Community Work/Service Requirements—How are other folks doing it?

Our small rural community of 7 is working on our system and requirement for community service. I’m curious what other established communities have found to work?

We currently operate with a hybrid model of defined roles and selecting people for roles (using Sociocracy) and using regular work meetings where we identify individual tasks and ask for volunteers. We’re currently working on establishing a hrs/week requirement, as well as identifying and defining essential/non-essential tasks/roles. At this point all maintenance/administrative work is unpaid. Work that is classified as a “capital improvement” qualifies for barter credit towards monthly rent, with pre-approval.

How have others dealt with the inevitable disparity between members’ physical abilities, time availability, skill level, willingness, and reliability? Especially interested to hear from small communities where the bulk of the work often falls on the same 2-3 people.


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This is a subject that is important to me, because when chores/tasks are divided up I think its important not only to look at time, but also effort. Maybe something is harder, but less time-consuming. Maybe something is easy but takes time. Maybe some people are able to contribute in different ways than others. If there’s a couple and she works fulltime in a demanding job, can he do both his hours and her hours and then its fair? Things like this are really important to figure out. I think flexability is important too. Some communities in our area have a specific work day each month. But I feel like as long as the work gets done why does it all have to happen on one day? Things like that are important to consider. I lived in two different housemate houses and in both cases chores were stressful, the first one less so because none of us were picky. The second one was hard because it was me and one other woman and she was picky.

When/if I do intentional community again/on a more purposeful scale, I need flexability in the chore department.