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Dariya Malakhova, Automation and Manual Quality Assurance Engineer

Apr 03, 2023 10 min read

Work on Upwork: Pros and Cons (Our Honest Review)

Do you have a one-of-a-kind project in mind and need help to make it a reality? Are you looking for flexible and skilled professionals? Are you willing to hire a worker immediately from any corner of the world? The answer is one word - Upwork. 

Work on Upwork: Pros and Cons

Upwork is a freelancer's dream: Fact or Myth

Freedom equals freelance. More and more nine-to-fivers and cubicle-dwellers consider switching to freelance work. COVID-19 challenged people, like office workers, CEOs, and CTOs, to switch to remote and online. Remote turned out to be a great alternative for many to try out freelance. What is the best place for freelance work? It is Upwork. 

What is Upwork?

You must’ve heard it already – Upwork is the biggest online freelancing platform in the world with three million jobs posted annually. 

If you need professional help for your next project, you can find all sorts of specialists, such as:

  • QA engineers;
  • Software development specialists;
  • Graphic and UX/UI designers;
  • Copywriters;
  • Online marketing experts, and more.

How does Upwork work?

When looking for a job or a professional online both sides ask themself the same question. Is this platform legit? We are positive you have been pondering the same question regarding Upwork. It is safe to say that Upwork is a legit freelance platform. But as always beware of the scammers, their existence is inevitable. Neither a client nor a freelancer wants to be left high and dry without an uncompleted project or payment. 

The key reasons prove that Upwork is a legitimate platform:

Upwork has started building its name two decades ago. 

For Freelancers

Upwork eases job search for freelancers. First and foremost, it is flexible. All you need to do is to create a personal account, which we will discuss later, and go on a job venture. Many different businesses and companies align with modern tendencies and place a plethora of interesting and on-demand projects on the Internet. Using Upwork you can become a part of one. 

Regarding the projects, Upwork presents a diverse pool of working opportunities. Any freelancer can find different projects either for short- or long-term contracts. Moreover, freelancers can choose projects which match their skill set and correspond to their professional interests. Plus, working on new projects can be a great opportunity to learn a new skill or enhance an existing one. 

Not only do experience professionals use Upwork, newbies and juniors use Upwork as a chance to build a reputation and polish their knacks. Additionally, if you do your job well clients who hire you can leave feedback and help you build a name. So do your best when starting out and continuing to work on the platform since all feedback can be found in Upwork reviews.

How to set up an account for Freelancers on Upwork

Upwork is a freelance platform where you can bid for jobs. But first, you would need to register on the platform. Do the following steps to create an account:

Set up an account: There are two membership options available — Basic and Plus plans. The former is free and the latter is paid. If you want to go with a paid plan, it will cost you around $15 a month. 

Since Upwork is a freelance platform choosing the time framework is the key. For instance, working on an hourly contract, you will have to provide weekly invoices to receive payment. As for the fixed-time projects, Upwork will send the payment after you have reached set results with your client.

For Business

Upwork is not only for freelancers but for businesses as well. Any client can find and hire skilled professionals for any project. In light of recent events, the popularity of Upwork has skyrocketed and more businesses realize the pros of using Upwork.

The key reason to choose Upwork is the immense pool of talent available anytime. Over 12 million freelancers from 180 countries trust Upwork. Needless to say again but Upwork prioritizes flexibility. Moreover, you can hire freelancers for short- or long-term projects as well as your ongoing projects. This means you can hire more or fewer freelance workers regarding the stage of the project. We want to draw your attention to this moment because certain businesses practice seasonal work and projects.

Finally, the Upwork platform has a good sense of security and transparency. When hiring a freelancer online insecurity plants whether they are the right match for your project. To ensure that work goes smoothly and you hire qualified professionals, Upwork offers tracking tools, managing invoices, and identity credentials of freelancers. 

We would like to draw your attention to the tracking methods available on Upwork. Not only do tracking tools bring advantages to clients but also freelancers. So, needless to say, using any tracking method is a win-win situation for both sides:

  1. Desktop app: A free application that tracks the freelancer’s working time by periodically taking screenshots.
  2. Work diary: A built-in tool that records time and takes screenshots of the freelancer’s computer screen. 
  3. Time tracker: Helps freelancers manually mark the number of hours they have spent working. 
  4. Time and billing: A client sets an hourly rate for a freelancer and tracks time in the following manner.
  5. Milestones: A tool that helps to create project milestones and release payments for completed milestones. 

