JOB SHARING: Benefits & How It Works

job sharing
image source: Michael Page

Employees who want to work part-time or share their responsibilities with others may want to consider job sharing. These employment arrangements are adaptable and perfect for those whose availability is affected by circumstances like growing family duties or partial retirement. You can determine if job sharing meets your employment demands and goals by understanding how this arrangement operates. In this article, you will get to know the meaning, advantages and disadvantages, and lastly the opportunities that come with job sharing. Relax and enjoy your reading.

What is Job Sharing?

Job sharing is a flexible working arrangement in which two or more people split the duties of a single position. Employers typically assign job responsibilities to job sharers based on function, region, time, or workload. Shared-job employees may have a part-time or reduced-time schedule. To make sure the other job sharer is aware of what they have accomplished, they prepare thorough handovers at the conclusion of each workday.

If not for the flexible schedule, job sharing gives small firms a chance to keep a valuable staff that they would otherwise be in danger of losing. If a valuable employee were to quit the organization, it could also reduce the requirement for training new hires. Managers may find job sharing daunting because they worry that it would cause confusion, extra paperwork, and a myriad of other issues. However, these problems can be avoided if a suitable strategy is in place and each work sharer is held responsible for their responsibilities.

Establishing a Job Share Position

A sound plan that ensures the work is completed properly must be put in place for a job-sharing program to be successful. Managers must closely monitor the system’s operation. It’s crucial for coworkers to communicate effectively with management and other staff members who aren’t part of the job-sharing program. When done properly, task sharing can produce a high level of productivity possibly even more than a single, typical employee could.

Choosing whether a job can be shared and whether there are likely candidates with whom to share it is the first stage in putting a job-sharing program into place. The majority of the time, these candidates are already on staff, but they can also be found among the outside labor pool. The jobs that are best suited for work sharing are those with clearly defined individual tasks. Complex ones are more likely to fall short in a situation like this. Management must, above all, be dedicated to the job sharing program, as must the people who take part in it.

Sharing of Jobs and Employees

In a job-sharing situation, it’s crucial to select coworkers who have similar and compatible work habits, preferences, quality standards, and communication abilities. In order to make sure that these requirements are met, it is frequently desirable if the employees choose their own partners. The majority of the time, it’s critical for companies to identify work-sharing partners with equivalent skill sets, but even if they don’t, there may still be advantages. For instance, in a job-sharing arrangement, a more seasoned employee can train a rising star. When this occurs, the company can reduce the amount of time and money needed to train the new hire while still paying them less than the seasoned employee at this time.

Employees that take part in job sharing share their duties in a variety of ways. To best accommodate each person, they can divide the work into discrete tasks or distribute it equally among them. The tasks of a job that are unrelated to one another can be separated. One employee may work three days one week and two the following by dividing the work week in half and switching shifts. Employees who share a job must be able to rearrange their schedules to ensure that someone is always available for work when it is needed.

Read Also: HOW TO ASK FOR A RAISE: Whether It’s Your First Job After Graduation

How Do Job Sharing Work?

The three parties involved in job sharing are the employees, the employers, and Service Canada. This is how it goes:

#1. Choosing a Work Schedule

The first factor to take into account is developing a work schedule that is convenient for all participants in the job-sharing agreement. Take into account the needs of the business and the demands of the role to accomplish this. For instance, compared to duties requiring a physical presence, remote positions may provide employees with more flexible shifts. The following structures should be taken into account while deciding on the job share partners’ schedules:

  • Partners working the same shift: In this arrangement, each partner works the same shift throughout the same days and times of the week. Employers who can divide the duties of the post between two persons, don’t need workers to cover a position at various times, and don’t need each partner to work extra hours should consider a same-shift arrangement.
  • Both spouses work a split day: Under this plan, both partners put in the same number of hours on the same day of the week. Employers who need people to fill eight-hour shifts or employees who like working different shifts will find the split-day arrangement to be appropriate.
  • Partners working split work: In a split week arrangement, partners put in a similar amount of time on various days of the week. Employees who only require a few days of work but can work a full shift each day benefit most from the split-week framework.
  • Combination structure: Each partner’s schedule is made specifically for them through these job-sharing agreements, which mix several work structures. For instance, work share partners can adopt one arrangement early in the week and utilize the other later in the week, combining the same shift arrangement with the split day arrangement.

#2. Sharing Duties and Responsibilities

The next step in a job-sharing arrangement is for the employee to split up their current responsibilities. The effective job-sharing of a full-time employee’s responsibilities and obligations typically necessitates taking into account both the demands of the company and each partner’s skills. Employers occasionally permit job share partners to split up the tasks and obligations.

When assigning tasks to partners in a job-sharing agreement, you have the following choices to take into account:

#3. It’s a Double Model.

