Job sharing

Published: 2016-09-29

This week we look at job sharing. Job sharing is a form of flexible working which enables two employees to voluntarily share the responsibilities and duties of one full time job.  This is becoming very popular specifically with people who want flexible hours due to their family circumstances.  It allows them to keep their career open while enabling them to spend time with their children.  

It’s not only an advantage for employees but also sometimes for the employer.  Its possible to gain more skills and experience from two people and there is more flexibility for the Company when one employee is on holiday or sick.
However, two people doing the same job can be very difficult. They need to maintain good communication and equally share the job between them or they need to have agreement over what kind of role each of them needs to take.  Job sharing also means you have to share your salary with your work partner, so the income will be halved. 
This week we set up an interview with a lady who was about to start a senior management role as part of a job share.  She explained to us why she has decided to go down this route of work.

“I've been thinking increasingly that I would like to work part time so that I have more time with the family. I remember someone saying to me several years ago that your children need you more as they get older which I never understood. Now I do... So I wanted to be around a bit more for homework, eating together, having time to chat before the bedtime cycle begins. It also means I can work long days when I'm in the office without feeling too bad about it, and on the days I'm off I'm off. Eventually I will look at doing some other work on my days off which will be good for my career and good for my work.”  

We also asked what she believed the advantages and disadvantages would be when job-sharing.  

“Advantages are there's someone else to share ideas with, talk about the stresses, offload to... I get the work life balance I want (I hope - although you always end up doing more as a part time worker...) and we can make joint decisions... Disadvantages - this is a job share with someone I've never worked with before so we may have very different working styles, ideas about things... Our personalities may clash. One of us may have to make decisions in the absence of the other, and those decisions may not be what we would have done. We have to be clear about our roles and the areas we are responsible for, otherwise we could have duplication, our colleagues will be confused about who does what. We could end up having to cover each other's work when it's not our working days. I think that there will need to be a lot more coordination and communication between us to make this work but I also think we both want to work part time for our own reasons so we will make it work...I will let you know in 6 months time!”

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