Talk:Office/2011 search for a suitable office

From Wikimedia UK
Jump to: navigation, search

Please remember this is an interim solution. As we see how much we grow we can come up with a more permanent arrangement. Jon Davies CEO

Community[edit source]


I would like to give as input to definitely look at the suitability of the Office as a gathering point for community members, and the ability to allow volunteers to work in your office on projects. That means you might need some spare desks, a little extra space for maybe couches (make it comfy and inviting!) and check if you have a small kitchen (microwave/coffee maker etc) available. If you make your office as a focal point for volunteers too, it allows them to mingle better with your employees, it gives them the opportunity to work more effectively and efficiently and it saves you in the future costs for meetings and such. Therefore, it might also be advisable to have your own room(s) (not sure if that was covered yet in your search) that you don't have to share with others. It can then immediately serve as storage.

Finally, we learned that the number of keys you're allowed to distribute can be a tricky point with some building owners - definitely something to think about and discuss. Effeietsanders 12:30, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

Jon's reply: At my last place (a national charity) I did exactly that for the volunteers and visitors - three desks with PC's for volunteers - two IKEA sofas and unlimited tea and coffee. It worked well and built good relationships with the staff. The volunteers respected the staff and allowed them to get on with their work and the staff were appreciative of the volunteers. In effect they were often staff who volunteered and volunteers who became staff.
The places I have been looking at will allow access but there will be limitations - there will need to be a member of staff or perhaps a trustee around but I am sure we can make that work.
Being realistic the only problems are a. we need somewhere fast to get started and b. limited funds. So ideally we would have a large wikicentre all for ourselves and that should be our ambition. In the next year we can plan towards that.
Will be seeing what they do in Berlin next week and wonder about what happens in San Fransisco. Anyone know?
I don't know about Germany and the US, but in the Netherlands Wiki Saturday seems to work rather well so far. It is still a pilot, running for some months, but it seems there is a demand for it at least here. Effeietsanders 09:06, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

Southwark?[edit source]

The page says that Old Street and Southwark are populated by charities. Could a similar exercise to that done on the Old Street places be done on Southwark? --Bodnotbod 15:14, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

Jon Replies - There were three reasons - 1. majority of members and trustees use public transport that comes into the North of London, Southwark is not so well served by tube and buses. 2. More IT partners in the Old Street area - could be useful. 3. I need a decent cycle in the morning to keep fit and live quite close to Southwark. Would not discount it in the future when we develop if we found somewhere of exceptional value.
I'd rather dispute that the "majority of members and trustees use public transport that comes into the North of London". Obviously there are 3 northern trustees & two coming from the west. Active London members tend to come into Waterloo (as I do) - that was where many people headed after the BM event today. No 3 should not be a factor really. Johnbod 20:54, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
Also, why has only London been considered? I think London is the best choice for several reasons, but I'd be interested in hearing your reasons for choosing London. Tango 15:51, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
Jon replies. London per se because of it being at the hub of government, media, information industries etc. As a geographical entity easy to get to from everywhere in UK and the world.

Looks like a very interesting group of neighbours in the Ethical Property building.--Filceolaire 15:49, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

Jon replies. Yes could be some very useful relationships. I like the way they have monthly presentations where people share what they do with each other. A natural for us with a few volunteers to get some pages edited and created especially with the Global south charities.

Interim?[edit source]

You say this is just intended as an interim solution. It is certainly true that our needs in, say, a year or two's time could be very different than our needs now, but there is a case to be made for getting an office now that is "future-proof". Moving offices involves a lot of expense, hassle and disruption (I know, I've just done it). Have you considered trying to find somewhere that is sufficiently flexible that it could be a long-term solution, regardless of what our needs are in the future (within reason)? --Tango 22:37, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

Jon Replies. The sort of 'future proof' place we might eventually have - own meeting rooms, a dozen desks, kitchen, accessible to all would cost a lot more than the 20K we have in the budget for this year to rent and equip. The places I am looking at do have the possibility of growing within them as well so there is some 'flexibility' in this. I am really keen to see what the German chapter have and what the Foundation offices look like.
I am also keen to see a sensible balance between fixed office expenses and wikiactivities on the ground. (Much as I'd like a penthouse corner office overlooking the Thames....)
It's worth noting that the Foundation have moved several times, and WMDE have also had several offices (and they're also currently in the process of moving). Given that it's not clear where we'll be in a few years time (i.e. by what degree we will grow), it makes sense to be prudent and go for somewhere like this for the next year or so. Mike Peel 17:14, 14 October 2011 (UTC)

Jon concludes - thanks for all the comments, I really enjoyed the dialogue. With luck we have four desks ready for Mid November. Address will be circulated and all welcome to come and visit.