Frequently Asked Questions

Job Sharing: A partnership between two people to share the responsibilities of one full-time position.

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 Q: WHY SHOULD I JOB SHARE?

People choose to job share for a variety of reasons.  Some choose to job share due to a change in family. This might include becoming a new parent, getting married, or becoming a caregiver to aging parents.  Other reasons include working a reduced workweek prior to retiring or returning to the workforce from family or medical leave.  Others job share while they are continuing education on an advanced degree or simply because they want a life that’s not bounded by their jobs.

Job sharing allows you to separate your work and personal life so you can be your absolute best at both! Job share partners overwhelmingly express fulfillment working in a small team that brings two skill sets together for stronger results. Partners hold one another accountable and support one another in work and life. When it’s the right fit, job sharing can be life changing for your career growth and personal life.

 

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 Q: WHAT CAN WORK MUSE OFFER ME?

Work Muse is here to make it simple. We’ll help you find out how it works and if job sharing is right for you, how to find a partner, and how to make the business case to your employer. We want you to feel like one of the luckiest people on the planet – a job sharer, happy at home and happy at work!

 

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If you are an HR professional or manager, Work Muse can help you create a work environment that leverages job sharing to attract and retain diverse talent, increase productivity and engagement.  Learn more here.

If you want the most rewarding experience of your professional life and your best opportunity for real work-life balance, Work Muse can help you enter the world of job sharing.  Learn more here.

 

More Questions?

  • Q: COVID-19: Can job sharing help my company during the coronavirus?

    A: Yes, it can! A Job Share Program is an innovative talent solution during this unprecedented time. In addition, your company will benefit from the increased productivity and solution-driven results job share teams yield by leveraging the skill sets of two employees in one position.

    Here’s how job sharing will help your company during COVID-19:

    1. Prevent job layoffs by eliminating a position, not an employee -Top economists are already suggesting work-sharing, and even job sharing, to ease the psychological and layoff pain resulting from COVID-19. When companies find themselves faced with the hard reality of cutting overhead and talent, job sharing will allow them to eliminate a position without eliminating an employee.Once the workforce begins a return to normalcy, keeping your talent on-staff, just on a reduced schedule, will reduce recruitment costs and ensure you’re ready to forge ahead.

    2. Support working parents without childcare -Job Sharing uniquely allows working parents without childcare or school to separate and prioritize work and life to bring their best, even within their home. Employers get full workweek coverage while employees keep pace with 24/7 work demands. Job sharers work half the week, handing over the work baton to their partner the other half, so that they can care for their children. Work happens seamlessly, and employees find a sustainable work-life balance during COVID-19.

    3. Increase employee well-being while decreasing added stress to managers -Managers face new challenges during COVID-19: how to support the well-being of a stressed workforce while managing an entire team suddenly working remotely. All, while they are likely in the same boat as those they manage. A Gallup survey of 2 million reveals the number one factor for employee happiness at work is having a work best friend. It’s one reason research shows job sharers to be among the happiest, most productive, and loyal employees. During this unprecedented time, job share partners can fulfill a vital role — as a Quaranteam:  accountability partners who serve as a vital support system for one another. This takes additional pressure off of already-stressed managers.

    4. Increase employee engagement during a time of instability and low morale – A decade-plus after the Great Recession, many remember the long-time toll layoffs and cost-cutting measures took on employee engagement. The instability of a down economy can leave employee morale bankrupt and burnout and turnover high. During an unprecedented time of personal and professional stress, with the added fears of illness or even morbidity, job sharing will increase employee engagement with accountability teams that leverage their two skill sets to achieve their goals while supporting and motivating one another.

    5. Maintain coverage during leave due to Illness -Job share partners often cover one another during medical or parental leave. During a time where a majority of Americans could contract COVID-19, job sharing is an innovative work coverage solution. Ordinarily, the workload would fall to already stressed employees or managers to simply “cover” the work, unfamiliar with the position’s day-to-day responsibilities. But job share teams are uniquely suited to step-in and ensure seamless work coverage should one partner become ill.
  • Q: How many people really want to job share?

    A: 61% of women and 30% of men are interested in the opportunity to job share.

  • Q: Does job sharing work in today's workforce?

    A. It does. Because the face of work is changing, there are two trends that support the adoption of job sharing more than ever before:

    • Globalization and digital overtime have created 24/7 work demands leaving employees burned out. If your company is actively looking for ways to combat burnout and turnover, job sharing is an effective option. You still get full coverage at your current pace while your employees continue to work in a high-impact role – just on a part-time basis while covering the full workweek companies need.  Employees unplug, recharge, and come back to work engaged and able to produce stronger solution-driven results.
    • Work is more project-based with small teams working together. Job sharers work in a team of two every day; they are excellent communicators, and solution-driven collaborators.

