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A Question for Clients and for Contractors Too RE: Hourly Work

I am relatively new at oDesk and online work for that matter. Browsing and applying for projects I have notice something that I find it difficult to understand. I do understand multi-tasking in fact I do encourage and a staunch believer. But help me understand this;

For Clients:

Would you hire a contractor for say less than say $3/hr (which is bellow min. rate in our country but off course its a different story all together) for online work, and the contractor you'll hire because of "competitive" bid rate. And the contractor is already engage with other hourly projects? which in all probability the contractor will do (assuming that the contractor has no intent to scam) to earn more and compensate for the low rate. Wouldn't it produce low quality output? Why not get someone at a higher reasonable rate but will be dedicated to you for the duration of the project or as per agreed schedules?

For Contractors:

I just can't understand how you could hourly work for for multiple online projects at the same time. Are you going to open multiple screens for hourly log in for each project? (if its possible at all haven't tried it yet) Don't you get confused? mix up? I do understand ( assuming you just need to earn a legitimate income) you are maybe trying to compensate so that you can achieve your desired minimum hourly rate. If your saying that they are in different time zone, but, don't you ever rest or get enough sleep? your mind and body could only take too much. I know some if not most are simply taking advantage of Asian Labor (generally lowest rate compared to Europe or the U.S. "Its Generally)

Please don't get me wrong, I am a contractor here and have work a regular 8 to 5 job as a Manager. Just that I find it hard to understand how Contractor manage and clients just because of low rate would take the risk?

Again as I said I am new, I have an ongoing project on hourly rate and I have to log my time manually since it is a combination of field and "office" work. Everything is base on output and regular updates and reports. So far I would say my client is happy. I have actually decline another client whose project is similar of nature because 1. Rate offered is a Tad Lower 2. He wants me dedicated to him and a bit demanding. (also field work and "office", manual time log)

Can someone enlighten me please. Thanks all

Vote Result

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Score: 2.8, Votes: 5
Quote's

sorry junnelle, I am not talking of a team (a "real team"), if its a team working on a multiple project you got no argument from me. I am referring to One(1) individual. Please look at the whole context of my query and which I think (correct me if I am wrong) prevalent. dissecting it will create individual contest as you have commented.

Example: Me, accepting a hourly contract (let say pacific time) When in fact I already have an existing hourly contract (eastern time) and say another from London. Each one is an average of 6 hours a day 30 hours a week as scheduled by the client and that be 18 hour a day 90 hours a week assuming they don't overlap.... but again chances are they will overlap if not at the same time.

So going back to the question, how does one manage and still deliver quality output.

not being defensive

again, maybe were not in the same page. pardon me if you feel I am shooting you down. I am looking at an Individual contractor (1 person) I am trying to understand "why". Check again my example. compared to you I am just an toddler at oDesk. You don't need to be sensitive.

Again, If there is no Individual (1 person) Contractor who is doing as what I am pointing out in my example. You can simply say that practice is not being done by contractors.

Hope we are now in the same page.

Regards.

Oh shucks!

you are right that is the question, but if you read back, the prior statement the "How you" is referring to an individual. How and Why truly are two different things, I am not veering off the page, it is still the same query via an example.

Yes you have answered, but for a different question, as I said if its a team you got no argument from me. Simply put, the query is not just 1 sentence that is part of the whole.

This is what reporters do in creating story. I don't matured and open minded individuals such as you would intend to do such a thing. And simply avoiding an issue is never healthy.

As I have said, compared to you here at oDesk, I am still a toddler.

Cheers.

Reynaldo, do some reading if

Reynaldo, do some reading if you're serious about working on this platform. The entire thread so far is a result of you not understanding one of the basic oDesk terms when it comes to oDesk hourly jobs.

"Team" as used by Junelle does not indicate that the contractor is part of a team/agency. Simply said, that term indicates the current project you're hired for. Each individual contractor (in your words '1 person') logs the time for the projects as part of the client's team. Surprise - you yourself are logging your hours for a team - that item in the dropdown menu of your oDesk Team App, with the name of your client/project? that's the team you're currently logging time for.

Junelle has answered your questions precisely:
- the fact that an individual contractor has multiple hourly contracts active doesn't mean they have to work on them at the same time. The weekly hourly limit is just that - a limit, not an obligation to log 100% of the hours every week. For example a long term hourly contract could be for 30h/week, but the client usually needs between 5 and 15 hours per week. You log the time needed for his tasks on his team, and the rest of the week can be split between other hourly contracts.

