Employees can explore different job-sharing scenarios with their supervisors. For example, two employees may work half of a regularly scheduled full-time job—or two-and-a-half days each per week—with or without overlap; or each employee may work three days per week with one day overlapping (leaving one, less busy day uncovered each week).
Potential Benefits of Job Sharing
- Employees have the advantage of part-time work in a position that requires full-time coverage.
- Both job-sharing partners receive health coverage if working at least 50% of their regular schedules.
- Each job-sharing employee shares ideas and responsibilities with a partner.
- Job sharing can facilitate the retention of valued employees.
- May increase the breadth of skills and experience as it includes two parties.
- May increase productivity and morale.
- May decrease departmental absenteeism, since partners might cover for each other.
- May provide coverage by two people during peak hours or when two projects or activities demand simultaneous attention.
- Creates a talent pool that may fill future full-time openings.
- Can be used for phased-in retirement to reduce the employee’s hours over time and train his or her replacement.
Potential Challenges of Job Sharing
- Finding and maintaining the relationship with a compatible partner.
- Replacing a partner who leaves.
- Dividing the work equitably to achieve a balanced team.
- Added effort to supervise job-sharers as individuals and as a team.
- Additional systems for communication may be needed with managers/supervisors, coworkers, and clients.
- Difficulty in reversing the arrangement.
- Additional space may be required if overlap days are chosen.
- Loss of benefits to any employee working less than 50%.
An employee's proposal for job sharing should address:
- Division of responsibilities between partners.
- Plan for days and hours of work for each partner, including possible overlap.
- Clearly defined responsibilities for each partner.
- How job-sharers will communicate with each other, their supervisors, coworkers, and clients.
- How each partner will be evaluated, both individually and as a team member.
- A plan for when a job-share partner leaves.
- A plan for when the trial job-share arrangement doesn’t work.