Re: Assigning jobs / work
From: Dale Grover (
Date: Sun, 4 Apr 2004 19:44:07 -0600 (MDT)
So the 'assignments' are literally assigned?

Yes. But, so far all the jobs have been assigned to people who ranked the jobs from "neutral" to "really want to do this" (i.e., "0" to "+2" on our -2 to +2 scale), so we have not been asking anyone to do something they really don't want to do.

I should mention that the work includes 5 days of meals (1 head cook, 2 asst cooks, 3 cleaners per meal), which does make it interesting. It was a big enough community priority that we wanted to start off with this policy and see if it works.

Is everybody required to take on the tasks?

We have an expectation that every member puts in community work, just as they are expected to pay association fees.

What we have not yet moved to as a community (in my opinion) is an understanding that the labor budget is just as important as the financial budget, so for the moment jobs are added to the budget without the careful scrutiny our financial budget gets.

How do you quantify the tasks, ie. do you bundle the tasks into roughly equal lumps or are they different in size?

All hours of work are equal. Each job description says how many "blocks" the work can be divided into (blocks are the smallest piece of the job that can be assigned to one person, but one person might have more than one block of a given job), how many hours each block is, and the maximum number of blocks we will assign to a single person. This allows us to split up jobs like shoveling snow, and to have people do multiple cooking/cleaning shifts, without having a bunch of special cases. (This makes our online survey fairly consistent among the varied jobs we have.)

The seasons here really have dramatic effects on our jobs--we're heading into many months of lots of watering our new trees, but hopefully last night's snow will be the last for a while. Revisiting jobs every 3 months lets us adapt to the changing jobs, and let's people change jobs if they want.

(Some jobs are assigned by committees, like bookkeepers for example.)

Another aspect, kind of off the labor books, is that we have periodic work days. Great for painting or landscaping, but doesn't work for doing the taxes :(

For our landscaping/grounds maintenence tasks we are experimenting with a 'management area' approach. The site is divided into discrete (geographical ) areas, and small 1-3 person teams volunteer to assemble a small plan outlining how they want to develop and maintain that area. This plan when passed by the pertinent committee gives them a budget and mandate to get on with it. Its early days yet, and well see how it goes.

Peter S
Auck NZ

Dale Grover wrote:
At Great Oak (recently completed, Ann Arbor Michigan), we have all the job descriptions posted, have everyone take a survey (web-based) indicating their preference for each job on a scale of -2 to +2,...

Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:

Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.