upwork review


Welcome to the wacky world of eCommerce and outsourcing. In today’s post, I’ll be providing an honest and long overdue review of Upwork.com. I’ve been using the platform for hiring online workers for the past 4 years and it has been quite a tool. It’s a platform that we continue to use today as we work with FreeeUp clients and find amazing workers for our company.

In this post, you’ll learn the inner functionalities of Upwork.com along with the pros and cons of using it for outsourcing. If you’ve never been to Upwork.com before, strap in.

What is Upwork.com?

Upwork, formerly known as oDesk, is one of the leading online hiring platforms. The platform brings together business owners with skilled workers from all around the globe.

The platform offers a variety of software that allows you to:

  • search for workers using keywords and filters
  • review the credentials for workers that appear in your search results
  • create job postings
  • invite workers to specific job postings that you have active
  • communicate with workers through an internal chat feature
  • hire workers directly through the platform
  • monitor worker’s progress through screenshots
  • pay workers for their logged hours

How Does Upwork Make Money?

The platform has been developing over the past 5 years into a massive resource for both online workers and business owners. Upwork makes money by charging a 10-20% service fee on the worker’s rate.

Here’s an example. John White is a¬†business owner that just signed up on Upwork. He finds a capable worker that charges $20.00/hour. Because of the 10% service fee, the worker only receives $20.00 – ($20.00*0.1) = $18.00. Upwork earns the $2.00 per hour.

The Pros and Cons of Upwork

As with any company, there are always pros and cons when comparing to other solutions in the market. Granted Upwork is one of the leaders in the online outsourcing space, they have a handful of pros, but they also have a number of cons depending on how you want to hire remote workers.

Pros of Upwork

  • Massive community of online workers with wide variety¬†of skill sets
  • Ability to find workers at almost any cost
  • Simple, click-of-the-button hiring
  • Worker monitoring system –> screenshots of every second the worker is clocked in

Cons of Upwork

  • Time consuming to recruit, interview, and hire the perfect worker
  • Low barriers of entry for workers –> can lead to unreliable workers
  • No automatic replacement policy for missing workers
  • Increasing fees for workers and clients

Upwork: To Use or Not To Use

So, you’re probably wondering,

Should I use Upwork to test out hiring remote workers?

It’s a great question and I’m glad that you are considering incorporating remote workers. Deciding to use or not to use Upwork very much depends on the time and risk that you want to put into hiring remote workers.

Because of the massive community of workers that Upwork has built, there are hundreds of remote workers constantly looking for new work meaning that your process of interviewing and selecting the best possible one can be a difficult and time-consuming task.

If you are open to spending a significant amount of time recruiting and interviewing a remote worker, Upwork is a great place to start.

If you don’t have the time and want to hire the best possible remote worker quickly and without the hassles of interviewing, use a service like FreeeUp. FreeeUp takes care of the recruitment and interviewing so that you can focus on continuing to build your business. Just tell us the worker that you need and we introduce you within hours.


Connor Gillivan


Connor Gillivan is the author of Free Up Your Business: 50 Secrets to Bootstrap Million Dollar Companies, a serial entrepreneur, and the CMO and co-founder of FreeeUp.com. When he’s not bringing together hundreds of freelancers and business owners, he’s mentoring entrepreneurs through his site, ConnorGillivan.com. He currently lives in Denver, Colorado.


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10 thoughts on “A Review of Upwork.com

  1. This is so true – I’m a freelancer and have become somewhat frustrated with how Upwork has been raising their fees, and also how some clients try to cheat their hires.

  2. I have done some hiring via Upwork and found it tedious and the costs became so high that it simply wasn’t worth it anymore. Do you have any suggestions for other platforms that can offer a good pool of workers?

    1. Hi Sanford, there are quite a few freelancer hubs out there with slightly different approaches. Toptal, Fiverr and Freelancer come to mind. It really all depends, however, on what your requirements are and what kind of work you need done. If you like, you can schedule a free consultation with our CEO Nathan Hirsch to talk over your hiring needs here: https://calendly.com/freeeup-nathan.

  3. I have both hired on Upwork and done some freelancing there and I can say that the process really does take up a lot of time, although Upwork does try to provide security for both parties but it’s very impersonal and can make you anxious if you have a tricky dispute.

    1. We hear you Barney! This is why we established FreeeUp, to offer a pool of the top 1% of freelancers to give you more control over quality. You can give very specific details on the kind of worker you want and interview (or not as you wish!) until you find the one that you want.

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