Both partners carry out the same tasks and obligations under this paradigm. The twin model calls on both individuals to collaborate and finish tasks by the deadline. Because it incorporates the strengths of both partners as a team, this model is a great tool for increasing productivity and assuring efficiency.

#4. The Island’s Design

According to the islands model, each job-sharing partner must take on a variety of duties. This strategy also emphasizes allocating tasks in accordance with each partner’s abilities and skill level. The island concept enables partners to operate separately and specialize in particular areas to raise the caliber of their collective output.

Requirements for Implementing Job Sharing

Among the requirements for putting in place, job-sharing arrangements are:

  • Voluntary: Job-sharing arrangements must be implemented voluntarily and with the agreement of both the company and the employers. Representatives must consent to the program’s implementation when there is an employee union.
  • Residency: Implementing job-sharing arrangements requires that a company be a resident of Canada for at least two years at a time. Permanent, full-time staff are very important for the day-to-day operations of the company.
  • Status: Companies looking to establish job-sharing arrangements must be private, non-profit, or publicly held.
  • Temporary downturn: Work-sharing can only be implemented by employers when there is a brief decline in business productivity that is beyond their control. Employers cannot use it to offset seasonal revenue or postpone a company’s eventual reduction.
  • Duration: A work-sharing arrangement may last up to 38 weeks unless there are special conditions.
  • Recovery plan: Implementing a recovery plan is required to get job-share partners back to regular working hours after the arrangement is over.

Job Sharing Opportunities

Many businesses have discovered that staff members who job share are grateful for the opportunity and perform harder as a result.

When employees take use of the flexible schedule options and other advantages of job sharing, their performance reviews frequently get better and they participate more and volunteer more. Additionally, it appears that employers may benefit from having focused, thankful, and highly productive staff by allowing people to manage work and family obligations through job sharing. Companies can keep valuable employees who don’t want to work full-time by allowing job sharing. Many employees in today’s workforce experience work overload, which can lead to burnout.

This is especially prevalent among women who hold demanding jobs and have families to take care of at home. For men or women who must balance being “the executive” and being “the family provider,” job sharing is one way. Job sharing arrangements have been demonstrated to increase worker productivity while preventing burnout. Lower absence rates are another benefit, as high absenteeism rates can frequently cause delays in crucial tasks that the absent worker is working on. Job sharing enables individuals who experience illness frequently due to specific medical issues to work part-time and take time off on “off” days.

Because job sharers are able to provide better service by covering for one another on sick days, holidays, etc., job sharing can help lower absenteeism. Additionally, some businesses have found that job sharing might shorten the length of maternity leave. Job sharing may occasionally serve as an alternative to enrolling in a disability program.

Job Sharing Benefits for the Employee

Highly trained workers have the chance to keep improving their talents thanks to this alternative work schedule. Because they can more effectively juggle work and family responsibilities, some job sharers believe they have the best of both worlds. For workers who can afford to work less than full-time, it is a useful choice.

As opposed to regular part-time workers, who often do not receive perks like vacation time, profit sharing, sick leave, etc., job sharers receive the compensation and benefits of a full-time employee. This is another benefit of job sharing. Some people believe that two persons are better than one at making decisions and producing high-quality work.

Errors and faults are more likely to be discovered when several people are involved in a task.

Job Sharing Disadvantages

Now let’s examine some of the advantages and disadvantages of job sharing both for employees and employers.

Advantages of Job Sharing for Employees

There are several benefits and disadvantages of job sharing for employees, but we will first look at the advantages below:

#1. Schedules That are More Flexible

Employees who share a position typically put in fewer hours. For instance, they might labor four or five hours per day rather than eight or nine. Or they might work two or three days in a job share rather than five days a week in a traditional job. Employees typically have the freedom to pick how many hours or days they want to work.

Employees in job-share roles have a great deal of freedom in setting up their work schedules and can choose to fit other responsibilities, including spending time with family or running their own business, around their work hours.

#2. Greater Sharing of Knowledge and Skills

When you work together with other employees, you can discuss many elements of the job and trade talents and expertise. Employees can learn a lot more quickly from other employees who are performing the same job as them, especially if they are new to the position or the business. To make sure that their work satisfies the organization’s quality standards, they can also double-check it with other job-sharers.

#3. Peak Times with Little Stress and High Output

Employers may frequently expect extended hours of work during peak seasons from workers in demanding, fast-paced industries. If it happens frequently, it could be stressful. Employees who collaborate on projects with one another during busy times experience less stress and are more productive overall.

Disadvantages of Job Sharing for Employees

Even though job sharing has many advantages for employees, it can also have some disadvantages too. Below are they:

#1. Possibility of Compatibility Problems

In a job share, coworkers closely cooperate with one another. It’s critical that coworkers get along in terms of motivation, working style, personality, and other personal traits. Conflict may result from incompatibility between workers in one or more of these areas, which could lower output and job satisfaction.

