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Part 6 getting the work done expanded w coho us

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Part 6 getting the work done expanded w coho us

  1. 1. Getting the Work Done Work Systems in Cohousing Communities © Kraus-Fitch Architects, Inc. 2006 September 2013- Presentation Version
  2. 2. This slide show was developed by Kraus-Fitch Architects to educate cohousing groups about cohousing design issues, before they begin the programming and schematic design of their communities. It is part one of a series of presentations including: Part 1 – What is Cohousing? Part 2 – Cohousing Site Design Part 3 – Common House Design Part 4 – Cohousing Unit Design Part 5 – Cohousing & Sustainability Part 6 – Getting the Work Done KRAUS-FITCH ARCHITECTS, INC. HOME COMMUNITY PLANET
  3. 3. This slide show is being freely distributed by the Cohousing Association as a service to Forming and Building Cohousing Groups. It was developed by the private business, Kraus-Fitch Architects, Inc. who assumes all responsibility for its accuracy. If you want the Cohousing Association to distribute media you have created, please email editor@cohousing.org The Cohousing Association has many other resources useful to forming groups and established communities at its website, www.cohousing.org. It also offers Cohousing Tours, and an annual National Cohousing Conference. Cohousing Association of the United States Building a more sustainable world, one neighborhood at a time
  4. 4. Work is Love Made Visible When we choose to live in a community there is an underlying assumption that we will participate in the care of each other and our common property.
  5. 5. Cohousing communities are usually self-managed and maintained. They are places where people work together to enrich their lives and improve their environment.
  6. 6. Children in cohousing have many adult mentors.
  7. 7. Pioneer Valley Cohousing • 32 households, 23 acres, rural site • 1994 move-in • Work coordinated by central “Hub” committee • Meal system included in general work system
  8. 8. Working together since 1994 The residents at Pioneer Valley Cohousing have been trying out new work systems, tweaking them, and aging together since 1994. We’d like to share the systems that work for us, and the reasons why others did not. We hope that you look to other communities for their ideas as well!
  9. 9. History of Work Systems at Pioneer Valley Cohousing: 1. Volunteer Sign-up 2. Mandatory Work Teams (with rotational tasks) 3. Affinity Teams 4. Multi-Task Teams 5. “Hub”-Coordinated Work In addition to the everyday work, seasonal work and large one-time projects have always been handled with Work Days.
  10. 10. Volunteer Sign-up Pioneer Valley Cohousing operated strictly by a volunteer system for the first year. Most of the work got done, but some things fell through the cracks.
  11. 11. Rotational Work Teams - mandatory 5 teams of 10 adults had a rotation of jobs, with a different responsibility each week including: • Meal preparation • Dishwashing, • Table setting • Cleaning the Common House, • Special projects • Quality of life items (e.g. stocking fire wood) • Social event planning • And time off.
  12. 12. Some problems with this mandatory system: • The small work teams provided accountability but… • Not everyone enjoyed the type of work that was emphasized • Some jobs were not given “credit” (e.g. Bookkeeping)
  13. 13. Affinity Teams The Affinity Team System creates teams around a particular type of work – How did we make the transformation? • By brainstorming • A big sign-up chart was then filled in to see if there was the right relationship of personal affinities to the actual tasks. • An estimation of 61/2 hours per person per month was calculated • Each person was then required to actually sign up for one or more affinity teams, totaling approximately 61/2 hours per month A number of folks envisioned something better. They believed that more work would actually get done if members had more choice in the type of work they would do, because it would give them “ownership” of the task. They also believed that more socializing (and a stronger sense of community) would develop between members doing work with others who had the same affinity. They put forth a proposal for “affinity teams”
  14. 14. • The “Hub” consists of one chair and four work team coordinators. • Coordination of the 3-4 seasonal work days each year. • Yearly review: • Are things falling through the cracks? • Are you having a hard time finding a way to contribute work to the community? •Do we need to bring the community together to readdress the work load? The Hub
  15. 15. •The “Hub” •Community Support •Steering Committee •Facilitators •Buildings & Grounds •Landscape •Garden •Common House •Kitchen & Meals •Kids •Finance •Membership •Design Review •Social •Communication •Workshop •Ad-Hoc: Retreat •Odd jobs •Clubs The Affinity Teams and Committees:
  16. 16. Community Support • Support to members in crisis. • On-going education on consensus, non-violent communication, etc. • Listenings – sitting down to hear from members about their struggles. • Conflict resolution
  17. 17. The goal of the Steering Committee is not to plan agendas for meetings nor facilitate them. Rather, it is to help individuals, groups, and the community as a whole decide the best process for making a decision. Here are some of the options: •Just go ahead and do that idea, it is not a “community issue” •This issue/idea should be discussed in a “salon” and then go to decision board •This issue/idea is unlikely to be well received by the community, perhaps you should not pursue it •This issue/idea should be discussed in a series of “salons” and then brought to general meeting for consensus •This issue/idea is very complex, and we suggest the following process… Steering Committee
  18. 18. Facilitators The steering committee calls on facilitators when they think a general meeting or salon is needed. The facilitator(s) are then responsible for planning the meeting agenda.
