Upwork
Freelance Platform

Upwork is a global elancing platform that connects businesses across the globe to collaborate on projects without limits. The platform is open to all firms, agencies, professionals, and freelancers. Upwork lets talented freelancers from graphics designers, website developers to freelance writers earn money for collaborating with entrepreneurs from across the globe. It initially started as a bridge between enterprises and individuals who want to connect for business purposes. Upwork is a merger of two formally separate entities Elance and oDesk, firstly as Elance-oDesk in 2013, before changing their name to Upwork in 2015. By modern set-up, Upwork.com has a completely modern and professional setup that makes the platform worthwhile for both employers and professionals. A distinctive feature of the Upwork platform is the generic bidding feature which makes it possible for employers to set the price they are willing to pay, and freelancers to set the price they are willing to accept. Both parties can start working as soon as they have established favorable terms, and both employers and freelancers pay a fee to the platform for collaboration and arbitration of the work process on the platform.

How it Works

Upwork is a generic freelance marketplace. What this means is that you can hire freelancers in any niche to work on anything. Freelance marketplaces are commonplace today and there are limitless opportunities for skilled professionals to benefit from working on these platforms. Like ordinary marketplaces, freelance marketplaces allow you to pay for skills that could be virtually anything. In so far as you do not need the creator to be present with you, at the point where you are providing such skills, Upwork can make the difference between hiring a full-time employee to work out of your office, for which you will spend significantly more. People hire freelance to complete a range of remote tasks such as writing, market research, programming, and graphics design. The difference between Upwork as platforms like Rejolut.com is that while we at Rejolut focus on providing specialized blockchain programming and other enterprise or business automation services, Upwork covers a wide range of services in diverse industries that can be done remotely. There are also other specialized and generic websites where employers can hire independent professionals on the internet to complete remote tasks.

Upwork uses a bidding system that allows employers to collaborate with freelancers on agreed terms. As an employer looking to hire a freelancer on Upwork you need to write a request that matches the combination of skills and talent you are looking for. Let’s say you need to build a website for your business for which you need the services of a website developer. You can state your requirements clearly in a request and post that request on Upwork. Since Upwork is a global platform, other employers also post their requests on the platform which makes it competitive because freelance professionals are probably going to be most interested in working with the best-paying employers. You will also set other parameters such as time and duration of the collaboration to help freelancers understand the terms of their work with you if they are interested.

Freelancers submit proposals to your request after reading, describing their experience, skills, and how all these will help them deliver excellently if they are selected to work with you on your project. Big employers sometimes set objective requirements which they are not willing to go back on by any means to get the best. Since Upwork is global, there are often hundreds of proposals for any job posted on the platform. The advantage of this is that it allows employers to select what they are willing to let go of in terms of skills and money, or helps them strike a balance between both. Freelancers can also set their custom hourly rate in their proposals to let their employer know their terms after reading their unique requests which tell the employers a bit of who they are and what they can offer.

Upwork also uses a non-vetted rule. By this, it is meant that the platform reviews the application of freelancers and brings them on board after weighing the need for such freelancers on their platforms. They do this by comparing the skills and experience of such a freelancer with the demand by employers on their platform which makes Upwork a bit frustrating for freelancers since they must be in demand to get on the platform in the first place.

Just A Quick Note

Elance-Odesk was the first platform to show the world the huge possibility of remote work. They set their platform apart with a unique and comfortable setup for both freelancers and employers and they quickly established themselves as a leader in the industry with elaborate setups to make hiring and working easy on both sides. Freelancers across the globe also found the unique freedom they have been looking for through Upwork, and with the freelance economy growing, the platform launched an IPO which valued the company at $1.6 billion in 2017. Today the freelance economy has grown so big with competitors springing up from every corner, so Upworks share has gone way down even though it was the first robust marketplace connecting freelancers with employers. Upwork also increased the fee it charges employers, but that has not helped it keep up with the pace of development of other platforms.