     

  • Q: Can job share programs help companies achieve their diversity goals?

    A: Yes, adoption of job sharing as a flexible work practice is a solid strategy to promote workplace diversity and achieve your company’s diversity goals. Job sharing will help your diversity program attract and retain:

    • Women with a decade or more in their professions who become pregnant, have children or return to the workforce
    • Millennials who like working in teams and want to work flexibly because they don’t want the stress their parents experienced from working long hours
    • Boomers who are experienced leaders and passionate about work who take pride in their accomplishments and yearn to pass on wisdom to new generations
    • Those looking to increase their knowledge and career goals while earning an advanced degree
    • Experienced talent who are caregivers to children, a spouse, or aging parents
    • Veterans returning to civilian life who are able to ramp up with the professional development, structure, and support a job share provides
    • The differently-abled community who’d like to progress their careers but need a part-time schedule
  • Q: How do job share programs not only recruit but retain diverse talent?

    A: Research makes it clear that companies with more diverse workforces are more successful. They have more engaged employees and perform better financially. However, hiring diverse talent without creating an inclusive culture does not yield sustainable results.

    The way we work has changed – globalization, telecommuting, and technology have upsides, but sometimes we lose the in-office connections employees value.  Job share partners work in a team of two every day; pairing partners of different genders, gender-identities, generations, cultures, faiths, and ethnicities leads to a deeper understanding and appreciation of our differences.

    Job share programs are an innovative talent design strategy – a diversity & inclusion super tool to create more inclusive workspaces. It’s time for companies to re-imagine work with:

    • Cross-generational job sharing – i.e. boomer and millennial
    • Cross-gender job sharing – women and men
    • Cross-gender identification job sharing – straight and LGBTQ
    • Cross-cultural job sharing – people of different ethnicities, different faiths, and different cultures
  • Q: Can job sharing be a succession planning tool?

    A: Yes. Cross-generational or intergenerational job sharing is a diversity & inclusion strategy to pair people of different ages – i.e., a Boomer and Gen Xer – for professional development. The younger employee learns from the older employee’s years of experience and institutional knowledge, while the older employee learns from the younger employee’s technical expertise.

    Cross-generational job sharing is a succession planning strategy to pass the institutional knowledge, business know-how, and business relationships from one near retiring employee to the next with very little to no training costs.

    Can you think of a better succession planning strategy? When the boomer decides to retire, those decades-long relationships and know-how aren’t easily transferable – except maybe to their trusted, interchangeable job share partner. If the boomer’s relationships and institutional knowledge stay when he/she leaves, it can save the company substantial loss.

  • Q: What are the top benefits for employers?

    A:

    • Increased productivity
    • Increased engagement with solution-driven results
    • Attract the most talented, diverse pool of candidates
    • Retain top talent
    • Become an innovative trailblazer
  • Q: What are the top benefits for job sharers?

    A:

    • Work-life balance – time for your family and yourself
    • Work in a high-impact role part-time while keeping your career on track
    • Unplug and engage fully in your personal and professional life
    • Strong job satisfaction
    • Two heads are better than one
  • Q: Why hasn't job sharing gained traction?

    A: Although the results of job sharing examples are compelling, it still exists in small pockets and remains virtually unheard of. Employers fear an unfamiliar way of working that seems complex.  Job sharing is not for everybody and takes harder work on the part of the job sharers but, once it gets off the ground, it is simple, not complicated in practice.

    The two major barriers to employees seeking a job share partnership are:

    • Job sharing is never even considered, they’ve never heard of it, or they have the perception that their company does not offer job sharing, and
    • They don’t see a suitable partner at their work and they don’t know how to find one.
  • Q: What kind of roles does job sharing work in?

    A: Job sharing is not limited to support functions and can work in most role types including:

    • Sales and client-facing,
    • Leadership and team management,
    • Strategic and knowledge-based,
    • Fast-paced or highly transactional,
    • Even senior roles in global, fast-paced organizations.
  • Q: Is the structure of job sharing flexible?

    A.  Yes, job sharing is flexible. Job sharing is typically between two people but also can work with more. Both partners typically share the hours evenly, but the hours can be divided unevenly.  There are also many ways to design and implement a job share including pure share, hybrid share, and split share.

    • In a pure job share, one position is equally shared by two people who are interchangeable
    • In a hybrid job share, the position is divided and shared by playing to each partner’s strengths & expertise with joint liability for the overall position
    • In a job split share, the position is divided into two part-time roles responsible for one output
  • Q: What are the top reasons job shares fail?

    A.  The top reasons that job shares fail are:

    • Lack of company buy in
    • Lack of management support
    • The Triangle Effect between management and/or other employees and job sharers
  • Q:  What is the key to job share success?

    A.  The three main factors for job share success are:

    • The right individual
    • The right partner fit
    • The support of management and the company