Upwork (formerly oDesk) Logo

Upwork (formerly oDesk)

Is This Your Business?
star star_half star_border star_border star_border
135 User Reviews


Overall Score

Upwork, formally known as oDesk, was started in 2003 by Odysseas Tsatalos and Stratis Karamanlakis. Stratis and Odysseas created a digital platform that would allow them to work together remotely (Stratis lived in Greece at the time). Through the last decade over 4.5 million freelancers have joined Upwork, formerly known as oDesk, and over 1.5 million jobs have been posted. Upwork is the largest online freelance platform and is consistently ranked #1 by annual freelancer earnings. In most recent news, Upwork and Elance reached a deal in December of 2013 to merge the two companies which will consist of 8 million freelancers and 2 million businesses.

Top Ranked Companies

Toptal Logo
#1 Toptal chevron_right
7.0 Overall Score
star star star star_half star_border
Field Nation Logo
#3 Field Nation chevron_right
5.9 Overall Score
star star_half star_border star_border star_border
PeoplePerHour Logo
#4 PeoplePerHour chevron_right
5.4 Overall Score
star star star_half star_border star_border

The Good

  • Payroll tools
  • Records
  • Guarantee
  • Employment benefits
Upwork offers freelancers and businesses stress free payroll tools. With Upwork Payroll:
  • Reduce the risk of worker misclassification by working through Upwork's staffing agency
  • Pay only for hours worked and gain full visibility into how freelancer's time is spent
  • Provide your freelancers with access to health and retirement benefits
Upwork payroll takes a lot of the guessing out of freelance payment and taxing. With Upwork staffing agency as the employer of record, you:
  • Reduce or eliminate the risk of fines, penalties and interest accrual due to misclassification of contract workers
  • Reduce the risk of legal disputes and negative publicity from worker misclassification
Upwork also offers a guarantee to employers that they will only pay for work that was actually worked. Upwork provides a work diary that tracks hours worked and even gives employers visibility to work-in-progress. Conversely, Upwork promises freelancers that an hour worked is an hour paid. Upwork work diary also provides insurance to freelancers of guaranteed payment for hours worked. In addition to the extensive list of Upwork benefits, freelancers now have access to affordable health insurance and other employment benefits. Plans start at $105/month and can include benefits like 401(k), dental coverage, and W-2 tax filing. Based on our comparison of freelance platforms, TBC would recommend using Upwork for the following reasons:
  • Low usage fee
  • Tons of jobs posted (3 million)
  • Tons of freelancers (9 million)
  • Money-back guarantee

The Bad

  • Lowball job offers
While Upwork offers payments guarantees for both employers and freelancers, it does not have mechanisms in place to hedge lowball job offers. In addition, the foreign competition pushes job values way below market value. For example there are freelancers -mostly in foreign countries- who will offer web coding work for $1 to $2 an hour.

The Bottom Line

Upwork is the world's largest online workplace with a thriving community of clients and freelancers. 80% of Upwork clients say that online work makes them more competitive and helps grow revenues, and a majority say they'll spend twice as much hiring online in the coming year. Upwork boasted over 900,000 clients, 4.5M freelancers, and over 35M hours worked in 2012. If you are looking for a freelance platform to post or find jobs, we strongly recommend signing up with Upwork.

Was this content helpful?
thumb_up Yes thumb_down No

Star Rating


star star_half star_border star_border star_border

135 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 grade


4 grade


3 grade


2 grade


1 grade


Sentiment Criteria


star star star_border star_border star_border


star star_half star_border star_border star_border


star star_half star_border star_border star_border


star star_half star_border star_border star_border

Filter by:


Sort by:

star star star star star_border

carolyn Columbus, OH

i have been trying to get into the copy editor/proofreader field for years. I stumbled upon UpWork entirely by accident. Within one week, I landed one job. Within a month, I've had four clients-- two of whom have hired me for long-term work. I am thrilled to be working at home, on my schedule and limited supervision. My goal is to get enough work to keep me busy and happily working away. I am so grateful for having found a way to break into this field. Thanks, UpWork!

5 years ago


Review Source

star star star star star_border

Lesa Burgess Pleasant Grove, UT

Upwork was my main resource for outsourcing when I was running my own business from home. There were several things that I just knew I couldn't do or even if I could do them, I knew that someone else could do them so much faster. Things like graphic design and simple document outline, all the way to website design. There are so many freelancers on Upwork, you can always find someone who works well with you and will do a great job. The site is extremely easy and simple to use.

2 years ago

star star star star star_border

Jacobrobot321 Folsom, LA

I use upwork to freelance my music, this as well as fiverr, both are great ways to get your material and services out there, though the start is very tough.

1 year ago

star star star star star_border


Very impressed with the Upwork Help Center! Support was friendly & problem solved in under 10 mins.

5 years ago

We're on a mission to empower consumers to make the best decisions and connect confidently with companies that deserve their business.

© 2021 BestCompany.com LLC - All rights reserved Privacy Policy | Terms | Do Not Sell My Personal Information