The Advantages of Upwork

Largest freelance platform

Upwork is by far the largest freelance platform with a pool of exceptional to lesser skilled freelancers like websites and other developers for hire. Most employers who have been hiring freelancers to date will also prefer to use Upwork because they must have heard their colleagues mention it at some point. Freelancers on Upwork come from over 180 countries and the platform currently has about 15 million active users. The advantage of being the first freelance platform has helped Upwork establish itself and gain the trust of a wide range of employers.

Wide Range of Skills

Upwork has a wide range of skilled professionals from virtual assistants to copywriters, legal professionals, financial experts, and developers. Most of the employers on Upwork use the platform because they started their business with the services of freelancers on the platform and they may not be comfortable with the idea of going elsewhere. The diversity and range of skills cutting across all levels also make Upwork the go-to platform for businesses looking to hire part-time since they do not need to bring these freelancers to the office where they will spend more for less productivity.

Cheaper Rates

There are often numerous freelancers bidding for a gig at any given time on Upwork.com. Some freelancers, therefore, decide to use a technique known as damping to reduce the cost of hiring them on their proposals in a bid to attract potential clients. Upwork’s bidding system makes this possible by allowing each freelancer to set the price at which they are willing to do any given job posted by an employer in w request.

Payment Protection

Payments on Upwork are held in an escrow until the job is completed. As an employer, you must pay upfront for your job to be completed on Upwork but the funds do not go to the freelancer until the job is done. Depending on the terms of the agreement, you can release payments to freelancers after the completion of each step of your project. The payment will then be released by Upwork to the freelancer after you have successfully confirmed that the project is according to your requirement. The escrow setup on Upwork is a unique feature of the platform which protects the employers whether they hire developers or any other professional.

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The Disadvantages of Upwork

Dumping

The strategy mentioned earlier which skilled freelancers, mostly from less developed countries used to hire developers on Upwork is a major problem on the platform. Whether you are looking to hire specialized developers or other freelancers, chances are, there is often a mismatch between skills and demand for these skills by professionals. The estimates of the number of employers for each freelancer on Upwork is 3 to 1 which makes Upwork super competitive and great for employers but bad for highly skilled freelancers. Since most of these freelancers are now working independently out of these platforms as freelance consultants, the quality of work on the platform has diminished remarkably.

Black Hat Freelancers

Some employers have noted their terrible experiences with freelancers on Upwork with dismay. The issue happens to be that after a specified time without news from the employer, Upwork assumes that the employer in question is satisfied. Just like in a court of law where silence is taken for a yes, the same happens when an employer fails to say that they are or are not satisfied with the work they have received. On the flip side, most employers are busy entrepreneurs who are focused on other things at the time of such submission. There may have been a level ground lately but some freelancers have gotten away with this.

Vetting

Most employers assume that freelancers on Upwork are top pros in the game who know what they are doing well enough to never make mistakes. At least they assume that it takes a pro to be there. Although, that is not the case, and there have been several stories of equivocal profiles. There are often no professional requirements a person needs to fulfill to work on Upwork, and certificate vetting only used to be a thing on the platform. So to be on the safer side, it is advisable to do your own vetting before hiring a freelancer.

Poor Customer Support

Customer support is undoubtedly the saddest thing about the Upwork platform. Upwork has no established customer support team. There are FAQs at best but there are no real people who follow up with real situations on the platform in real-time. Upwork hardly responds to queries on either side and worse still they feel like their approach to their customers makes it look like they have it all which is not the case.

From A User Perspective

It would likely be inaccurate to say anything about Upwork from the outside since those who work there daily should be in the best position to make defining statements about Upwork. So we will look at some of the reviews of Upwork from both the employer and freelancer sides.

The best User Reviews

Awesome Platform

Our first review on Upwork is a positive one from a user who is generally satisfied with how the platform works and everything. The user appears to think that Upwork guarantees more work for freelancers and the terms are fair overall.

Financial Freedom

This user is just getting started on Upwork but they already feel that there will be a lot of opportunity for work on the platform in the future.

