Member
May Amor M Member Since: Jun 27, 2019
9 of 23
Can I use one upwork account while having 2 different jobs at the same time? But different desktop as well. How will the screenshot works for the two jobs with different clients while I’m using 1 account but different desktop?
Moderator
Avery O Moderator Member Since: Nov 23, 2015
10 of 23

Hi May, 

Please know that users will not be able to track time for two contracts simultaenously. You will also not be able to add manual time for hours where there is tracked time already. 

I would also like to confirm that only the hired freelancer is allowed to work and log time on an Hourly contract as per Upwork ToS.


-Avery
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