Upwork is a place where professionals connect and work together. So whether you're a client or a freelancer, it's good to keep your communication professional too.

Here's what that means in practice.

Four rules to follow

1. Tell the truth

If you're honest and clear, you'll build the foundation of a great working relationship: trust. So be truthful and respectful when talking with anyone on the platform.

And always be honest when presenting yourself and your business, skills, and experience.

2. Ask questions

The best projects happen when everyone involved understands the full picture. That way, freelancers can spot projects that play to their strengths, and clients can choose the best person for the job. So always use Upwork to find out more about each other and the project first. (You agreed you can only communicate with each other outside of the platform once your contract has actually started. You'll find more about that in Section 7 of our User Agreement.)

3. Build trust

Trust is hard to build and easy to lose. So strive to always stand by your commitments, be respectful, and keep communicating.

4. Be honest

Projects aren't always predictable, and anything from timelines to scope can change. When that happens, discuss it so you can agree how to move forward.

Six things to avoid

1. Being abusive

There's nothing professional about abusive, threatening, or harassing behavior, and we take it very seriously. If things with your client or freelancer take an unpleasant turn, let our team know. If necessary, they'll take action against the person you're having issues with.

2. Plagiarizing

Never pass off someone else's work as your own. That includes anything that may be protected by copyright or other intellectual property rights.

3. Going silent

Once you've got an agreement with a client or freelancer, it's up to you to keep the communication alive. If someone you're working with has gone silent, dispute services might be able to help.

4. Circumventing Upwork

Circumvention is when a client and a freelancer meet on Upwork, agree to work together and then take that project off the platform. It leaves customers open to fraud and scams and leaves us out of pocket. Circumvention violates our Terms of Service, as does using information you found on Upwork to contact people outside the platform.

5. Creating fake projects and reviews ("feedback building")

Sometimes, a freelancer opens a client account just so they can hire themselves. Or they set up a fake project with a client so they can build a job history and get a good rating. This creates biased of fraudulent reviews that undermine trust in Upwork. We've banned any kind of feedback building, including pressuring people for good reviews, in our Terms of Service.

6. Scamming or spamming

Creating scam or spam content is against our Terms of Service (TOS). Don’t use job posts, Upwork Messages, proposals, or cover letters to scam or spam other users. This includes repeatedly posting the same content excessively through job posts, messages, etc.


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