[hackerspaces] payed staff vs volunteers

Leigh Honeywell leigh at hypatia.ca
Tue Dec 16 03:39:40 CET 2014

Pay someone to do the things you dread doing, whenever possible. For some
that's cleaning, for others (for many!) it's bookkeeping / accounting. At
Double Union we pay for bookkeeping and it's super super worth it in terms
of preventing treasurer burnout.


On Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 2:10 PM, Florencia Edwards <floev22 at gmail.com>
> Please more answers!
> 2014-12-14 13:49 GMT-05:00 Joshua Pritt <ramgarden at gmail.com>:
>> At makers local 256 it's more of a everyone is a volunteer kind of thing.
>> If you put something in the garbage can that stacks above the rim then you
>> just take it to the dumpster and put in a fresh bag. I think everyone had
>> taken the trash out at least once. Then once a month or every two months
>> when it gets really cluttered and dirty they have a clean up day where
>> several members will volunteer (sometimes everyone pitches in a few bucks
>> to order pizza or whatever) and get the place tidied up. This works really
>> well as far as I can tell.
>> At melbourne makerspace in Florida we decided to offer a free membership
>> in exchange for extra help cleaning up. Several members also help mopping
>> and cleaning up from time to time too so it doesn't become a crazy
>> nightmare.
>> The general idea is for everyone to clean up after themselves as a nice
>> rule. We keep saying, "your momma doesn't work here" to keep the idea
>> going.
>> On Dec 14, 2014 1:37 PM, "Overflo" <flo at tekstix.com> wrote:
>>> ohai
>>> we had this discussion before at metalab vienna.
>>> there is a makerspace in vienna where they have paid staff. the whole
>>> culture there is VERY different from ours.
>>> we decided we dont want this for our space and that voluntary engagement
>>> is a very important part of staying open and selfregulating.
>>> this works so lala for metalab, could be better, could be much worse.
>>> especially cleaning and maintaining all the hardware is a tedious
>>> struggle, but i doubt it would be more efficient  if people would be paid
>>> to take care of this tasks.
>>> in fact it would make everyone else not contribute anymore.
>>> we DO have a paid cleaning company coming in one day a week for 4 hours
>>> to
>>> clean the toilets and mob the floors.
>>> that was a very good decision.
>>> :*
>>> -flo
>>> On Sun, 14 Dec 2014 15:20:32 -0300, Florencia Edwards <floev22 at gmail.com
>>> >
>>> wrote:
>>> > What do you think, I believe it really changes how the whole space
>>> works,
>>> > and how members behave if you have payed staff or volunteers. Also it
>>> > changes the commitment in tasks. If anyone has had experience with
>>> both,
>>> > could you please give the pros and cons? Or if you just had experience
>>> with
>>> > one, it would be nice to know how it's worked for you and what was good
>>> and
>>> > bad about it.
>>> >
>>> > In our space, we had payed staff, but members behaved more like
>>> costumers
>>> > who wanted their services to be perfect, than  an active community that
>>> > does things not only with their own projects,but also for the space.
>>> Payed
>>> > staff was with a low wage, but they where happy they could get enough
>>> to
>>> > get by, and build a community, help around... But their was also the
>>> > feeling that it would be good to engage in the possibility of giving
>>> > rotation to the staff. For example: people that came in, wanted to help
>>> > .needed the money, and really wanted to be staff. Why shouldn't they
>>> get
>>> a
>>> > chance? So we thought that maybe voting for a staff and rotating it
>>> could
>>> > be a good idea. But we are not sure.
>>> >
>>> > All thoughts, links and opinions more than welcome.
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Leigh Honeywell
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