- Clever Upwork Team App
- Mobile app available
- Professional mediation between parties
- Secure, foolproof payment
- Huge variety of available works
- No registration/monthly/annual fee
- Up to 20% payment deduction (freelancers)
- No live chat support
Some people feel discouraged from outsourcing different tasks to freelancers because they find the work management hard or unstable. Upwork is the kind of business that took the good-old freelancing website formula and added professional tools to maintain the balance between employers and employees. The process is quite similar to a real-life job interview: the client uploads a project (that either pays hourly or upon completion), while freelancers who are interested in the offer can make their bids. Furthermore, the site protects the interests of both parties, eliminating disputes and issues through its online tools and solutions. One of Upwork’s greatest achievements is the site’s very own application that manages time sheets, work documentation and payments under the same roof. However, the cherry on the top is that you don’t need to pay a dime to become part of the community: registration and job requests are free, only actual transactions are charged with a certain fee.
Upwork serves as a skilled mediator between freelance workers and employers. Contrary to other freelance websites, Upwork’s job doesn’t stop when it connects two parties together, as the site continuously nurtures the relationship between clients and freelancers with an array of online tools.
Furthermore, Upwork doesn’t distinguish between jobs, permitting applications for any kind of work that can be done in front of a computer. From IT (including software and app development) engineering and visual design, to writing, translations, administrative duties and customer support – Upwork supports a vast array of popular job categories. The site is very strict about its policy, excluding any and all possibilities of cheating the system: freelancers get paid according to the exact time they have worked (i.e. a one-hour job equals an hour paid), while employers must prefund any created milestone.
Registering on Upwork feels like becoming a member of an actual job network, like LinkedIn. This means you are free to express your skills and talents on your profile and even mark whether you are a beginner in your field or an expert. The latter step is extremely important as it heavily influences your wages and the job recommendations you receive.
When applying for a position, the client goes through your “resume” and if you are eligible for the work, contacts you for an interview. To protect you from being exploited, Upwork created monitoring software that records your work every 10 minutes, which you can show as undisputable proof should you have a quarrel with the client. When you work by the project, you are paid when certain milestones are met. Still, if you reach said milestone, you get your payment immediately as clients must leave the money for you in advance.
And last but not least, be sure to stand out from the rest: diligent freelancers who excel in their field of work earn the “Top Rated” rank and appear at the top of the respective search list.
Despite the fact that employers outsource tasks and jobs to complete strangers, the work environment is highly secured. First, your status as an employer is well-protected. Second, there is the apple of Upwork’s eye, the authentication system: it not only screens all newcomers, but provides job scores as well to help you make a wise choice when going through a freelancer’s resume.
As for the jobs themselves, Upwork permits both long-term and short term assignments, both with the possibility of paying your workers by the hour. To avoid issues and disputes, employers are able to monitor the employee’s work through the software: it takes screenshots of the agent’s screen and logs key strokes, ultimately serving as undeniable proof of your employee’s activity. And as a countermeasure against getting nothing for your money, the Upwork Payment Protection feature only pays your worker’s fee when you’ve validated their progress.
Relying on Upwork when it comes to choosing the ideal candidate for your work is pretty easy. Clients can post a job offer with a detailed task description, deadline and overall budget without paying a single dime. Then vyou can either accept those freelancers recommended by the system or you can wait for others to apply to the job themselves. The most important part is when the candidates bid on your project and name the price they are willing to take the job for. However, price tags are just one part of the equation; before picking a sympathetic “volunteer”, you can check his/her skills, portfolio and previous job experience as well.
After hiring the right person for the job, you both have to download the Upwork Team App, which serves as the main hub, connecting team members via live chat to discuss the assignments and share files. It also houses the monitoring tool that keeps track of the freelancer’s activity, not to mention the time sheets and work assignments which can also be managed here. Quite uniquely, the Upwork Team App exists as a smartphone app as well, intended for clients who are on the go or cannot access their computer all the time. It’s basically the same as the desktop software, but instead of live chatting it allows you to place calls.
Last but not least, if you are concerned about the safety of payments: they can be done through the aforementioned Upwork Payment Protection feature that serves as an encrypted private network between the two parties.
At Upwork, finances depend on the mutual agreement between clients and freelancers. Workers should learn not to overprice their skills, while employers must pay the right price if they want to hire an expert. With that said, let’s move onto the good news: Upwork doesn’t charge you for submitting a freelancer account/posting a job offer or for downloading and using the application. The company does charge some extra fees when clients pay: depending on the job, the system deducts 20%, 10% or 5% from the wage of the freelancer, while payments are subject to a 2.75% processing fee. In case clients really want the best, they can opt for the Upwork Pro service: for $500 you get a dedicated team of Upwork personnel which helps you pick the best freelancer and manage the most tedious part of the work.
Upwork doesn’t shy away when clients or freelancers approach them with a question. The contact page proudly displays a phone number (if you prefer a more personal approach) and an email address if you have an issue that could only be explained via an attached screenshot. The website itself is also very informative, since there is a separate page with several know-hows for employers and workers alike. However, if you prefer the audiovisual format instead of plain written texts, give Upwork’s YouTube channel a try, where you can find a nice gallery of introductory and tutorial videos.
Instead of being just a simple job board, Upwork puts a professional spin on the freelancing website formula, making it an ideal place for clients to hire professionals. Freelancers can bid for open positions and showcase their greatest strengths on their profile page. Clients can stay in touch with their newfound employees via the Upwork Team App, a Swiss army knife of contact tools that allows live chatting, file sharing and work monitoring through screenshots on PCs and mobile devices alike. Upwork also has clever solutions to eliminate common disputes regarding payments, like providing secure monitoring channels and ensuring all participants that no payment is sent without the prior acceptance of the finished job. Probably the only major con of Upwork is that the company deducts certain amounts from both clients and freelancers as fees (2.5% and up to 20% respectively). However, the service is free to join, proving once and for all that Upwork is not only innovative but very generous as well.