Wikimedia Conference 2013/Schedule/Friday/Small Offices

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Advantages of having an office[edit]

  • Official (legal) address
  • Place to meet
    • A guaranteed place with the facilities we need (WiFi)
    • Fewer logistical problems (storage)
  • Equipment / books / ... storage
  • Place for staff to work
  • Looking serious
    • Reputation
    • Reliability
    • Consistency
  • Space for visitors / wikimedians / community
  • Reputation - consistent point of contact
  • Identity, visibility
  • Networking (in case of sharing)
  • Long committment (thinking long term)
  • More focus than work from home
  • Better coordination for staffs (>2)
  • Easier to grow (gives a structure in terms of size)
  • Volunteers get to focuse on more "fun" stuff
  • Coordination hub -> helps structuring projects / the organisation
  • Office location: which city?

Disadvantages of having an office[edit]

  • Overhead cost (time and money) - energy
  • At least 1 employee (empty office)
  • Some volunteers step down or lose motivation because of office and staff
  • Former volunteer gets hired: they lose a passion and get a job -> frustration of other volunteers
  • Less flexibility
    • long term committment
    • fixed location -> fosters one location over others
  • Pressure to perform
  • Higher expectations
  • Difficult balance between staff (paid) and volunteer in assigmenent of responsibilities
  • Board is becoming useless

Good practices: Logistics, funds[edit]

  • Offices space (physical)
    • Location vs. cost (vs. nice) (+wifi)
    •  % costs vs. chapter budget
    • Shared office to start
    • Room to grow
  • Location
    • Cost
    • Access to partners, institutions
    • Access for communities
    • Accessibility
  • Cost
    • You will need money
    • Plan how much of your budget will be invested
    • Time will be needed
  • Fixed office hours
  • Meeting room
  • Outsource the boring stuff: brooming, etc.

Good practices: HR[edit]

  • External consultant
  • Applicants: do phone interviews first (saves time).
    • "Why do you want to work for us"? - "I love Wikipedia" is not enough! What do they already know about the association?
  • Salary: ask what tey expect. Saves time, maybe they want much more than you want to afford
  • On the long run, have a mix of people with / without Wikimedia background
  • A director / CEO can build up the association
  • What kind of first employee do you want?
  • Hire right, not fast
  • Policies: lots of legal requirements -> advice
  • Define positions, expectations, role
  • Person depends on the job to do (not the other way round)
  • Financials, account might be outsourced
  • Define goals each year for the staff
  • Sign contracts -> review contracts
  • Provide perspective (motivation)
    • Training
    • Advantages (Laptop, phone, flexible hours... ) as incentive
  • Realise you have become an employer -> responsibilities