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Work attitude when you are working at Odesk

Our company has been working with Odesk for a year now and in order to improve situations between contractors and clients we would like to share the following with you:

Odesk is a great agency to find people for specific needs. Not all projects within a company are big or need greatly specialized people and here Odesk fulfills a niche.

The problem here is that obviously quite some clients take advantage of the fact that people have their mercenary reasons to find jobs on Odesk and in the end use this need to pay as less as possible. Within reason this is understandable. On the other hand some clients are obviously taking advantage of people needing jobs badly by offering less and less. We think that is deplorable, but as long as contractors accept low offers and bid even lower it is a question of supply and demand. We do wonder how much Odesk can do to stop this spiraling down.

Regarding the contractors we would like to remark the following:

We have the impression that often contractors do not take the jobs seriously enough. It is true that Odesk gives ample opportunity to find people you just don't find when you are going through consulting firms or web agencies for a rather low price. It's just that when the contractor decides to do the job he or she should not get lax when things are not running as smoothly as they wish. When everything is said and done: when you bid on a job, you must be prepared to work accordingly.

Our less positive experiences with contractors on a project:
-Becoming lax and less motivated
-Taking on other projects and becoming less focused on the job they have been hired for.
-Taking sudden time off, disappearing 'out of sight' for personal reasons in other words: not adapting a professional attitude.
- having too much an own idea about what the project should entail. It must be stressed that the client is the one to decide what should be done and not the contractor.
- contractors sometimes become easily offended if the client has criticism or wants things changed. It would be good for contractors to realize that they are hired for a project. Criticism will be hardly on a personal level and must be possible.

Most important is that contractors must realize they are entering a professional contract, nothing else with a client. Just do the job right and nobody will be complaining.

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Re: Work Attitude

Constance V. wrote:
Our company has been working with Odesk for a year now and in order to improve situations between contractors and clients we would like to share the following with you:

Odesk is a great agency to find people for specific needs. Not all projects within a company are big or need greatly specialized people and here Odesk fulfills a niche.

The problem here is that obviously quite some clients take advantage of the fact that people have their mercenary reasons to find jobs on Odesk and in the end use this need to pay as less as possible. Within reason this is understandable. On the other hand some clients are obviously taking advantage of people needing jobs badly by offering less and less. We think that is deplorable, but as long as contractors accept low offers and bid even lower it is a question of supply and demand. We do wonder how much Odesk can do to stop this spiraling down.

It has been said "People will try to take advantage for as long as their are people who are willing to be taken advantage"

Constance V. wrote:
Regarding the contractors we would like to remark the following:

We have the impression that often contractors do not take the jobs seriously enough. It is true that Odesk gives ample opportunity to find people you just don't find when you are going through consulting firms or web agencies for a rather low price. It's just that when the contractor decides to do the job he or she should not get lax when things are not running as smoothly as they wish. When everything is said and done: when you bid on a job, you must be prepared to work accordingly.

You are right on saying it is Attitude. My take are, some contractor lose interest or does not take the job/s seriously is because 1. Feel sorry for themselves coz they gave a low bid. 2. Accepted another contract with a higher bid. 3. Finding out the job is not really in line with their expertise. 4. Failed to understand client's requirement 5. Simply trying get one over the client.

And some simply do work in accordance with their bid, which some clients who require low bidder only.

Constance V. wrote:
Our less positive experiences with contractors on a project:
- having too much an own idea about what the project should entail. It must be stressed that the client is the one to decide what should be done and not the contractor.

The rest of the statement I totally agree, True, client will decide what should be done base on his parameters, but you can also agree that, specialized contractors at times have better ways of doing things and thus achieving better output and still with in client parameters and can be beyond expectation. A Good and open communication between client and contractor must come into play. Better Understanding and being on the same page. But then again, sometimes, there are workers that are too intelligent even for their own good.

Constance V. wrote:
- contractors sometimes become easily offended if the client has criticism or wants things changed. It would be good for contractors to realize that they are hired for a project. Criticism will be hardly on a personal level and must be possible.

