“Workshift” refers to the work all members of the BSC contribute. It can include “chores” like cooking dinner or washing dishes, manager work like ordering food for the 140 members who live here, and Central Office work like packaging and delivering food. These examples present the cycle whereby food gets from farms to co-opers’ plates. For this reason depend on workshift to maintain a cooperative, autonomous, and low-cost housing community.

While we also have a good number of non-member, hired staff members, the co-ops are able to provide such cooperative and low-cost housing (and food and everything else) because we don’t contract our work out to professional chefs or cleaners. We also strive to keep as much of the leadership in the hands of the members. Doing so not only makes for cheaper rent, but it also creates an environment where everyone is expected and able to contribute meaningfully to the co-op community.

Everyone who lives at Cloyne during the academic year owes 5 hours of workshift per week, with the exception of those who receive hours reduction as an accommodation for disability. Common workshifts at Cloyne include:

  • Pots
  • Dishes
  • Kitchen clean
  • Dining room clean
  • Shifts at Central Office
  • Cooking dinner/brunch
  • Putting away food deliveries
  • Taking out trash, recycling, and compost

The workshift policy for Spring 2019 is here.

Temp Weeks

The first 2-3 weeks of the semester are temp(orary) weeks. As members are still moving in and transferring between houses, they have flexibility in which shifts they do. This is also a great way to try out different shifts (and/or convince the Food Managers that you should get a Head Cook position) The Workshift Managers circulate a Google Docs spreadsheet with all of the workshifts that need to get done that week. Members then sign up for a total of 5 hours and ask house members to verify their shifts. An example from Fall 2018 can be seen here. At their discretion, the Workshift Managers may also make Thanksgiving week, spring break, Dead Week, and finals week temp weeks.

Permanent Shifts

After the second week of classes, the Workshift Managers assign everyone permanent workshifts. These are the shifts that they will be responsible for doing every week for the rest of the semester (except for any additional temp weeks). Through the workshift website, members fill out a form with their availability and shift preferences. The Workshift Managers then do their best to assign shifts that members will enjoy the most and work best for their schedules. Learn how to do your permanent shifts by asking your Workshift Managers, relevant managers (e.g., Kitchen for pots), or by reading through guides or watching videos on the workshift tutorials website.

Blown Hours

If you don’t do your permanent shift, that’s called “blowing a shift”. Not only do you not get those hours, but you also receive negative hours. For example, if you blow a 1-hour dishes shift, you get -2 hours for that week. This policy is in place because the house can’t run well if members don’t do their assigned workshifts. Managers may make exceptions in the case of emergencies or illness.

Workshift Market

Life happens, and that’s what the workshift market is for. If you can’t do a particular workshift in a certain week, you can post it to the workshift market. As long as you post it far enough in advance (usually 48 hours), you aren’t penalized for not doing it (i.e., you won’t have blown the shift) However, you’ll still need to make up the hours you miss from not doing that shift. You can do this by buying shifts that other people post to the market.

In different semesters, managers may decide on different policies for the market. For example, they may decide that you may only post the same shift to the market three times per semester.

The market from Spring 2019 is linked here.

Workshift Website

The workshift website is where you submit your workshift preferences and availability in the beginning of your semester, check your assigned shifts and schedule, see how many hours you owe or have done, and get signed off on shifts. The website will soon also allow members to buy and sell shifts directly on the site (rather than on a separate spreadsheet)! There are a number of resources for helping you get acquainted with using the website:


The Workshift Managers have no way of knowing if you completed a shift unless you get it verified. To get a shift verified, ask a fellow Clone to sign you off on the workshift website. The time limit to verify a shift on the website is 24 hours. If that happens to not work (e.g., if you’re doing a shift at 4 am in the morning!), you can also email before/after photos to the Workshift Managers.

Vacation Policy

If you are away from the house for more than one consecutive night, you are entitled to a workshift reduction. The workshift policy will have information on how this policy is implemented. Usually, you’re required to let the Workshift Managers know about your absence a few days in advance, and place any shifts you’ll be missing on the market.

The policy for Spring 2019 is:

Consecutive Nights on Leave Hours of Workshift Owed
6+ 0
5 1
4 2
3 3
2 4
1 5

Disability Accommodations

The BSC has policies in place to ensure that members with disabilities are assigned appropriate workshifts and receive appropriate accommodations. The BSC also encourages members with disabilities to run for elected positions or apply to hired positions, where appropriate accommodations will also be provided.

To get workshift accommodations, members should contact the Housing Supervisor, Betsy (, before the start of the semester. She will work with you to determine reasonable accommodations. Check out the BSC’s page on Accessibility for much more info about workshift accommodations and accessibility in the BSC more generally.

Manager positions

Cloyne has many manager positions. These differ from other workshifts in that they often involve more discretion, leadership, and responsibilities. Elections for manager positions are held at the end of the previous spring for fall and summer, and at the end of the previous fall for spring.

The compensated managers are President, House, Community, Workshift, Food, Kitchen, Waste Reduction, and Maintenance. These managers get their 5 hours of workshift covered and also receive rent compensation from the BSC.

The uncompensated managers are Academic Theme, Board, Common Electronics, Garden, Health, Historian, Librarian, Mail, Makerspace, Network, Secretary, and Social. These managers aren’t compensated, but they earn some or all of their workshift hours done by managing something in the house.

Feel free to check out our managers page for more info.

Paid workshifts

For urgent or particularly disliked shifts, Workshift and Facilities Managers may offer paid workshift. Normally, members can only get workshift hours if they both:

  • Are not down regular workshift hours, and also
  • Have an I9 form filed with Central Office.

If you want to do paid workshift and nothing is being offered, feel free to reach out to the Workshift Managers ( and/or Alex, our current Facilities Manager (

Bathroom Cleans

Aside from regular workshift, most houses have a “humor shift”, and at Cloyne this is bathroom cleans. Throughout the semester, each Clone will be required to clean a bathroom every 3-4 weeks. Bathroom assignments are made by the Facilities Manager, and usually you’re assigned to a bathroom near your room. Policies vary by semester, but usually the clean involves a “deep clean” on Mondays and then a smaller clean later in the week. The Facilities Manager will send out emails about the policy and schedule. Directions on how to do the cleans are posted in every bathroom.

Central Office/Central Food & Supplies shifts

Each co-op is required to complete a specific number of weekly hours of workshift at Central Office (CO) and Central Food & Supplies (CFS). This helps ensure that central-level duties are fulfilled. Since we are the biggest house, we have the most hours to complete. CO shifts include things like clerical tasks or data entry, and CFS shifts involve things like packing and moving supplies around to the different co-ps. Applications for these positions are sent out by the Operations Assistant (a central-level staff position) at the beginning of the semester. If not enough people apply for them, the Workshift Managers may assign members to these shifts.

Special shifts

Occasionally, managers offer special shifts. These could be anything from setting up for a party, moving furniture, extra cooking, and more. Only a manager can verify these shifts, and they should send an email to the Workshift Managers to get signed off.

Written by Carmel Suchard (member) in Spring ’19