So her answers are spot on - you just didn't understand them and didn't bother to do a simple check to see how things work. So instead of complaining that your question was misunderstood, try reading the help center and get to know the basics of the platform.

/// Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it's the courage to continue that counts.

Thank you for the reply,

First of all, I am not complaining, wondering, asking, clarification. As I said I am new. Second, as I pointed out, in my first and current project I do manual time log. I still have to use the Team App you are referring to. As to definition of terms, my bad coz my definition of a team is a group of individuals working as one to accomplish a or several task simultaneously. Plus my understanding of a team at oDesk is a group in which a contractor is affiliated to, groups that are also listed as contractor.

My query is not a 1 sentence question, it the whole paragraph. And her reply which Ms. Junelle selected and quoted in 3 sentences as 3 different questions hence 3 answers creating 3 different line of thoughts. Thus generally create off context reply or understanding. And generally creates misunderstanding. That is why I said maybe we are not at the same page. and rephrase my query with an example. Which now clearly we were not.

quote: Bojana D.

"the fact that an individual contractor has multiple hourly contracts active doesn't mean they have to work on them at the same time. The weekly hourly limit is just that - a limit, not an obligation to log 100% of the hours every week. For example a long term hourly contract could be for 30h/week, but the client usually needs between 5 and 15 hours per week. You log the time needed for his tasks on his team, and the rest of the week can be split between other hourly contracts."

I am still groping around this platform, if Ms. Junelle's reply was as you explained it, I would have referred to that reference and maybe I would have a followup query. And I also ask that I be corrected if I am wrong.

I too prefer fix rate, less complication and paid by output. Maybe I am just lucky with my first client. Though hourly, we discuss how many equitable and acceptable hours for us both before I log my time use manually for billing.

I am not trying to pick a fight or create animosity with anyone, I am just seeking enlightenment where I could get it.

Again thank you for the enlightenment,

Regards.

Reynaldo, you can't log time

Reynaldo, you can't log time to two or more contracts at the same time. The example you mentioned of a person having 2 or 3 contracts of 30 hours/week, there can be different scenarios here:

1. The actual work may be less than 30hrs/week. So the contractor logs whatever time is necessary for that particular week.

2. There are contracts where you have to complete the number of hours you committed, in such a case there is a limit to how much work a person can do in a day, 5 hours, 6, 7? Depends on the individual. But then it is their responsibility to take on only as much work as they can handle.

The limit is imposed by yourself, and you have to decide how much work you can do in a day or in a week. That's how the limit is set. Multitasking as applied to hourly work means that you switch between contracts, logging time to only one particular job at a time. It doesn't mean you have three screens open in front of you with three different projects.

oDesk Forum Moderator

Always reach for the skies, for even if you fall, you'll still be on the top of the world...

Can't Log Time,

Now that is a better clarification, as I have queried by example. Direct, point by point of the whole.

I guess my next question here, based on your reply is;

Would oDesk be able to monitor a Contractor who accepts multiple contracts, or the number of hourly contracts that when you look at the number of hours agreed per contract and or time that clients would want the contractor be on line that it would be physically impossible or will be conflicting with the other contracts a contractor accepts? Or oDesk will look into it when a client files a complaint? I am asking because I read a concern by a client stating that the screen shot submitted to him as proof of work being done for his project was not his.

Please enlighten me.

Thanks Ayesha....

don't complicate things

as the contractor, it's up to you how many jobs you can handle and how you intend to complete the required tasks. you can't expect oDesk to manage your contracts for you since they're not privy to the contract terms in the first place. when you decide to accept a job, it's assumed that you know you can devote time to it even if you have a gazillion other projects. so can you handle three jobs, each requiring 20 hours a week, at the same time? you can't? then don't take on 3 jobs. simple. don't complicate your life. i have a contract that requires 40 hours per week. that's enough for me, so i had to give up another client. if i take on more projects at this point, i'll die from exhaustion.

by the way, manual hours are not guaranteed for payment, just so you know. if a client disputes the hours, the dispute will be awarded to him and you won't get paid. you said the client is aware of this and he is so far "happy". great. just don't make it a habit for other (future) hourly contracts.

The job he's working on is

The job he's working on is not for a time tracker - it includes lots of offline work that he has no other way to log. And it looks like the client is paying up so far, so hopefully he won't have problems. It's still a good reminder for future jobs though.

/// Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it's the courage to continue that counts.

Complicated is a Facebook Status...

Your reply is exactly my question. Its not about me its about contractors who does this and accepts low rates..... detrimental to contractors who does quality and dedicated work. If you will just see my 2nd question which is for clients who goes for the lowest bid and when they get poor work or M.I.A contractors and they complain about it....

Cut throat competition is never good for any industry... neither its good for the clients/consumer/customer/employer. Ultimately all suffer

Multiple hour contract might be impossible to log at the same time, But WHAT IF the contractor is also with other platforms such as elance, vworker, etc..accepting multiple contracts?

Again, for clarification of all its not about me...

BTW, yes I do understand that like fix price, manual log of hourly rate is also not guaranteed for payment. I do Facilitation...field work, liaising and negotiating with suppliers. So as such cant use the Auto log it be unfair to the client. To avoid dispute we discuss and come to a mutual acceptable number hours to cover also expenses which are variable.

I have some jobs that are "in

I have some jobs that are "in progress" but they are not in progress actually because clients went away and are not answering me anymore.
I won't end contracts because I don't know other people reasons for not answering me.
I'm searching for new jobs and patiently waiting for my clients to answer me or to end the contract.

I have 7 jobs "in progress". In this moment I need to work only on one task, and I'll complete it very soon.

<3 Skrillex

I have the same issues

I have 3 jobs in progress.
1. i didn't know what went wrong with the employer as i responded to him that the work has done,
2. the employer message me personally that he is currently building a newer part of the project and asked me to wait to start running again,
3. I have submit a ticket regarding this job, as from the start i have not been given any instructions on how i can do the jobs and the employer's up until now is not responding.

Regarding the questions on how do a contractors can have multiple jobs at one time, i guess it's simple since we don't have office hours so we can split the time to break at anytime and not always 1 hour or how the office break time usually does. So we can work for total 15 hours with still had enough sleep for 6 hours and 3 hours break (speaking 24 hours / day ). But i must admit i too sometime wonders how can a contractor take up to 5 or even more jobs at one time and had time logged in each of them, but i have positive things that they do really work and honest person.

regards,

3 projects, none in any way visible.... Well done...

Arung Priyo Isyadi wrote:
I have 3 jobs in progress.

According to your profile you have NO jobs in process, which basically means you took 3 fixed price jobs on without getting any up-front payments or milestone payments at all.

I do wonder if you will ever see a Cent from any of those 3 "jobs" - it seems doubtful and you won't even be able to leave any feedback because you failed to get some kind of payment, however minimal (over $ 1.00.)

I hope I am wrong, but I wouldn't hold my breath....

By doing this you not only *** yourself out of your hard earned money, you also let down other contractors because you have thrown away your ability to leave feedback in case the client does not pay up. So other contractors are not warned......

Quote:
1. i didn't know what went wrong with the employer as i responded to him that the work has done,

So, basically, you did the work but as you never got any upfront payment the client could just walk away with no real fear of reprisals....

Quote:
2. the employer message me personally that he is currently building a newer part of the project and asked me to wait to start running again,

Why don't you tell the client you will happily wait, but that the work done so far has to be paid as a milestone payment? Otherwise you'll just wait for more work (you may not get paid for either!)

Quote:
3. I have submit a ticket regarding this job, as from the start i have not been given any instructions on how i can do the jobs and the employer's up until now is not responding.

Why submit a ticket? If the client is non-responsive and you have done no work just close the contract and move on?

*[Remove by Admin]

I am SO sorry. Now I see them. Earlier I could not - seriously

Junelle A. wrote:
:quest: but he does.

he has 2 jobs in progress that are visible. that third project is probably *the* fixed price one, where he might not have been paid upfront which is the reason it isn't showing. but for sure, he has two hourly contracts, one at $7/hr and the other at $5.56/hr.

So he does.

I SWEAR when I looked at his profile earlier I could not see them. I looked REALLY carefully.

I am trying the "new look site" - no idea if that has / did have anything to do with it.

I can see them now. I could NOT see them earlier.

I can only apologize most profusely. I'm going to self-report my post and ask for it to e deleted.

SO SORRY

Edited to add: I can't even "flag" my own post? Why the heck not? Could someone do me a favour and report my post above, the one where I made all those assumptions (bang-head) because when I looked at the poster's profile I could not see those two jobs in process for love nor money.

