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Job Sharing

 

It is a flexible and uncommon practice in which two employees work-part time schedules to complete the work one person would do in a single full time job. This model allows workers who don’t want or can’t work full day to have more free time and make their work compatible with their private activities. People that are looking to reduce their hours to combine personal and labor life or a lighter workload.

Job Sharing is also a good and beneficial practice for companies and employees. It is a good ally to retain experienced workers who are looking for greatest work-life balance.

Older and experienced employees who aren’t quite ready to retire but want to reduce their hours are the perfect candidates for job sharing. This model assists the retention of expertise and talent allowing this workers to mentor and pass on institutional knowledge to their less experienced workers.

The distribution of hours will depend on the needs and responsibilities. Therefore, the two workers can work in different shifts, different days or even work the same days but different workday. It’s becoming a frequent formula in countries like Germany, Switzerland or UK but only in governmental sectors or universities. It is less common in the private sector. We should think that not all jobs are compatible with this practice and not all partners are compatible each other.

There are two modalities of job Sharing. Shared responsibility or twins model when both parts are equally responsible and work together on the same projects seamlessly. This type of job sharing only works well when both workers communicate effectively and regularly. Divided responsibility or island modelwhen each one works individually in their assigned projects. The benefit is that it allows employers to have two employees with different characteristic and vision working in the same project. This model could be less effective than the shared responsibility model but employers can cross-train theses employees to they can cover for each other if it’s necessary.

There are some advantages and disadvantages that can be important that a company or employees must considerate if they are thinking about to practice job sharing.

For employers, it’s a good way to have a complete coverage and a good practice to offer job flexibility to employees. It is also beneficial to employers because there will be two minds thinking to a new proposal or to solve a problem. Two people working together can be more contributing and fruitful because they can discuss and value different options and obtain more results.

If there’s a good employee that is considering leaving the company because their full-time workload is too much, employers can offer them job sharing to help him to deal with his personal situation. This employee could combine personal life and still being an active contributor to the organization.

There is a trend that is turning very important nowadays for employees: the work-life balance. It’s very outstanding in employer’s retention strategy. Job sharing is a flex-work trend that benefits workers that have other commitments or that are experienced older workers that are planning leaving the company and would be interested in a part-time income. Job sharing is also a good way to exchange skills with a partner and see different ways of working.

But we should be realistic, not everything are advantages. This practice couldn’t be the best way of work because sometimes could be confusing for staff to work for two people. It also involves other people and extra time spent on supervision and communication. Sometimes, employees feel that they are proportionally reaching more than a full-time employee and they are not suitable compensated.

It also can be frustrating for an employee that the other person work less, a person could feel that is carrying the other person and it can be harmful in terms of self-promotion.

Job sharing is a new trend that is increasing in Europe and it will be developing with time and experience. It can be very suitable for companies and employees because increasingly people is looking for a good work-life.


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