We get it. Nobody likes fees. And we understand all too well the temptation to simply circumvent the platform once you’ve found the talent that fills your current needs. In theory, what’s the harm in cutting out the middleman and splitting the fees?
Well let’s flip the script. What do you lose out on when you take a contract off the Upwork platform?
Besides the obvious consequences of violating our Terms of Service, your business actually has many reasons to continue operating on the Upwork platform, even beyond the required two-year minimum work period.
Tempted to take your working contracts off of Upwork? Here are seven reasons to keep your Virtual Talent Bench™ on Upwork.
1. Freelancer management made easy
Upwork gives you one platform for sourcing, engaging, managing, and paying your hybrid workforce. Instead of a loose collection of emails and human resources (HR) tools, you get a single platform that supports:
- A clearly defined workflow for onboarding new talent
- Project management and messaging tools
- Streamlined record-keeping of all freelancer communications and activities
- Time recording for all your independent contractors on hourly contracts
- Eliminate some tax forms required for managing a global workforce.
When you leave the platform, the administrative burden of managing HR, worker compliance, project management, and communications falls fully on your shoulders. Onboarding new talent can become a hassle and hinder your ability to scale human resources to fit your project needs.
Whether you’re messaging contractors, making milestone payments on a per-project basis, or retaining freelancers on hourly contracts, our platform gives you all the digital tools you need to manage a remote team.
2. A global talent pool at your fingertips
One of the biggest perks of using the platform is access to a global talent pool of freelancers. You have everything you need to narrow your search for talent without the traditional physical borders of a job search. You can scan profiles and directly invite qualified leads to your project. Better still, the platform greatly streamlines contracting and onboarding and gives teams all the flexibility they need to manage the contracts of individual contractors within a larger virtual talent bench.
3. Enhanced information security
All messages on Upwork are encrypted through transport layer security (TLS). Sensitive information you provide, such as tax information, is further encrypted via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology.
Additional security perks of working on Upwork include:
- Multi-factor authentication
- Single sign-on
- Custom session timeouts
- Machine-learning-powered protection from malware and spam
- Confidentiality and IP rights
This approach prevents hackers from eavesdropping or performing man-in-the-middle attacks. The multi-faceted system is one of the safest and most secure ways to engage with freelancers and avoid potential malicious third parties from accessing confidential information.
4. Options in the face of disputes or fraud
With Upwork in place as the world’s largest online work marketplace, bad actors are bound to take notice and attempt to try their luck at running scams or committing fraud. Circumventing the platform removes the built-in protections that are in place to ensure that the work you commission gets done as intended. Working with freelancers on the platform is the best way to ensure that in the event of a dispute you have standard steps to take and a neutral third party who can mediate issues.
5. Tools for trust and transparency
On Upwork, you can easily and clearly lay out the terms and conditions of your contract and agreement. Some of the tools to facilitate this process include:
- Work Diary, a time tracker that takes snapshots every 10 minutes to verify that work is being completed
- Milestone Payments, allowing you to define and pre-fund milestones that can dispense payments as your project progresses
- Upwork Message Center, a record of communication that can be accessed by both parties for general work and for handling disputes
Taking communications offline opens the possibility for fraud and limits what Upwork can do to help you in the event of problems.
6. Built-in payment protection
Upwork protects your payments whether you use hourly or fixed-priced contracts.
- Fixed Price Protection: When you fund a project, the money goes into an escrow account that will only dispense when the job (or milestone) has been completed.
- Hourly Protection: In the case of hourly contracts, Work Diary snapshots, memos, and activity labels can serve as proof of work in the event of a dispute.
7. Circumvention undermines community solidarity
Circumvention is against our Terms of Service for a reason. When a client and freelancer meet through Upwork but try to continue their relationship off platform, both parties are exposed to undue risk with less protection of contact and billing details from potential fraudsters and scammers.
Going offline also hurts our marketplace; we count on these fees to maintain, secure, and improve the Upwork platform for all users.
But if you must move a working relationship off the platform, circumvention is allowed in three circumstances:
- If you’ve paid the Upwork Conversion Fee
- If you brought a preexisting working relationship to Upwork (including Bring Your Own Freelancer or Direct Contracts)
- If you and your freelancer have been working together on Upwork for more than two years
If someone asks you to move payments off Upwork, let us know right away and we’ll take action.
As the world’s largest online work marketplace, we at Upwork believe that it's our mission to create economic opportunities so people have better lives.
A big part of that mission involves maintaining a trusted and secure platform for businesses and freelancers alike to forge the mutually beneficial relationships necessary for long-lasting success.
Our marketplace was designed so that every part of freelance work—from pitching projects to getting paid—happens right here on our site. We truly believe that this is the best, most secure way to manage a Virtual Talent Bench.
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