Large Customer Service

Although we mentioned that Upwork’s customer is a pain in the neck, here is someone who thinks the opposite is the case so you should do your research just in case we are wrong. Who knows?

Great Marketplace

The user in this case feels the working condition on Upwork is superb. They also claim that they received tips on how to deliver excellent services.

The Worse Reviews

We will now look at the worse things users are saying about Upwork. Yeah! Let’s hear how bad it gets from those who think Upwork is trash.

Devalues Profession

We already talked about this. Upwork kills professionals through saturation which leads to dumping, a sacrifice of professionalism for peanuts in the face of competition.

Corrupt Underground Practices

This user from back in 2015 days there are a lot of shady sides to the way Upwork operates. We are not able to verify if that still happens to this day but it may help if you look out for these when hiring developers or other professionals on Upwork.

A Scam!

Did you hear that? The user here is a former employee and he thinks there is a lot of problem going on underground. Once more we cannot ascertain the veracity of this. Did they say Upwork violates data? Perhaps not now. Just be careful what you share and how you do it.

Not Worth the While

Does anything get worse than that? The user thinks you should not even bother to join Upwork altogether and they have their reasons. Since two experiences may hardly be the same in all conditions, you can take this with a pinch of salt.

Across Social Media

Now let us see what users think about Upwork on the most popular social media platforms we will use Facebook and Twitter because we feel those are within our reach.

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Facebook

Best Reviews

Freedom

Upwork gives freedom and here is a review that confirms that. Upwork is one of the best platforms that can turn

Self Fulfillment

With Upwork, this user says they are building exceptional self-confidence and developing their skills beyond their imaginations. The user also notes that the flexibility makes work fun.

No Bad Weather

With Upwork, you can do a lot from the comfort of your home, and not bother about going out to a workplace that gives you allergy. You can also work at your own pace with flexible hours.

Self Worth

The user who left this review has experience in the corporate world as well as Upwork and prefers Upwork over again. According to the user who works as a virtual assistant, employees in communication are treated with some level of disdain in corporate offices.

Worse Facebook Reviews

Unfair

Here a user was contacted against the terms of Upwork, but the freelancer appeared to have been blocked perhaps because of the employer who was wrongly reported the freelancer for refusing to work on their terms. Now the freelancer was blocked. That’s all we know.

Idiotic

The user is infuriated, but that is what anyone would do if you expect so much and get far less.

Technical Issues

There appear to be complaints that the Upwork platform gets crappy sometimes with delays in payment and all that stuff. The user also thinks the platform treats freelancers unfairly.

No Clients Coming

The user here seems to confirm what we noted before about Upwork. The platform is losing paying clients because they have bad experiences with low-paid and unprofessional freelancers.

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Twitter

Now let’s look at Twitter to see what users have to say about their experiences as freelancers or employers on Upwork. These freelancers could be hiring developers, writers, account assistants, and other professional services.

Best Upwork Reviews on Twitter

Great Experience

The freelancer in this case wishes they had the opportunity to work with the client again. That says a lot about how fun it can be working as or hiring developers and designers on Upwork.

Great Job

Here is an employer who got wowed after thinking the talents on Upwork may not be up to par. Now they are excited about the entire experience.

Great For Outsourcing

The employer here was able to save time and get a lot more done by hiring a freelance video editor on Upwork. It looks like Upwork provides great value for your money if you have decided on what you want to do.

Awesome for Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs can use the services of virtual assistants available on Upwork to get things done while focusing on other equally important things.

Worse Upwork Reviews on Twitter

Scam

The user said Upwork blocks accounts indiscriminately, but we cannot verify this either. There may be allergies aspects of the matter that are not reflected in this statement. Anyway, they think Upwork is a scam and that is it.

Racist Employers

I hope this freelancer didn’t get a knee on her neck. We hope so, and this is an issue that needs to be handled properly on all freelance platforms. There are possible racial assumptions that are unfounded and unfair.

