Part time work comes in all shapes and sizes. It might be a temporary role, a role where you only work a few evenings or weekends, or it might be seasonal work. Another type of part time job situation which could really work well for some people is job sharing.
People work part time for many different reasons and working part time by way of job sharing comes with many advantages. Of course, with advantages can come some disadvantages, too. We will take a look at both of these in this article so that you can decide if job sharing could be the best route for you in your quest to work part time.
First of all, though, what is job sharing? Before we deal with the pros and cons of this method of part time work, let’s find out what job sharing actually is.
What Is Job Sharing?
Job sharing is a system where there is one full time position in a workplace that is then shared between two people. It can be more than two people but this number is the norm.
The full time hours of this position are divided between the two people in a way that is agreed between them and the employer. This will obviously depend on the type of role you are doing – whether that is regular office hours or shift patterns.
When you are doing job sharing, it is common to have at least some of your hours the same as your job share partner so that you can share handover information and discuss any issues or the progress of projects you might be working on.
Depending on the type of role you do are doing with your job share partner, you might completely share a whole project, both of you doing similar tasks. Or you might choose to share the workload where each of you works on a particular area according to your strengths and experience.
So, now we know what job share is, let’s take a look at whether it will suit your needs or not. What are the advantages and disadvantages to job sharing?
The Advantages Of Job Sharing
The good news is, when it comes to job sharing, the advantages often outweigh the disadvantages.
One Full Time Job – 2 People
Working full time hours can be a strain, especially in a stressful role. If there are two people sharing that workload, it removes some of that strain and you get more time to relieve the stress and use the extra hours to improve your work life balance.
You get to share the benefits of the full time job. Whatever benefits are offered by the employer for that full time role, you get to share between you and your job share partner.
You Can Arrange Your Hours When Job Sharing
With a full time job or a part time job with fixed hours, you have no choice but to go to work and do your shift. With job share, however, you can come to a mutual agreement between yourself, your work partner and your boss about which hours suit you all. For some roles, you might be able to juggle these around on occasion if you have other commitments that crop up.
Job Sharing Means You Can Share The Burden
There are many jobs out there that come with a heavy workload and this can sometimes be overwhelming. Job share means there are two of you sharing that workload and this can remove some of that burden.
If there are areas of your role where you feel you have particular strengths and weaknesses, you can arrange with your job share colleague to separate tasks so that you are both working towards your strengths. Having a job share partner to discuss projects with also relieves what can sometimes feel like a stressful situation.
Two Brains Are Better Than One
Job share means you can work with your partner and bounce ideas off each other. This can help you to develop your career in the future as you find new ideas and different ways of working. Effective communication is key to any successful workplace and your communication skills will be in full use when you are doing a job share. Your partner can introduce to ideas you might never have come up with and vice versa.
Job Share Could Help You Maintain Your Career
If you are looking to start a family or are returning to part time work after having children, job sharing can be an ideal way to maintain your career.
Lots of new parents complain about the lack of stimulating part time jobs out there. If you were on a particular career path before you started a family, job share can help you to pick up from where you left off. If you were in a position of seniority, you could continue in this role by way of job share.
Job Share Can Improve Your Wellness In The Workplace
As we said above, if you have a stressful job with a heavy workload then full time hours could result in your feeling tired, stressed and, ultimately, needing to take off work due to sickness.
Job share can help to alleviate this stress and mean you are more relaxed and productive both in the workplace and when you are not in work. Your work life balance is significantly improved.
Job Share Can Boost Your Teamwork Skills
Being able to work as part of a team is crucial to the success of any company and, when you are doing job share, if you have complementary skills, experience and personality to those of your partner, you can become a really strong team. This benefits both the company and your chances of future career development.
You Can Use Your Extra Free Time To Retrain or Upskill
When you do job share, you will have extra free time on your hands. This spare time could be used to upskill, developing your current career path. You might study for some extra qualifications, for example. If you are looking for a whole new career direction, you could also use the advantages of the extra time job share creates by retraining or by developing a hobby or passion into your own business.
Job Share Can Boost Your Motivation
There are different ways in which going down the job share path can boost your motivation in the workplace. Because you are not so tired from working full time hours, you will be more productive and more motivated to come up with new ideas.
Job share also carries with it that element of accountability. If you don’t complete your side of the work, you will be letting your partner down. So there is the motivation to stay on task and to complete your side of the work to the best of your ability.
Job Share Could Give You Flexibility
One of the advantages about job share as a part time job is that it could give you flexibility for booking holidays. When you take your time off, with the agreement of your employer, you can arrange the most convenient holiday time for yourself and your job share partner can fit around you. Likewise, you can fit around your work partner when they need to take their annual leave or time off for other commitments.
Job Share Gives You More Leisure Time
If you want to maintain your career but you also want more quality leisure time with friends or family, job share can be a great solution. These days, lots of people like to take up activities where they are making a valuable contribution to benefit their local community or a cause they care about.Job share can release the time you need to do those types of activities.
If you excel in a sport and need time for training or you just want to train for recreational purposes, job share can give you the opportunity to do this.
Disadvantages To Job Sharing
So, now you have seen all the great advantages to job sharing, you might be itching to get yourself out there and applying for job shares – or asking your current boss if it would be possible to arrange a job share situation for you and another colleague.
Before you do, it’s only right that we take into consideration some of the potential disadvantages to job sharing so that you can make an informed decision. Let’s take a look.
Communication Must Be Top Notch
If the division of work is going to be fair and if you are both going to be absolutely clear about what is expected of you then communication between you, your work partner and your superiors needs to be key. If there is any mix up about who is responsible for particular areas of a project and this becomes detrimental to that project, it can cause squabbling and bad feeling between you and your partner.
100% Commitment From Both In The Job Share
Both members of the job share team must be fully committed to their role and the fact that they are sharing the role. Extra organisation is needed so that you are both fully aware of the tasks that need to be completed. Hand over meetings need to be organised and meaningful. If there is too much misunderstanding, it can put your friendship with your job share partner at risk and affect your performance at work.
Change of Partner Can Be Difficult
You might be doing a job share and think you and consider yourself and your job share partner a pretty formidable team. However, should your partner leave the company or move from the job share situation, you are going to be faced with the challenge of working with a new job share colleague.
Whilst this could be a smooth transition, it could, in some cases, prove challenging as you familiarise yourselves with each other’s personalities and ways of working. This could be more of a challenge for you as you are so used to your previous partner’s skills and traits.
Could Create Too Much Competition
We have talked about your partner and yourself forming a formidable team. However, there could be a situation where you don’t really click with your job share partner. This could cause a feeling of competition from either side, where you might feel you have to outperform each other.
If your superiors praise you or your partner more than the other, this can create some tension or bad feeling.
Compromise Is Key With Job Sharing
If you are the type of person who is more familiar with doing your own thing and you like to take charge of situations and get your own way then job share could prove difficult for you. You need to be able to compromise and accept you don’t get your own way all the time. This can sometimes mean you are not tackling a project in the way you would really like to but that could also be the case for your work partner, too.
Might Be Difficult To Find A Job Sharing Partner
And finally, whilst you might be all geared to do a job share after weighing up all the pros and cons, you might find it challenging to find yourself a job share partner. Not everyone is in the financial position to do job share.
If your employer is open minded about flexible working and job share, they might be willing to put in the time and effort to recruit someone to share your role.
Is Job Share For You?
So, now you know the pros and cons of doing a job share, do you think this way or working could be the route for you? Take a look to see if there are any job share opportunities or other part time job vacancies and you could soon be addressing that work life balance and making the most of your free time as well as working in rewarding role.