Job sharing - everything you need to know

30 May 2024

More people are looking for alternative options to the traditional 9-5. Many want a more flexible working relationship that creates a better work life balance. As a result, job sharing is becoming increasingly popular within a range of industries.  

We’ll explore everything you need to know about job sharing and how it benefits businesses and their employees. 

What is job sharing? 

Job sharing is a  working arrangement that involves two employees sharing the same role and is usually organised in four ways: 

Same-shift working  

Same-shift working involves both members of staff attending work on the same day but working on different tasks and areas of the business. . 

Split-shifts across the working day 

This is where two members of staff work on the same day but at different times. This is useful for businesses that require employees to work at one location for a long period of time. This could be helpful for businesses that need to interact with clients in different time zones or those on shift work. 

Split-week shifts  

This is where two members of staff work the same shifts but across different days. This works well in roles that require long shifts.  

A combination of all of the shifts above  

With job sharing being highly flexible, it means employers can tailor working schedules using all of the above shift pattern options. Employers can create schedules or rotas that suit both the business and staff. Shift patterns can also be adapted based on  current projects and work that needs to be completed.  

Job sharing advantages and disadvantages 

The benefits  

It provides flexibility  

Job sharing creates better flexibility, through tailoring working patterns to projects and employee needs. It also allows staff to reduce their hours if needed and makes it easier for teams to adapt to unplanned sick leave or vacations, as they’ll have another person in the team who’s able to keep things running smoothly.  

It creates more productive employees 

82% of employees expect employers to support a better work life balance. Job sharing can help staff find a work life balance that works for them. This often translates into staff being more motivated and less likely to take sick days.  

It enhances team collaboration 

Job sharing encourages employees to take more accountability for their role within the team. Having two people in the same role should ensure tasks are completed quickly and to a high standard.  

The disadvantages 

Potential of receiving an unfair workload  

Sometimes an unfair workload can be distributed if one person in the role is struggling to complete tasks. If this is a continuous issue, it’s important to communicate with each other to see how it can be resolved. It may be helpful to identify each other's strengths and weaknesses to see how you can help one another.  

Ineffective communication 

Communication in any team can be difficult, but job sharing is a great opportunity to improve your interpersonal skills. It may be helpful to discuss which communication styles each of you prefer so that you can interact effectively moving forward.  

More time is spent on planning  

Planning ahead is essential, but it often takes longer as a team than if you were just organising your own schedule. To avoid spending too much time on organising tasks and projects you could set up regular calls to plan what you both need to do over a set period of time. This should make your to-do list clearer and improve your communication skills.  

How to get the most out of job sharing  

Get the most out of job sharing within your business : 

Job sharing is an excellent way to improve your staff’s quality of life, while still meeting critical deadlines that help the business grow. If you’re looking to provide a better work-life balance for your employees, job sharing could be the way forward! 

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