Office Guidelines Draft [7 Dec 2011]

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[This is a very early draft of the Office Guidelines document. With time and more writing, this will become a manual of sorts. Something that fully explains the office, how it works (and why), who it’s for (and why), how we work in it together, and what all of our different roles are. At this point, I have set it as “can view” for you all. So, you can’t make edits. Since it’s such an early draft, I would love it if you emailed feedback on it to: This feedback should include both concerns about certain policies and notes on what is missing. I know there is a WHOLE LOT missing. So, please help me pinpoint all that is.]

Operational Model

The Work Space Affinity Group has designated Gregg and Bianca to act as coordinators for the work space at 50 Broadway.

Intake Process

The Occupied Office has been established by the Work Space Affinity Group to provide for the office and administrative needs of Working Groups and their related projects. This is a limited capacity space… Priority access has been given to Office-Oriented Groups who’s need for consistent, secure office space is integral to their existence. Other working groups are offered more limited access after undergoing an intake process to confirm that they 1) are functional groups with active projects and 2) have the administrative capacity to organize their members to participate productively in a multi-working group environment.

Non Office-Oriented Groups that demonstrate a larger need than initially allocated can


  • Building Lobby: The Occupied Office exists inside of a professionally run building. A functioning relationship with Building Management and Security is essential to our ongoing use of the space. Therefore, anyone who wishes to use this space:
    • Must sign in at the downstairs lobby on the OWS sign in sheet.
    • Must show a picture ID to building security.
    • Must treat the building staff with courtesy and respect
    • Must respect the requests of the building staff. If an individual is reported to us or building management as being disruptive, they will be banned from the Occupied Office space.
  • Regular office hours: Monday to Friday, 9am – 6pm.
    • Priority is given to small working meetings and individual work on Working Group Projects;
    • No meetings larger than 10 people
    • If we are operating at capacity, people will be rotated out of the space based on the following criteria:
      • Individuals whose working groups are not “adhered” to the space
      • Individuals who have been in the space for more than 3 hours and whose working group has no remaining allocated time blocks
  • After hours: 6pm – 9am Monday to Friday and all weekends and holidays. After hour access is by request only via your workgroup point person. After hour list is limited to 48 people and is determined on a daily basis.
    • Working Groups must submit their requested list for 24-hour access on a daily basis by 4pm through their point person.
    • Legal names are required along with ID
    • The building reserves the right to not allow +1’s. DO NOT give security a hard time. General Rule: the more respect you give, the more you get.
    • If you arrive, are not on the list, and are not accompanied by someone who is on the list, you may call someone in your working group who is on the list and see if they are here to meet you and sign you in. Please do not call the Occupied Office number as it is not up to Office Coordination Team to come fetch everyone who is not on the list.
    • For evening meetings, at least one group member attending the meeting must be on the 24-hour list and that person must either be stationed in the ground floor lobby sending people up or communicate their phone number to each and every person that may come to the meeting so they can be called to escort people upstairs.


Roles and Responsibilities

Working Group Members:

  • Are expected to agree to and behave in accordance with the Occupied Office’s “Cooperative Agreements .”
  • Are expected to be a working member of the Occupied Office by:
    • Using the resources of the Occupied Office to follow-though on their projects and tasks for their working group.
    • Signing up for shifts to staff the front desk on the Occupied Office’s Staffing Schedule Google spreadsheet and keeping their contact information updated on the contact tab of said sheet.
    • Understanding the role and responsibilities of the point-people and holding point-people accountable.
    • Collectively choosing point-people on a rotating basis (the frequency of rotation is up to the group, but the office coordination team requests that it is no less than every 2 weeks and no more than every six weeks).
    • Occasionally attending office meetings when Point-People are unavailable.

Working Group Point-People: Are vital to the function of this office. They are the conduit through which access, policies, and information gets communicated. A good point-person is an excellent communicator and very organized. They have an understanding of Google spreadsheets and docs or are willing to learn. They have ready access to email and phone communications. Working group point people are specifically responsible for:

  • Attending semi-weekly office coordination meetings on Tuesdays and Fridays at 11:30am at the Occupied Office or sending a group member in their stead, and
    • raising their group’s concerns, thoughts, and ideas at the meetings.
    • forwarding notes received by coordination onto their entire group from the meetings.
  • Keeping the Access List updated with current group members full names and contact information.
  • Emailing by 4pm M-F with the full, legal names of their group members that will need office access for that evening (on Friday, it will be for the entire weekend).
  • Keeping informed of current policies and protocols for all areas of office coordination and communicating those to their groups.
  • Ensuring that Working Group members have signed up on the Staffing Schedule for their group’s day.

