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Is job sharing a good option?

Is job sharing a good option?

Work-Life Balance

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Job sharing is very much on the agenda in today's uncertain environment for the simple reason it allows a cash strapped employer to keep two people partially employed instead of having to let one go.

Whilst the measure may seem drastic it also has advantages for those who want to have more free time for a social life away from work. There is a third reason for job sharing, and that's where a single job is becoming too much for one person alone and requires two heads.

A work-life balance issue
When a job is taking over your time – maybe unfairly impinging on your social/leisure time – there is always the option of job sharing, providing your employer is able to accommodate you.

Indeed, many employees who job share often want to pursue quality of life and quote this as their main reason for working part time. Of course, working less means earning less so you will have to weigh up the loss of income. If you're in a position – or a relationship – which can afford to do this then you have a distinct advantage.

You could even consider job sharing to allow time to re-train and up skill. Once again, few employers will be unwilling to consider your request.

Parents and those with health issues
The unavoidable need to take care of children or aging parents is another strong reason for job sharing – this request, is almost certain to gain acceptance from an employer.

In this ‘unavoidable' bracket are also health reasons. Whether it's to cope with chronic stress or other health-care issues, job-sharing is a means for you to carry on working at a certain level – and at a certain level of competence, which could not be possible full time.

Is job sharing easy to set up?
Progressive companies are set up to enable work sharing. Usually, there is already a culture of work-sharing anyway.

In this case, the job itself may already have a job sharing element built in. Where it does not, you need someone to share with. In essence, you need to demonstrate that your job can be shared and also, suggest how it could work, either by the use of an existing employee, or by bringing someone in.

Both you and your employer need to be satisfied, that the job will be adequately covered with no disruption to the task in hand. In addition, you and the other employee who join forces to fill one full-time job must be willing to exert a maximum effort to ensure that this work model succeeds.

If it is perceived as a means of just having an easy time, you'll be found out – so even if you are fully committed you need to make sure your co-worker is also.

Getting what you want – at all levels
If job sharing is your motivation to enjoy work, but to also have more spare time, then everybody wins.

Motivated workers are productive workers; and productive workers are satisfied workers.

So having a fully functioning job-sharing program can be a win-win situation for both your business and your employees.

Some negatives to consider
Two people doing the same job need to work as a team. But who's in charge?

To solve this, clear guidelines need to be set for who is responsible for what. If you or your employer doesn't know exactly who's responsible for what part of the shared job or tasks, it can easily lead to confusion, decreased productivity, and ‘finger pointing' if things go wrong.

You may also find you're not totally ‘in-tune' with your co-workers as you are not sharing exactly the same hours – you could even feel like a slight outsider.

So, job-sharing is on the increase and a way for you to have more control over your life. The reduced costs may suit your employer, especially if they are under pressure, to keep you and your services. What's more, you may even find yourself in a lower tax bracket and have the satisfaction of not paying quite so much tax.