Working a regular 9-5 job isn’t easy, or even possible, for everyone. A lot of people these days are looking for greater flexibility in their role, even if it’s as simple as scheduling their shift around school drop offs and pick ups. Parents often struggle to work full time because their employers are not willing to offer such flexibility. 

Obviously some professions can’t have flexible hours, such as people working in the emergency services! But that doesn't mean that there isn’t an option for some flexibility - in these cases, job sharing could be the answer. 

Offering the option of job sharing could encourage far more people to apply for roles within a business, especially individuals with various commitments and responsibilities outside of work. Many businesses, particularly those operating in an office environment, should consider advertising job sharing roles, as it benefits both the employer and the employee. 

We’ve explored the three main benefits of job sharing below, but before we discuss these in greater detail, what exactly is a job sharing role?

What is a Job Share Role?

While you may be able to guess from the name what job sharing is, there are a few aspects you may not have considered, such as who takes the lead on specific tasks. So, what is job sharing? It is essentially where two or more people share a full time job, allowing them to work part time hours. 

The most important thing to consider when setting up a job sharing position is setting out clear expectations and responsibilities. There is a danger with job sharing that the workload will become imbalanced. Certain tasks could be overlooked, or perhaps duplicated, if colleagues don’t discuss who is responsible for what.  

With a job sharing role, the workload has to be carefully monitored, and everyone needs to have clear lines of communication. It’s also important that the individuals who are sharing a job role have complementary skill sets, with a combined breadth of experience. As long as these parameters are met, there are various advantages to job sharing, such as a better work-life balance for employees.

colleagues chatting

1. Flexibility and Better Work-Life Balance 

When a business offers a job sharing role, this allows people looking for more flexible hours to apply. The company may also be able to retain employees who find that they are no longer able to work full time, due to a change of circumstance. As these people will already be well versed in the business, and know how to do the job, it would be beneficial to keep them on. Flexible hours will also provide the company with a greater ability to cover holiday leave and sickness.

In terms of a better work-life balance, employees working in a job share position will be able to challenge themselves, by keeping their levels of responsibility and seniority within the business, while reducing their hours. Many part time roles are for more menial jobs, but with job sharing, you could continue working in a fulfilling position. 

2. Exchange of Skills

Another benefit of job sharing is the exchange of skills, as well as knowledge, between colleagues. This can be rewarding for the individuals themselves, as well as advantageous to the business. It can mean a more holistic approach to working, which will hopefully spread across various teams and departments.

Job sharing can also mean that the employer doesn’t need to train anyone new. As mentioned above, a job share role can mean people, especially parents, can continue to work in a position, just with fewer hours. As training new staff can work out to be incredibly expensive in the long run, job sharing can even save an organisation money too. 

3. A Happier Workforce 

You really can't put too high a price on a happy workforce. Simply offering the option of flexibility can be a big draw to a lot of employees, making them much more relaxed and satisfied in their role. And this doesn’t just have to involve job sharing either - companies that allow remote working and flexi-time are generally much happier places to work!

The additional benefit of a more cheerful working environment is reduced absenteeism, and higher productivity levels. There are very few downsides to job sharing - if your employer doesn’t currently offer this option, perhaps you should suggest it!

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