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    Definitions 3 min read

    Upwork is one the most popular and biggest online platforms for clients and freelancers to connect and conduct business. Although Upwork started over two decades ago, was rebranded in 2015 after the merger of Elance and o-Desk. It now has over 18 million registered freelancers and 5 million registered clients. Upwork offers its service in 180 countries. 

    The goal of Upwork is to provide a convenient and safe way for businesses to connect to talented freelancers around the globe. Upwork charges a fee for freelancers and clients based on completed jobs on the platform. The policy of Upwork requires freelancers and clients to not communicate outside the platform, or to assign or accept work directly with each other. Upwork is headquartered in San Francisco, CA.  

    <h5>Read more about how the gig economy is changing the face of work at eWeek.</h5>

    How does Upwork work?


    Freelancers browse Upwork’s listings for projects posted by Clients. Once reviewing the clients’ requirements (project scope, timeline, other requirements), freelancers bid for those projects. Once the job is complete and accepted by the client, the freelancer gets paid.

    Freelancers use an email to set up their free profile, list their skills, and upload their resume, photo, and work history. Freelancers also submit documentation to confirm residency for those clients who require this information in awarding the job. 


    Clients post projects they need to be completed, requesting freelancers bid on the project based on information like project scope, deadlines, expectations for deliverables. In addition, clients can post jobs based on the hourly rate or fixed rate for the project. Advanced algorithms show shortlisted candidates who are the best fit. This allows clients to invite freelancers to view and bid on the posted job.

    What are the benefits of Upwork for a business?

    There are several benefits of using Upwork for a business. For a small fee, businesses have access to a large pool of talent and capabilities that may not be cost-efficient to employ full time. Businesses can browse freelancers based on an hourly rate, work history, similar projects they have completed, as well as check qualifications, do a video interview with the freelancer, or use Upwork’s messenger feature to chat directly with the worker. Businesses can upload projects related to a variety of categories including custom software development, mobile app development, website development, copywriting, graphic designing, and more.

    What does Upwork cost?

    Upwork charges different rates depending on the total billed amount for the job. These charges range from 5-15 %. For total billings of over $10,000, the percentage fee is 5%. For projects between $500 and $10,000, the fee is 10%, while for projects less than $500 the percentage is set at 20%. Freelancers can choose to get paid hourly every week or based on project milestones. Clients and customers both get charged a processing fee for sending and accepting payments.

    How does Upwork pay freelancers?

    For payment methods, Upwork offers direct deposit, wire transfer, PayPal, and Payoneer.