Sharing in the work of running and maintaining the community is one of the most important and rewarding parts of
living together. It can also be one of the most tedious to keep track of.
Gather has a feature-rich and flexible system for work sharing. It is used with great success at Touchstone Cohousing,
where there is near-total participation in the work system and about 300 hours of shared work is performed each month.
- Jobs in the community are entered including the job description and the number of hours required.
- Members sign up for jobs of their choosing.
- Special jobs can be pre-assigned to particular members before general job choosing begins.
- Multiple email reminders can be configured for each job.
- Jobs can be exported to your favorite calendar software.
- To promote equitable sharing, the system can automatically compute a quota for each worker based on the total amount of hours of work needed.
- If using the quota system, all adults receive an equal share of the work by default, but shares can be adjusted to grant accommodations as needed.
- Job choosing can optionally be conducted in rounds to reduce the number of people picking jobs at once.
- Integration with the meals system for easier management of meals jobs
- Member-tailored job choosing announcements
Frequently Asked Questions
Why track hours?
Our view is that tracking hours helps make work visible, results in a more equitable distribution, and helps
avoid the build-up of resentment or burnout over time.
Gather’s work system can be used with or without a quota, however, and hours are much less important in a non-quota setup.
Whether or not a quota is used, features like signup, calendar export, job description, and reminders remain
highly useful for coordinating community work.
What does typical usage of the work system look like?
The system was built to suit the needs of Touchstone Cohousing. At that community the process is as follows:
- Every four months, the work committee:
- Creates and configures the work “period” in Gather.
- Solicits requests for accommodations and enters those into the system.
- Solicits requests for jobs from other committees.
- Enters all jobs into the system and adjusts until the per-household hours quota is within a certain range.
- Picks a date for the “job choosing” event.
- Announces the job choosing date.
- At the time of job choosing, members go to the Signups page and choose desired jobs until their quota is met.
- Members also sign up for “full-community” work days.
- Chosen jobs are automatically added to members’ calendars.
- Email reminders are sent throughout the work period to help ensure workers show up for their jobs.
How will the meals system integration work?
Once meals are created, they will be able to be imported into a work period, whereupon jobs and shifts
will be automatically created and linked. Future updates to a meal’s workers will be reflected in both systems.
Calendar exports and reminders for meals jobs will be unified as well.
What about children?
By default, childrens’ shares are set to zero, but you can change that when editing a period.