  19. 19. The seasonal work of mowing and plowing is coordinated by the Buildings and Grounds committee. The work itself is done by a list of willing members. Buildings and Grounds
  20. 20. Replacement Reserves
  21. 21. Landscape
  22. 22. Garden
  23. 23. Harvest is open to all community members, whether or not they are members of the garden affinity team.
  24. 24. Common House
  25. 25. Rules around the scheduling of private events were created by the common house committee. The actual scheduling of events is done by simply reserving time on a calendar hanging in the common house.
  26. 26. Someone has to book the use of the guest room. This is a perfect job for someone not wanting to strain their back.
  27. 27. The laundry machines need periodic maintenance and repair.
  28. 28. Kitchen & Meals The Kitchen & Meals affinity team is big. The work systems are complex and are addressed in more detail later in this presentation.
  29. 29. Kids The kids’ room needs cleaning, and someone to keep an eye on supplies: art materials, first aid kit, and toys Repairing the playground can be scheduled on a Spring Work Day.
  30. 30. Arranging child care for meetings, work days, and retreats is a job that benefits the whole community, not just parents.
  31. 31. Finance No community could survive without a finance committee, but this is work that is usually done alone and behind the scenes.
  32. 32. Design Review Most of the changes have included the addition of larger front porches and/or mudrooms.
  33. 33. Membership • Maintain a waiting list • Associate membership •Manage house sales
  34. 34. Social
  35. 35. Costume Parades & Pumpkin Carving Games nights on New Year’s EveGinger Bread Houses near winter solstice
  36. 36. Communications Our communications committee is responsible for: • Maintaining a phone and email list (constantly updating) • Maintaining connect@cohousing.com and the email connections for all the committees • Maintaining an up-to-date phone tree • Putting together and distributing a newsletter and events calendar (monthly) • Maintaining the bulletin boards
  37. 37. Workshop • Setting policies for use • Purchase and maintain equipment • Rent space • Safety
  38. 38. The annual retreat at Pioneer Valley Cohousing is a big deal and it takes a small committee a lot of work to pull it off. Adhoc: Retreat planning In short the retreat includes: - A gathering ritual - A slide show of the year in review featuring at least one picture of each member, and music (slide show subcommittee and photographers required!) - Theme (e.g. conflict resolution skills, celebrating 10 years in cohousing, improving work systems) - Group building exercises - Food (breakfast, lunch and dinner are served on both days to encourage us to spend the whole weekend together) - Talent Show - Great activities for kids (not just childcare)
  39. 39. Weekly recycling is more efficient if handled by one or two people. Odd Jobs
  40. 40. Clubs
  41. 41. Work Days
  42. 42. Not everybody can or wants to do heavy physical labor…providing childcare or bringing hot cocoa to the work teams is just as valuable and appreciated
  43. 43. A typical Fall work day and Spring clean up Rural communities and winter climates inherently have more site maintenance Undoing all the winter preparation work Fixing lawn areas Pruning shrubs Weeding flower gardens Picking up trash along neighboring roadsides Washing and installing screens in Common House windows Placing and filling sand barrels Attaching plow blade and sander to truck Attaching snow blower to tractor Installing snow stakes around driveways Sending snow machines to shop for maintenance Removing screens from and washing Common House windows
  44. 44. But thankfully, these taper off after the initial plantings take hold. There are usually a lot of landscaping tasks that need doing in the first years: Planting and watering trees and shrubs Establishing flower gardens Putting in patio areas (laying bricks)
  45. 45. A typical late Spring garden work day Composted manure to spread Garden plots to turn Compost to process Irrigation systems to install Seedlings to plant Mulch to spread
  46. 46. •Taking inventory of kitchen supplies •Cleaning the range hood •Organizing the kitchen shelves •Removing of accumulated stuff •Cleaning furniture •Painting walls Yearly Common House & Kitchen Cleaning:
  47. 47. Dinner, drinks, and relaxation complete a work day, and keep the spirits up.