#2. Less Freedom to Amend the Terms

Even though job sharing gives schedules more flexibility, it could be more difficult to renegotiate your working terms, such as pay, hours, duties, and style of work. For instance, getting a worker back on a full-time schedule can be challenging. This is due to the fact that one employee’s actions might have a significant impact on other work sharers.

#3. Reduced Benefits and Pay

You can receive less money and fewer benefits, such as health insurance or contributions to your Mandatory Provident Fund, if you participate in a job share (MPF). Some organizations might not pay employment sharers their full compensation or provide them with benefits because they don’t hire them on a full-time basis. This isn’t always the case, especially for people in high-value professions who hold senior positions inside the company.

Advantages of Job Sharing for Employers

Employers might gain from job sharing in a number of ways. If you work in HR or as a manager, you might think about implementing job sharing at your company. Here are a few possible advantages:

#1. Increased Capacity to Entice Elite Personnel.

Employers can draw in a larger pool of candidates who place a high value on flexibility by providing flexible working arrangements like job sharing. There is a greater probability of finding top talent with the qualifications and experience needed to succeed in the role the more applicants they get. Recruiting top personnel can help to further cut down on hiring expenses and failures while increasing efficiency and customer satisfaction. Additionally, job sharing raises the likelihood of luring in workers with a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and working styles.

#2. Reduced Turnover and Absenteeism.

Employees are more likely to be content in their careers when their employers give them the autonomy and freedom to choose their own hours and work schedules. Employees that are happier at work are more committed to their work and less likely to quit. As they choose the hours they can work, they are also less likely to miss work.

#3. Greater Flexibility in Labor Scheduling.

Flexibility in the workplace benefits both individuals and companies. When there are several employees doing the same job, employers find it simpler to arrange their personnel around vacations, sick days, yearly leaves, and crises. This guarantees constant productivity and the ability of workers to finish the day’s work tasks.

Disadvantages of Job Sharing for Employers

Additionally, job sharing has a number of disadvantages for companies, and they include:

#1. Possible Obstacles to Replacing Staff

Even while job sharing lowers turnover, there are still many occasions when workers depart for a variety of reasons. It might be challenging to find a replacement for a work-sharing partner who wants to quit the role once a manager creates the staff for job sharing. Finding a new employee with the precise skills and qualifications to thrive in the position and whose personality and working style can mesh with the other employees in the job share may be time-consuming and expensive for employers.

#2. Potential Issues with Managing and Supervising Staff

Ensuring that everyone is carrying out their jobs and obligations equally when multiple employees are performing the same task is more difficult. Employers could have to do more work since they would have to train and monitor the output of two employees rather than just one. If the workers in a job share aren’t compatible with one another, employers may also invest a lot of effort in resolving conflicts.

#3. Finding Appropriate Mates May Present Some Difficulties.

The compatibility of the job-sharing partners is crucial for the job share to function effectively. This can be difficult and calls for a protracted interview and screening process. One of the disadvantages of job sharing can be finding the perfect staff pairings can occasionally take weeks or even months, which can have a negative impact on productivity and business goals.

What Attributes Does a Productive Job Share?

An employer will need to thoroughly evaluate the scenario to determine if a job share would be beneficial in the specific conditions at hand. For job sharing to be successfully implemented, they must be certain of the following;

#1. Determine Appropriate Positions

Before introducing job sharing, businesses must determine the positions that would be most effective in such a setting. Information technology, human resources, finance, research and development, administration, and sales and marketing are a few examples of these positions.

#2. Conduct a Thorough Interview and Evaluation 

The next stage for companies is to look for individuals who can work well together and who best meet the standards. Employers perform in-depth interviews and tests, including team-building exercises, to locate these kinds of individuals.

#3. Clearly Give Out the Task

Create defined work descriptions and processes for each partner after choosing the personnel for job sharing, taking into account the personalities of each employee. These job descriptions are then distributed by employers to the appropriate individuals.

#4. Clearly Define Positions

It’s also critical to let job-sharing partners know which roles are senior to others. In this approach, more senior staff members can have the power to decide and monitor the success of others.

#5. Establish Clear Channels of Communication 

Employers must provide strong channels of communication that are easily accessible to all employees in order for workers to effectively communicate with one another.

FAQ

What is the benefit of job sharing?

Some employees that are happier at work are more committed to their work and less likely to quit. As they choose the hours they can work, they are also less likely to miss work.

What is the downside of job sharing?

It might be challenging to find a replacement for a work-sharing partner who wants to quit the role once a manager creates the staff for job sharing. Finding a new employee with the precise skills and qualifications to thrive in the position and whose personality and working style can mesh with the other employees in the job share may be time-consuming and expensive for employers.

How do you implement job sharing?

Among the requirements for putting in place, job-sharing arrangements are:

  1. Voluntary
  2. Residency
  3. Status
  4. Temporary downturn
  5. Duration
  6. Recovery plan
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