One of my readers recently left a comment on my website about previously doing freelance work for oDesk so I decided this might be a nice opportunity to check out. Turns out oDesk is now Upwork and the name Elance also turned up. So what is Upwork about and can you make money with them?
Let’s have a look at this opportunity and also see how Odesk, Elance and Upwork all fit together.
Overall Ranking: 65/100
Price: Free to join
Introduction: What is Upwork about?
Upwork is a platform that connects businesses with independent workers. Any job that can be done on a computer can be done through Upwork.
I will be looking at this review from the point of view of making money by freelancing and also from the viewpoint of hiring freelancers. If you work online you will know that it really is not always possible to do everything yourself and at times it is great to be able to outsource some work.
What is oDesk? What is Elance? How do they fit together with Upwork?
Elance was founded in 1999 by Beerud Sheth. oDesk was founded in 2003 by Odysseas Tsatalos and Stratis Karamanlakis. On December 18 2013 Elance and oDesk announced their merger to create oDesk-Elance. oDesk-Elance was then rebranded as Upwork.
After doing some digging around about these companies the general consensus appears to be that oDesk was quite a great company to do work for. Yes the pay was quite low for jobs which is to be expected on this sort of opportunity, but the rest of the user experience both sides appeared to be very positive.
Elance seemed to be an ok platform that had trouble with their support and contact systems. So communication was not great but it seemed like a relatively nice place to make some extra money online.
Now that these two companies have merged to form Upwork the general feeling is that everything has gone down the drain. It seems the website functionality is worse than before. Other problems are that the attitude of Upwork seems to be really bad towards workers and businesses looking for freelancers too. It also appears there is a high staff turn over within this company with all the good staff leaving and staff that are inadequate staying. There appears to be a lot of animosity towards the CEO Stephane Kasriel.
I always look at a company that has a high staff turn over as a big red flag. If you can’t look after your staff how can you look after your customers?
Here is a comment I found on Quora about Upwork that explains some of the problems with Upwork.
Not looking so good anymore is it? Well let’s have a look at the pros and cons first to get a better picture of this Upwork opportunity.
Upwork Pros and Cons
- Free to join
- Large network of businesses and freelancers
- Businesses can get jobs done at a very good rate (if you are a freelancer though you will see this under the cons!)
- Payments via Paypal and credit card, depending on your location also bank transfers
- Offer proficiency tests so you can see how qualified a freelancer is
- Jobs can be charged per hour or per job
- You can use your work done as your portfolio, you are building an asset
- Support and customer service from Upwork towards freelancers and companies hiring freelancers is just not great
- Complaints that accounts often just get deleted without reason, explanation or apology. This not only affects freelancers when they get deleted, it also affects businesses that have a working relationship with a freelancer. Check out the comment I found below on Quora about this problem.
- 10% commission charge gets deducted off freelancer’s pay
- Risk factor dealing with people. Freelancers might do a terrible job, companies might reject perfectly good work without pay!
- The level of pay is not great for freelancers, the money offered per hour or per job is generally very low.
- Can be hard to get freelance jobs. According to Wikipedia Upwork has 9 million registered freelancers and 4 million registered clients…
Is Upwork a Scam?
No, it is a legit way to make money online and to find freelancers to do work for you. Yes it is true there are some issues with their company which can cause upset but they are not a scam.
My Verdict for Upwork
This is a legitimate opportunity to make some money online and worth a try if freelancing appeals to you. If you have a business and are not wanting to take on staff I really feel this could be a great alternative.
Yes there are some downsides to Upwork and I have to say I really think that they need to work on their support and customer service. It is a great pity to take a company like oDesk that had great reputation do some merging and rebranding and the end result is a disappointment. How sad really.
If Upwork makes some drastic changes in their company they could pull themselves out of this problem.
I do like this type of opportunity above things like PTC sites and online surveys. It is something more worthwhile, you can also come out of it with more experience and being more knowledgeable.
That said about Upwork if you want to do work online to make your own money why not just start your own online business instead of being dependent on other people for freelance jobs for such a little pay? If you have the skills to do work for someone else you certainly have the ability to do work for yourself right?
Check out this Wealthy Affiliate review where you can get started with your own online business for free, and learn everything you need to know about online marketing.
If you want to get started with Upwork here is a great podcast I came across that gives some really great insight into platforms like this.
What do you think of online freelance opportunities? Have you tried Upwork/ Elance? oDesk before and what was your experience? Please leave a comment!
Overall Ranking: 65/100
Price: Free to join