How to create an account for a business on Upwork

With a freelance, account everything is simple, but when it comes to business it gets relatively tricky. Upwork offers two options for business – client and agency accounts. If your goal is to hire independent workers or to work with some agencies that offer their employees, you should opt for a Client account. 

  1. Set up an account: Having decided which account to choose sign up ad choose the “Hire” option so that it is visible for the platform and the freelancers that you are hiring staff. Always make sure to put out-to-date information regarding your business or a company in “My bio”. 
  2. Add members: If you are sharing a company account include all members of the team who will be working with freelancers on Upwork. 
  3. Payment method: The key moment is to include a payment option in your account. Upwork policies allow credit cards, PayPal, and bank transfers. 
  4. Verification: Once all essential steps have been completed, the only thing that is left is verification. Upwork will send you an email to complete this step. Having verified your account, you can start hiring freelancers and managing projects. 

Pros of using Upwork

Every freelancing platform is unique on its own. Let’s dive into the advantages which people can consider before creating an account on Upwork.

Profitable platform

Upwork is known as a high-ticket platform. In comparison with other freelance websites, Upwork provides a bigger payment for services. Hence, it motivates both sides, the client and the freelancer, to be more professional online. For instance, provide top-notch results, and have high-quality communication.

Easy and fast hiring

As practice shows, some clients need freelancers ASAP. At the same time, freelancers go to freelance platforms with the idea of starting on the very same day. Luckily, it is possible on Upwork.

For example, a freelancer can submit a proposal, receive a job offer, sign a contract regarding the type of project they are joining, and start working.

Work control

Freelance is a double-edged sword. We would like to draw your attention to the control over work both freelancers and clients can have. Supervision over projects is done automatically, such as mouse clicks, screenshots, and amount of time. Together with automatic control, there is a manual one when freelancers or clients can personally keep track of hours.

Flexible pricing

Clients pay freelancers for the real worked hours. Thus, having arranged the control method is vital.

Moreover, you do not have to wait for a promotion or a perfect moment to talk to your boss regarding a pay rise. Freelancer rates themselves on the platform themselves. Additionally, they can adjust pricing on the spot when working with a client, for compromise so to speak.

Cons of using Upwork

It seems that with such a list it will be unreal to find the cons of Upwork. However, it is the real world and even the best platforms in the market have some drawbacks.

High fees

This disadvantage is more crucial for clients and businesses. As an Upwork client, you will need to pay a 20% tax for your first earnings and then a 10% fee for earnings that vary between $500 and $10,000. In addition, hiring a freelancer also comes with a high cost.

Small budget

Since we are on the subject of the financial estimate, it’s necessary to beware of some budget cons of using Upwork. Upwork is open for businesses and entrepreneurs with different budget ranges.

Though, working with freelancers will not be a problem for a more lucrative business, smaller businesses with limited budgets may suffer because the competition for top-rated freelancers gets higher.

Control peculiarity

We have mentioned already that there are a few tools available for work supervision. These tools are a true definition of a mixed blessing. Some would say they are cons of using Upwork. Say, milestones and deadlines cannot fully control the effectiveness of the work. For instance, a QA needs to get acquainted with documents. This process does not involve too many clicks. In this account, manual tracking of the work process would be the best. 

On the other hand, not all freelancers are comfortable when their work is virtually controlled. Some can find it intimidating and privacy infiltrating

Final Thoughts


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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Upwork?

Upwork is a leading global freelancing platform that facilitates a connection between businesses and skilled professionals, allowing them to work together on diverse remote projects.

How does the signup process work on Upwork?

Signing up is straightforward. Users create a profile, list their skills and experiences, and undergo a verification process to ensure authenticity. While joining is free, there are fees associated with earning through the platform.

What are some of the standout benefits of using Upwork?

Freelancers get exposure to international clients, secure payment gateways, user-friendly interface, and tools that help streamline the project management process.

How does the review system work on Upwork?

At the end of a project, both clients and freelancers can leave reviews for each other. These reviews are crucial as they influence hiring decisions for future projects.

How can I make my profile more appealing to potential clients?

Invest time in creating a detailed profile, gather and showcase testimonials, add relevant certifications, and continuously update your portfolio to highlight your best work.

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