  48. 48. More on… The Kitchen Team •Kitchen Committee •Set-up •Cooking •Clean-up
  49. 49. Kitchen Committee •Master menu planning and posting •Meal sign up •Payment for meals •Stocking dry goods •Replacing equipment and dishes •Repair of appliances •Sanitation training and review •Periodic review of all meal-related systems
  50. 50. Rotation of kitchen work teams
  51. 51. “swap request” handled by email
  52. 52. Menu planning and Meal sign-up Three versions of each meal are usually as follows: 1)main meal 2)vegetarian alternative if meat included in main meal 3)child-friendly alternative (simple foods with little spice).
  53. 53. Payment for meals
  54. 54. Set-up
  55. 55. Cooking A typical cook team is one head cook with two assistants.
  56. 56. The recipes have been typed out with measurements already calculated for 24, 36, and 48 diners.
  57. 57. Clean-up A typical Clean-up Crew consists of three people working at three stations: dishwasher, pots & pans, and general clean-up.
  58. 58. Burlington Cohousing East Village • 32 households on ~5 acres • Move-in 2007 • Sign-up work system w/ specified expectations • Meal system separate
  59. 59. • Sign-up system, jobs change every 6 months • Chores lists posted by Cleaning Committee & Land Committee • Participation Agreement (for owners & renters) specifies one job/month minimum • Expected to serve on one committee • Expected to participate in decision-making process & on Board of Directors Burlington Cohousing – General Work System
  60. 60. • Mandatory participation (a few exceptions), 1 job/month • Meals every even day • Mon-Fri meals by cook teams, weekend meals potlucks • 1 lead cook, 2 assistant cooks, 1 cleanup person • ~24 people/meal • Buffet style Burlington Cohousing – Meals System
  61. 61. WindSong Cohousing • Langley, BC • 34 households under one covered street • Move-in 1996 (+/-) • Work system was volunteer, now “pay or play” • Meal system partly included, partly separate
  62. 62. “Community Contribution Service (CCS)” •Guideline: 3 hours / month •Tracking using quarterly online worksheet •All adults have deposited $90 to CCS system •Pay $10/hour if haven’t met guideline WindSong – Pay or Play
  63. 63. 1. Supper Clubs: •Separate from main work system •2 supper clubs: Wednesday & Thursday •Each adult cooks once per rotation •No payments, cook pays for ingredients 2. “Community Meals”: •Part of main work system •No regular schedule, approximately 3x/month •E-mail notification •Sign-up form in binder WindSong – Meals System
  64. 64. Catoctin Creek Village • Taylorstown, VA • 18 households planned, 9 complete • 160 acres, rural site • Pay or play • Meals system separate
  65. 65. “Work Share” System: •Has been in place 4 years •Minimum 8 hours/month/household, 4 hr for single- adult household •Can “buy out” of work @ $10/hour •Monthly dues include $80 buy-out •Members report work at end of quarter to receive reimbursement Catoctin Creek Village – Pay or Play
  66. 66. Catoctin Creek Village – Work Days • Once a month • Morning work, followed by potluck & debriefing • One way to fill work requirement
  67. 67. • Separate from main work • Party system: someone decides to cook, lets people know the menu • Diners can bring a side dish or wine (volunteer basis) • No accounting Catoctin Creek Village – Meals System
  68. 68. Sunward Cohousing • Ann Arbor, MI • 40 households • Move-in 1998 (+/-) • Assignment based on survey of job preferences • Committee work included • Meals system separate (developing new system)