Office Coordinating Body: is a provisional body as the the Occupied Office transitions to a Cooperative model. It is a fluid body made up of point-people (or members standing-in a point people) and the Office Coordination Team. This body meets twice a week to discuss matters pertaining to the office ranging from resource procurement to policy and procedural issues. It is anticipated that that body will eventually give way to an Office Cooperative Board.

Office Coordination Team: This team has been made up of two people working on a full-time schedule. Ideally, once the office is up and running, this team could expand to three people working on a part-time schedule so that they may be active members of working groups as well. A good office coordinator is an excellent communicator, organized, and resourceful. Office coordinators need to be available to respond to the needs of the space even when they are not at the office. Specifically, Office Coordinators are responsible for:

  • Creating a professional atmosphere that is both inclusive and respectful of building policy, our own “good neighbor” policy, and the needs of the Working Groups the Occupied Office aims to serve.
  • Liaising with building management on all matters concerning the office-building relationship.
  • Communicating changes in the office in resources, policies, and access.
  • Managing intake process for new groups:
    • Make intake process and parameters for eligibility known publicly.
    • See a group’s intake process through in a timely manner.
    • Treat each and every group fairly and openly without judgement while respecting the guidelines set for eligibility.
    • Orient new groups to Occupied Office operations, processes, and policies.
  • Being available as the “final word” in unexpected situations and then normalizing those situations by bringing them back to the Office Meetings on what to do when faces with similar situations again.
  • Compiling resource needs and coordinating acquisitions.
  • Coordinating and attending semi-weekly office meeting. Circulating notes from those meetings in a timely manner.
  • Coordinating staff for all Occupied Office duties.
  • Organizing regular trainings on front desk operations.

Front Desk Staff: While not separate from any of the above-listed groups, this position holds a specific set of responsibilities as each working group member rotates through. While staffing the front desk, members are expected to be professional, have a respectful and welcoming presence, and carry through the following duties:

  • Keeping abreast of all sign-in and sign-out processes
  • Completing the Opening and Closing Checklists daily
  • Staying at the desk at all times or finding someone to cover if they need to step away.
  • Sign people in and out according to the Office’s access policies.
  • Orienting new people to the Office’s guidelines and intake processes.

In addition to these duties, everyone must:

  • Do their best to find coverage of their shift if they are unable to fulfilling a shift they have signed up for.
  • Make themselves available to sign-up for a shift at least once every six-weeks.
  • Attend trainings for front desk operations.

Who Can Use the Office Space, When, and Why

Once a group is adhered to the Occupied Office, the point-person (who should have been democratically chosen by their group)  submits an access list of names of members of their Working Group (that should be chosen democratically by the group#) that need office space to complete their responsibilities for their working group.

Only people on an access list of an adhered working group will be granted regular access to the office.

Execeptions and Exceptional Circumstances:

If it is someone’s first visit to the office, they will be granted a one-time pass to use the office resources.

  • If they are a member of an adhered working group, they are to:
    • Get in touch with their Working Group Point Person and get added to the list before their next visit.
  • If they are a member of a working group that is not  adhered to the Office, they are to:
    • Participate in the intake process from start to finish before their next visit.

Once a one-time pass is used, an individual will not be welcomed back until they complete one of the two processes above, except:

  • If they are a guest of a Working Group Member that needs them in the office to complete a project for their working group.
    • Examples:
      • A member of Archives brings in someone to record an oral history and it takes two or three sessions to do so.
      • A member of the press comes in once to interview someone from the Movement Building working group and another time to interview someone from the Outreach working group.
  • They have been granted special permission by the Office Coordination Team
  • They are here to see the Finance Working Group during their office hours. These individuals are expected to visit finance and leave as soon as their business is complete.
  • They are coming for their Working Group’s regular meeting. These individuals are expected to attend the meeting and leave the space when it is over.
    • Example:
      • Outreach has their general meetings at the office every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Not everyone who comes to those meetings needs office access except at those meeting times and there is no need to add them to the access list.

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