Wwoofers that question hours worked

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Timothy [Tim] Doyle 8 months ago.

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  • #30422

    Dear oter hosts,

    I really struggle when i have wwoofers asking and counting their hours and calculating. We have a home where the general idea is 6 hours a day 5 days a week. That is inclusive of morning teea and lunch so really work time may be 5 hours, depending on how much time we spend chatting. Sometimes they prepare their own lunch. My partner and I are both busy either working outside of the house or on the farm and we sometimes work with the wwoofers but not always.
    They have days off, not usually consecutively, and we take them to things with us. It immediately thiugh puts a damper on things when they question and count hours. We certainly don’t overwork them./ But if one day is half hour more then another day they finish early.
    Has anyone else had this problem?

  • #30612

    Hi, we dont have that problem because we explain that some days we need them to do the work needed, i.e. picking days are longer days. other days they may only have to do a few hours. it all works out and if the wwoofer creates dramas, we explain again how a farm works. if they are not happy, then they are free to leave. this is explained nicely. 99% stay.

  • #30799

    we actually never say how many hours but what work needs to be done for the day, I compensate then and give day/s off if we work more as needed. We also expect visitors to help set table etc because they are part of family and that’s what families do, help each other but that means sharing meals, cooking together or have a day at the beach. Meals is another one where some problems can come up, our latest wwoofers were vegetarians and one didn’t eat veggies, that leaves not much to offer. they then complained that we had salad this often even so every day a very special and different combination.

    I hope you you have fun and don’t have strict rules.

  • #31818

    When you have people stay with you and they are strangers you meet all types. We have had some people who you can’t stop working and do way more than asked. And others who add up every little thing to make sure they are on the right side of the ledger. Its all part of the experience and sometimes its not a good experience. People are coming to your home and living with your family going in your car on outings and having meals provided by you I am sure that everyone adds this up differently. We have had people who can come back and just sit around all day if they like because they were a pleasure to have stay with us. Others you wouldn’t have them back if they worked 12 hours a day and ate grass and slept next door. We have had by far more good honest people than not. As far as trying to work out hours worked for staying at someones home I don’t think it is that simple I think you have to take the whole arrangement into consideration. And then no one will agree anyway. John

  • #31842

    It is always necessary to clarify as much as possible how your system (or not system:-)) works I will think.
    I used to have so many non English speakers I created a guide to my home and expectations and it his helped as I spell how much I want negotiation out.
    So mostly I haven’t had this problem.
    At the bottom line also I tell em if they don’t like a host, the rules, the work then leave for heavens sake. It should simply be this isn’t working I’m out of here or from the host POV hey this isn’t working I’ll help you leave.
    I have heard woofers talk about some ghastly situations and cannot think why they stayed. Similarly I have at least once negotiated the early departure of someone who I just couldn’t help to understand what I thought a fair deal.

  • #31851


    We had 2 guys here a couple of months back..if I wasnt around they were just finishing up when they thought the hours were finished ..jobs half done,tools laying around,jobs done poorly or incorrectly and as a result our relationship was ordinary….I asked one to leave and then had the “talk” to the other…including letting him know that jobs done incorrectly need to be redone in his own time.

    Since then he has really tried to learn about all things going on including different plants and I have given him more responsibility and some of his own projects and seen him start to enjoy trying to please us with his performance and growing knowledge and skills..and before where he wasnt really listening to instructions he really tries to nail it down before commencing now..

    He also doesnt count hours now and realizes that despite being a strong and fit guy,he has certain limitations and plenty to learn, so often when I tell him to knock off he says “Ok..but I’ll finish this up first…” or “what else do you need me to do..”..

    What a delightful turnaround and since then we have had a 4 day camping trip to the Wilds of Hinchinbrook island,fishing and snorkelling trips to the Great Barrier reef and around the inshore islands..he also works out and spars with my sons regularly..and spends any other time off hiking in the national park adjoining our property..

    He has been here nearly 2 months now..and all it really took was to get rid of one bad egg and explain how we really feel about him being here and what we needed to see from him…He could have said “Ok thats bullshit,I’m out of here” or as he did, decided to make the most of the opportunity and he is being rewarded with some really cool North Queensland excursions and learning new skills …

    Life’s to short to live with soulless clockwatchers who have no real interest in what we are creating..

  • #31871

    Timothy [Tim] Doyle

    Years ago while wwoofing in Japan the host was very busy and had heaps of wwoofers all the time so to save confusion and forgetting stuff he had a printed sheet with the “house rules” for the newcomers to read. Nothing too heavy, but it set out the basics of how the place ran and what was expected of the wwoofers. It worked a treat and I asked him if I could adopt it here for my place. I’ve done that, and it works great. Keep it light and use very literal English to avoid confusion for those whose English is still developing.
    Have a great year everyone and remember when things go a little awry ,”it is all worth the effort” and you are having a very positive effect on peoples lives.
    Tim and Jake the wonderdog

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