Five misconceptions about job sharing

Time we challenged some of the misconceptions about job sharing.

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Job sharing is one of the best flexible work options out there, providing full-time coverage for the employer, while allowing employees to work part-time.

It’s win-win, but despite the many benefits, it’s still not commonplace, mostly because there are a lot of misconceptions around job sharing.

1. Job sharing is for mums returning to work

One of the most annoying assumptions made about job sharing is that it’s for mums.

But job sharing is not just for parents. Here are some other people who would really benefit from job sharing arrangements:

  • Anyone with caring responsibilities
  • People nearing retirement
  • Athletes
  • People with disabilities
  • People looking for more balance in their life

2. Job sharing means working part-time 

There are a lot of ways to split a job, and it doesn’t always have to be two people working three days.

Some people take one day off a week so that they can do the school drop off, pick up and after school sports duties.

3. Job sharing is just for people wanting to work flexibly 

While job sharing is a flexible work option, it doesn’t have to be about working less.

Savvy employers are using job sharing to cross train their staff, and for succession planning.

It opens up countless ways for employees to learn skills and understand how the business runs outside of their department by job sharing with another person from a different area in the business.

It makes for more rounded and happier employees, which helps with productivity.

4. Job sharers cost more to employ

The most common job share arrangements are two people working three days a week with one cross-over day.

That means paying 120 per cent rather than 100 per cent for a full timer.

But, if you speak to any manager of a successful job share team they’ll tell you that they get more than 120 per cent productivity out of their job share team.

You get coverage all year round, when one job share partner is on annual leave, you still get part-time coverage which is more than you get from a full time employee.

And if one job share partner leaves, you’re better off than if a full-time member leaves because you still have someone covering part-time.

5. Job share partners must be on the same pay scale for it to work

Job sharing can take on many different forms, so it doesn’t always have to be two people on the same pay scale.

Generally both job share partners are employed with separate contracts, as individual staff members and with individual performance management targets, so different pay scales can work.

With a growing importance being placed on mindfulness and happiness, it’s time to re-think the traditional work structure and start adapting to our changing lifestyles.

It can fill a need for flexibility when you need it most, it can offer you a more fulfilling career path offering you skills in areas you thought you didn’t have access to.

And for companies, it can be one of the best sources of staff retention you have, without costing much at all.

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