Most important is that contractors must realize they are entering a professional contract, nothing else with a client. Just do the job right and nobody will be complaining.

As I have pointed out some contractors/workers are too intelligent even for their own good, some feels because they are "experts" they can do no wrong and their way are always the best and no one else's. Bottom line = ATTITUDE". You must admit that their also workers that can and will do the job right.. but still complains.Laughing out loud Laughing out loudLaughing out loud

Everything that you pointed out are not unique with home based or online work like oDesk. They do happen in an actual "office setting".

Not all of us!

I just wanted to speak out on behalf of the dedicated, talented and hard-working freelancers out there - people who take oDesk jobs very seriously and work incredibly hard to please their clients.

I'm sure that there are a number of unprofessional freelancers out there, but in the vast majority of cases they can be avoided by a bit of research on the client's behalf. (plus, I am by no means saying that you do this, but there is WAY too much of it on oDesk as a whole - if your budget is $5 per hour, what do you expect?)

Never said all

Jessica, I am a contractor too, I try as much as possible not to generalize. I am very much aware that there much more contractors with legitimate skills and are experts in their craft with the right working attitude. If you will read thru my post I have always said "some contractors" and pointing to the bad apples lurking around.

delete

delete

Veni, Vidi, Vici.

For how long, in your

For how long, in your opinion, contractor is allowed to disappear 'out of sight', and stay professional at the same time?

What is too long and what reasonable?

<3 Skrillex

Can you explain what you mean in a bit more detail?

Vesna M. wrote:
For how long, in your opinion, contractor is allowed to disappear 'out of sight', and stay professional at the same time?

What is too long and what reasonable?

How long is a piece of string?

Again, there is no simple answer. If you are actually working on a job and have no questions and your client has not asked any questions then there may not be any need to communicate provided you are on track with the work and up to date.

If a client contacts me I will get back to them within the hour if I am at the computer and not working flat out. The same day ALWAYS unless I am asleep.

On a long term project (like my ongoing hourly one for example) I don't contact the client at all unless there is an issue, or they contact me. I respond as soon as I can when they do.

If I am not going to work on their contract for more than a day or I won't make my usual weekly hours one week I give the client as much warning as I can, in form of "I won't be around this weekend, back on Monday" or something along those lines.

What exactly do you MEAN "out of sight" and under what circumstances? While actively working on a contract? Answering clients' communication? Something else?

I don't personally go in for idle chit-chat with clients. They are busy, I am busy.

Thanks. I actually took a

Thanks.

I actually took a quote "out of sight" from this topic because I don't understand is it "out of sight" when I'm away for one day.

My client has apologised to me and he was away for one day.
I delivered my work to him after about 8 hours. I don't know is that too long and should I apologise too.

But yes, now I see it depends on type of work. You are right.

<3 Skrillex

Communication depends a lot

Communication depends a lot on the client's preference as well. Initially, it is always a good idea to leave a short, quick note after a couple of days telling the client that you are on track and will make the deadline (not required for something small but is important for a larger project that may take a week or more).

Sometimes your client will ask for daily updates, again shorter ones are good as everyone is busy, so shoot a quick note to tell them what has been accomplished during the day (if they specifically ask for daily updates).

Otherwise, once you have built a rapport with the client and they know you are reliable and will deliver on time, then you can limit communications to weekly updates and necessary communication regarding questions etc. I personally tend to update clients once a week at least, and also turn in whatever I have completed during the week, it seems natural, as hourly projects are paid on a weekly basis, so every Monday morning, I send in the finished content and update them on progress as necessary.

Communication is v. important in building trust. In a virtual working environment, physical distance is a key factor. And if you aren't readily available or provide updates to your client, it can cause them a lot of unnecessary worry as to whether you will deliver on time or not. Once you have established that trust, you can focus on getting the work done, and touch base with the client as per their preference.

As for answering emails or questions, like Petra said, it should be done asap. The maximum window, considering time zone differences, is 24 hours. After that, most clients will begin to worry about your absence. If you are going out or won't be available for a day or more, notify in advance so the client knows what to expect.

Hope this helps!

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