Sometimes people on tours will comment that they’ve never heard of a coworking space that provides computer monitors, or adapters, or being able to reserve 3 hours every day in conference and phone rooms included in the price of membership, or many other things. (Collective Agency does all that.)

I like being responsive to requests.

Collective Agency is set up as a “workplace democracy”, which is defined as these six governance guidelines. We have a system where if at least 15% of members ‘very much’ wouldn’t want something to change, it doesn’t, even if everyone else including myself as the business owner wants it. I like that rule because it keeps us super-stable, and focused on what people very much want, while being considerate of what other people very much want. (The exception is if Collective Agency doesn’t have control/autonomy over something that changes.)

To decide what new things to buy, like monitors or adapters or otherwise: if 3 members would use and value the same item here, it’ll be added to the list of things to buy, which are ordered by cost-effectiveness (will more people sign up as members because of it, or stay members longer, or be a lot more satisfied while they’re here) in categories of function and decoration. (This doesn’t include food, because when we tried buying food years ago, it reduced people contributing food potluck-style, which seemed to reduce their feelings of appreciation from bringing in things that other members liked.)

Items like the phone rooms or kitchen cabinets at Division took awhile to buy because they were pricey, but most items are ordered right away. When there’s a need to budget out what to buy, members “+1″ items they want, and the items with the most “+1″‘s get bought first.

Members can also add rules or guidelines on what to buy through the modified consensus voting system (see the link above); those are specific by location, or for Collective Agency governance overall.

As more members sign up, that increases the ability to buy more nice things for everyone.

Written by Alex Linsker