  69. 69. Sunward - Work Assignment System General Principles: •Overarching goal is for people to be happy in their work •6-month work cycles •Jobs assigned based on preferences Mechanics: •Members complete survey of job preferences •Reports generated by job & by name •Small team reviews reports & assigns jobs •First, Jobs Report used to fill hardest slots •Next, Member Report used to fill remaining slots (different order of names each cycle to make it fair) •Last few people are called to negotiate jobs
  70. 70. Songaia Cohousing • Bothell, WA • 13 households on ~10 acres • Move-in 2000 • Hybrid work system • Meals system separate
  71. 71. Committees: •Committees work as well as meet •Each member expected to be one committee •At annual meeting, members sign up for committees Common House Cleaning: •Tasks by assignment, quarterly •Each member notes top 3 preferred jobs •More people than jobs, get a sabbatical Work Days: •Expected to participate in work days •~4 work days / year Mowing: •By volunteers Songaia – General Work System
  72. 72. Affinity Teams and Committees • Community Support • Steering Committee • Facilitators • Building Maintenance • Grounds • Landscape • Garden • Common House • Kitchen & Meals • Finance • Membership • Design Review • Social • Communication • Workshop • Retreat • Odd jobs • Clubs • The Hub Navigators Ad Hoc Groups FFF Facilities Biogaians Community Works Celebrants ( Space Care ) Celebrations Ritual Planning meetings Association officers Emergency Preparedness Kids
  73. 73. How’s It Working? •Generally, the work is getting done •All members not participating in committees •Common house cleaning getting done, but sometimes a volunteer covers work that wasn’t done •Different standards of cleanliness Songaia – General Work System
  74. 74. Summary: •Separate from main system •Voluntary participation •Two options Full-Time Meal Program: •4 dinners & Saturday breakfast •Common pantry available for home use •Cook or clean once / week •Approximately $120 / month / adult •> 75% participation Pantry Only: •Access to common pantry for home use •Take on a job that helps food program Songaia – Meals System
  75. 75. Meals Work: •Lead cook •Second cook •Kid slot – optional •Team of 2 for setup & cleanup •Weekly mopping, recycling, stove cleaning Shopping: •Cooks submit menu list each week •Shoppers shop for all meals & pantry •Local, in-season menus keep price down Songaia – Meals Jobs
  76. 76. Songaia – Meals Job Sign-Up
  77. 77. Work Considerations: General Work: •What work to include as community work? •What are the work expectations? •Sign-up systems •Enforcement Meals Work: •Included in general work system, or separate system? •Does every member have to participate in meals work? •How many meals / week? •How to arrange meal jobs? •Payment system
  78. 78. Is all this work daunting? Well, yes! But it’s what built our community, and what keeps us going! Now, get to work!
  79. 79. KRAUS-FITCH ARCHITECTS, INC. Home – Community - Planet To purchase slide presentations contact Kraus- Fitch Architects at: 110 Pulpit Hill Road Amherst, MA 01002 413-549-5799 www.krausfitch.com Email- lfitch@krausfitch.com This slide show was Part 6 in a series including: Part 1 – What is Cohousing? Part 2 – Cohousing Site Design Part 3 – Common House Design Part 4 – Cohousing Unit Design Part 5 – Cohousing & Sustainability Part 6 – Getting the Work Done Contact: Lyons Witten email- lyons@cohousing.com

Editor's Notes

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  • Photo Credit: Laura Fitch
  • Photo Credit: Laura Fitch
  • Photo Credit: Laura Fitch
  • Photo Credit: Laura Fitch
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