Just press the "flag" button and say "Petra got it all wrong and would have deleted it herself if she could have - but it was too late"

Thank you for this comment.

To Petra,

Sorry not able to check your reply (wish oDesk Forum has a warn system when some replied). I had 2 hourly contract which is sitting there without no jobs or so whatever, i don't know what your system went through i guess that's not a big deal. The one with hourly contract had contacted me and offer me whether i want to end or still open the contract, frankly i don't have the heart to end it as i know he's a responsible employer with many things happen (for God know what he'd been through there), i frankly don't mind to wait as long as he doesn't demand me to work for him exclusively.

About the fix job with no workload, the oDesk team had already give me a solution to end the contract right away. What kept me in doubt is will there any chance that the contractor will leave me a feedback which is not in the favor of mine or unfair feedback, hence i don't really care actually i just like to do things in a perfect manner and most fair way.

Nice to be informed by you on this Petra also Junelle. I am still maybe at rookie stage on this field, but i'm planning to build my way up as other which i've seen had already reach their best performance. Please inform me if there's anything i may have missed.

regards,
Arung

You can subscribe to a thread

Arung Priyo Isyadi wrote:

Sorry not able to check your reply (wish oDesk Forum has a warn system when some replied). I
regards,
Arung

You can subscribe to this thread. At the top of the page, under the stars on the left hand side see the link that says "Subscribe"?

Thank you,

Thank you,

Nice additional information on maximizing this forum...

Regards,

Well....

I have several hourly and a fixed price project open. The hourly projects are my bread and butter. They are smaller, consistent assignments (usually 2-4 articles per day) and the fixed prices tend to me more intensive.

I find that proper time management is key to a successful freelancing career. Do I get behind? Yes. I have kids at home, I get sick, I get overloaded and sometimes I need a break. But, most of the time I am on the ball. I have a schedule I stick to, and when I'm working I'm working.

You can handle more than one project if you learn to balance your time wisely. Now, if I had a project with a very tight deadline that required my focus, I wouldn't take on anything else. You just have to know what you can do.

Start slow at first, but you can build up to a fuller schedule, if you have the discipline to do it.

Very true

I totally agree with Angela here. It is all about time management. Like her, I have hourly positions that put the butter on my toast too; plus, work outside of this agency platform that is my own; so it can get pretty hairy for me. I find I need a break at times too, and yes...I do get behind as well. I somehow manage to pick up the pieces though and get back on top of things, thanks to prioritizing.

Freelancing is tough stuff, but you can manage it. All about incorporating that "to do" list and sticking to your guns.

Rates and low quality work

I agree with you Reynaldo M., I am a web content writer and I keep wondering to myself how a contractor who understands and knows how much goes into doing research and writing an article from scratch can charge $1 for a 500 word article, its insane. Most of this employers are going for contractors who are bidding at low rates, then later they advertise either the same job again or another indicating that they had previously received low quality work, but i ask myself, what did the employer expect, if you pay $1 for an article you will get quality worth that dollar. This applies as well to the hourly projects, I found a contractor charging 0.22cents per hour, honestly i was astounded, and he did get the job out of probably over 100 bidders, but the question is was he the most qualified candidate for the job?. probably not.He simply got the job because he was charging an extremely low rate.

I have seen employers indicating on their jobs posts that contractors from certain countries not to apply, but this is because to begin with the employer must have hired a contractor who was charging at a very low rate and subsequently received low quality work. no surprise there, so the employer later discriminates people from particular countries because of one or two unqualified contractors from either the same country or different countries. This does not mean that you cannot get qualified candidates who are professional and experience from the very same countries. Every employer should interview candidates and pick the one that they feel is most qualified regardless of the country or rate.

To contractors; those who understand how much work goes into every project should charge a reasonable rate, and this means that for a fixed or an hourly job regardless of the type of job, if you have the skills and you are qualified don't charge a ridiculous rate just to get the job because if the employer had the skills then they would not need your expertise right?

If we are to build Odesk and make it grow,then both the employers and contractors need to value quality work over charge rates. So that potential employers will know that Odesk is the best site there is to get quality work from highly experienced contractors. And potential contractors will know that it is the best site to get a well paying job.

Urm....

Anne M. wrote:
what did the employer expect, if you pay $1 for an article you will get quality worth that dollar. .

That all sounded really quite sensible until I took a look at your profile and saw a completed project of 80 articles plus photos for each article for the grand sum of $ 82......