Can Become Unhealthy

There is a medical implication to sitting down several hours on a stretch. Those who suffer from these problems are mostly developers and freelancers working on platforms like Upwork. That doesn’t mean you should quit, though. You just have to be mindful of your health.

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Getting Gigs on Upwork

To get your first job on Upwork you simply have to signup, describe your skills, and do anything else that is requested of you by the platform. Although, a lot has changed on Upwork lately, with employers complaining about the multitude of requests they receive for a single gig. Upwork has adopted the following procedures to make it hard to manipulate and sustain the reputation of the platform.

Entry barrier

If you are hoping to join Upwork right now and your skills are already too much in supply, you may never stand the chance of getting accepted on the platform.

Banning Accounts

Upwork has taken steps and the platform keeps doing its best to close inactive accounts. Although some of the best talents have lost their accounts to these actions which are working against the platform too.

Identity Checks

Upwork conducts random identity checks to ensure that those on their platform are real humans. They do this by requesting photo proofs and specific identity documents from their clients.

Upwork Connects

Connects on Upwork allow freelancers to bid on projects they are interested in. They can do this by paying $0.15 per connect and the price for applying for a project depends on the importance, size, duration, and complexity. Connects also discourages vain application as freelances will not be willing to gamble on a project for which they are unsure that they would be hired.

Tests Resumes

Upwork introduced a test system in 2019m which was largely unsuccessful because freelancers cheated by copying and pasting answers from Google. The original idea was to verify freelancer skills and make the marketplace highly professional. Resumes on Upwork are the same as user profiles. Professional freelancers on the platform see it this way. A good profile should have all fields completed and tell your employer what you are and your capabilities at a glimpse. Your profile should therefore include your certifications, achievements, skills, competencies, rates, and summary of your experiences.

Proposals

Proposals are like cover letters. They are the best way to prove to your employer that you have what it takes to do the job. A well-written proposal should explain the freelancer’s experience and skills and why they are the best fit for the project in the face of multiple applicants. It should be more like a guide on you that will help the employer decide best i.e work with you. If the project you want to work with, for example, involves a client who is looking forward to hiring developers, you should tell them why your web or mobile development experience makes you a great fit for their project, and show your readiness to start as soon as possible.

Fees

Upwork charges buyers a 3% fee for posting jobs on the platform. Freelancers also pay $0.15 per connect and a 20% fee on every successful project they complete. Upwork progressively reduce the fees paid by freelancers depending on how much the employer has spent on hiring that freelancer on Upwork. The diagram below shows an example of Upwork’s method.

Caption

Time Tracker: A New Way to Keep Freelancers on The Job

Freelancers who have downloaded the Upwork application will have the option to use the time tracker application to take a snapshot of their screen at certain intervals throughout the required hour. Employers can then use this unique time tracking feature as a proof-of-work and to avoid falling for dishonest freelancers.

The Alternatives

You can hire expert developers to work on any kind of programming project on Rejolut. There are other freelance platforms, but, as you can see the complication is managing the process, is even leaving Upwork behind already. We hope that you enjoyed reading this article.

Frequently Asked Questions

We are serving our customers by helping them designing world-class products on-demand basis. What we started as a hobby soon became our passion. This led to the launch of “Rejolut Design Studio”.

Our Vision is to make “World Class Design Universally Accessible at an Affordable Price”. We own what we do.
We are serving our customers by helping them designing world-class products on-demand basis. What we started as a hobby soon became our passion. This led to the launch of “Rejolut Design Studio”.

Our Vision is to make “World Class Design Universally Accessible at an Affordable Price”. We own what we do.
We are serving our customers by helping them designing world-class products on-demand basis. What we started as a hobby soon became our passion. This led to the launch of “Rejolut Design Studio”.

Our Vision is to make “World Class Design Universally Accessible at an Affordable Price”. We own what we do.
We are serving our customers by helping them designing world-class products on-demand basis. What we started as a hobby soon became our passion. This led to the launch of “Rejolut Design Studio”.

Our Vision is to make “World Class Design Universally Accessible at an Affordable Price”. We own what we do.
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