Job Share Advantages and Disadvantages

Know the Advantages and Disadvantages of Employees Sharing a Job?

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A job share occurs when two employees cooperatively share the same job. There are advantages, disadvantages, challenges, and opportunities when employees job share. As an employer, a job share can benefit both the employee and you.

You have the advantage of keeping your best and brightest employees when life events make full time work a challenge. The employee benefits from the increased flexibility—a must-have for your Gen Y and Gen Z employees.

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of a job share.

Job Share Advantages for the Employer

  • You keep two valued employees who might otherwise quit to pursue work-family balance issues.
  • You gain two brains, two sets of enthusiasm and creativity, and two employees committed to your success.
  • Employees who are comfortable balancing life responsibilities experience less stress and more work satisfaction. This pays you back in increased motivation, positive customer service, and effective coworker relationships.
  • Successful job share partners are accountable to each other. This increases their accountability for accomplishments to the employer. They must plan, set goals, communicate effectively, measure accomplishments, and share the glory for successes—comfortably.
  • Coverage for ill children and other family matters is easier when the job share partner is available to fill in. Job share partners also provide coverage for each other for scheduled vacations.

Job Share Disadvantages for the Employer

  • You are dealing with two employees in a job share. If the employees are not compatible, fail to share a work style, keep coworkers and customers uninformed and uncomfortable with two approaches, you are ultimately responsible for dealing with the job share partners.
  • You may also be asked to pay for a cross-over day, which increases your employment costs but ensures another level of success for a job share. In a job share where two partners split the day in half, this is less likely to cost you substantially as the job share partners can overlap an hour a week.
  • Your cost of benefits may rise if you decide to provide each job share partner with full-time employee benefits. (This is valued by the job share partners, obviously.)

Job Share Advantages for Employees

  • An employee may feel torn about working full time especially after having a family, to highlight one common reason why employees want to job share. It's not just the workload that they consider, it is also their real desire to spend more time with their child/children.
  • Work-life balance issues are important to employees, especially the millennials (GenY) who became the majority of employees in the workplace in March 2015. They want to volunteer for causes, take up leisure activities such as sports and hobbies, and stay closely in touch with friends and family.
  • Employees who experience work-life balance are less stressed and may more effectively contribute when they are working. Less commuting positively impacts employee stress as well.

Job Share Disadvantages for Employees

  • Employees have to deal effectively with a second employee. Employees find this interaction challenging as they must share all of the information necessary for the second employee to effectively contribute and do their job. This means that nothing can fall through the cracks.
  • Employees have to deal with the different ways in which they may do the various components of the job. In a blended partnership, neither employee will have things their way. Compromise and learning new ways of working together is required or customers and coworkers will experience confusion and uncertainty.
  • If the job share partners are not compatible personalities who genuinely like and trust each other and can work together well, the job share will not work. Then, employees are forced to re-examine the entire decision-making path that led them to the decision to job share. It's difficult to find a job share partner because most employees cannot afford to work part-time.

All in all, a job share can successfully serve the employees, employer, and customers. Hopefully, this information will assist you to predict the potential difficulties and barriers that employers and employees may experience in a job share situation. 

Both employers and employees can experience job sharing as a challenge. But, it is worth considering for the right job staffed by the right two people who are willing to compromise, get along, and communicate effectively with each other.